It's rather an irony that your dear auntie is still writing about Single Life after being married for over three years. How dare I, I'd like to know. However, I suppose there is something to be said for looking at Single Life from the other side of the fence. I can see what in Single Life still looks pretty good (e.g. the freedom to go wherever you want when you want) and what looks worse than ever.
One of the things that looks worse than ever is the total drama and potential heartache around "I love you." You can say "I love you" to your family, if you have that kind of family, and your best pals, if you have that kind of best pals, but you can't just say "I love you" to a single man you think is pretty darn lovable (or just really, really attractive) without the risk of massive social upheaval.
And yet it seems so normal and so tempting just to say "I love you" because you feel like saying it, and you gotta be you, and let's just get this on the table, and---Whoa.
First of all, "I love you" can be a lie, like when a guy says "I love you" and you feel terrible that you don't love him, and you think (for whatever reason) that you should love him, and that just saying it might make it come true.
Second, it could actually be a mistake about how it is that you feel. You may think you love some guy, but in actual fact you just think he is attractive and that it would feel soooo good if he said "I love you" back to you.
Third, there are few better ways to derail what may be a promising relationship by dropping the "I love you" bomb on a man who doesn't yet know how he feels about you. Men are not women, so ever if you authentically and unreservedly know that you are crazy about this man and want to have his babies, he might not yet know that he feels the same way about you. It might take him an extra week or an extra month or an extra eleven months, and until he naturally makes the brain-heart connection, you have to keep your mouth shut.
Long-term readers of this blog may vaguely remember that I knew I loved my future husband before he knew that he loved me (absolutely true because I checked later) and I count it as a personal victory that I managed to keep my mouth shut. Possibly it was because the stakes were so high. Possibly because it was because I had been blogging this stuff for years. Possibly because it was only a lapse of three or four days. But whatever it was, I now have my reward because I can say "I love you" every single day to a nice man, and hear him sincerely say "I love you, too", which is basically the source and summit of Post-Searching-Single Life. (I probably could say it twice or thrice a day, too, although four times might be pushing it, especially when he is watching "Master Chef".)
Fourth, as I have blogged before (or just emoted over the phone), it is more important than ever for men to travel uninterrupted through the great adventure called Winning the Girl. One of the Great Seven Plots involves a hero going out into the world to make his fortune and win the beautiful princess through feats of derring-do. There are few stories in which the princess just hands herself over without any effort whatsoever on the hero's part. That would not be as much fun, or psychologically truthful, and frankly I think I would have enjoyed being a fairy tale princess watching all the poor woodcutters' sons, minor princes, et alia, trying to rescue me. At very least, it would have been flattering.
Seraphic (on tower phone): Okay, I know it's really mean and stuff, but I am like so relieved that the ugly bad-tempered looking one fell and was impaled on the thorns.
Seraphic's pal (over phone): Oh, I know. You're like, It's not personal. I don't want you to die, but you're not the handsome prince I'm hoping for.
Seraphic: The writhing in agony thing really sucks.
Seraphic's pal: So don't watch.
Seraphic: I feel bad if I don't watch. If I didn't watch, he'd just die alone in the thorns with nobody there but his horse.
Seraphic's pal: Well, it's not like you asked him to rescue you.
Seraphic: Hmm. That's true.
Anyway, I think it very important for a boy, especially one who generally acts like he owns the universe, to have to take the big huge risk of laying his heart before a woman, not being quite sure if she will pick it up, or just give it back, or even stomp on it. This kind of action makes a boy into a man, no matter what happens. Of course it is sad for a man to have his heart handed back and horrible to have it stomped on, so it is a good idea for a boy to have some indication that his ladylove might actually accept this heart before he gives it.
However, having a good idea is not the same thing as being 100% sure. And it is awful for a man to be 100% sure a woman thinks she loves him when he isn't sure if he loves her. His natural reaction is very likely to be running away and pondering things in his cave, like Grendel. There he thinks thinks like "How badly do I want to get married?" and "Do I really want to get married?" and "Do I perhaps have a vocation to the priesthood instead?" and "Does love feel like this?" and "Why am I sweating like a pig?" How tragic if all he needed was just some time.
Anyway, to roll up this whole post into one sentence, promise yourself not to tell a guy you love that you love him until he says it first. Say he is marvellous or amazing or wonderful or a gift. Say any nice thing you like, but don't say "I love you" first.
Above all, don't tell a guy you love him just to make him say "I love you." Tempting, very tempting, but a bad idea in the long run.