That's right. One. It was to Jerry, and we broke up a month later. Now he is my bff and we totally rock together as friends. Those words still apply, but now in the friendship manner.
Even though I have only said ILU once in my life, it has been said to me 3 times. Still a low number, but more than the times I have said it.
The first time occurred when I was 16 dating a 19 year old lead singer of some shitty band. We were talking on the phone one night, and he said "Nell, I just wanted to tell you that I love you." I was flattered, and I almost said it back, but what I ended up saying, unexpectedly, was "But dude, we've only been dating for like two weeks. You don't even know me." He was slightly offended, but we continued to date afterward. Then we broke up around 2 months later because he was leaving for school in Arizona. Two years later I bumped into him at the Apple store. It was weird, but lolzy.
The second time was Jerry, hesitating to say it back to me. Yes, it was the only time I initiated and the only time I meant it.
The third time occurred just this Tuesday night. I spent the night at Mike's house, we smoked, drank, fucked, and cuddled. I fell asleep early because I had class in the morning, but I would drift in and out and we would make out occasionally. One time I was awake for making out and Mike just said "Nellie, I love you." Italics doesn't do that "love" justice. It was full breath, straight from the stomach, using your diaphragm love. It was the strangest thing ever. There I am, naked, with this guy I'm just getting to know, and here is telling me he loves me. How the hell am I supposed to react to that? I'm hoping for something better than "Dude, you're just really stoned" but nay, that is exactly what I said. I then rolled over and went back to sleep. Mike doesn't remember the interaction at all, but that's ok because he didn't mean it.
I just find it funny how, instead of jumping the gun and saying what I think I want my heart to say, I go with the logical and sensible answer. Even at 16, which is prime time for silly "I wuv you" exchanges, I was like "No dude lol". Both times have made me laugh. I laugh at love. Well, I laugh at what people think is love.