Inspired by @fisackerly's wonderful list, "The First Time I Said, "I love you.""
  1. Z
    He said it outside of the Hippodrome theater, after Oklahoma!, as we celebrated my 15th birthday. I remember staring across the street at the construction, unable to say it back. A few days later, we were talking on AIM and he said it again and OUT OF HABIT, as I always do with my friends, I went "Love you too" and then had one of those slow motion NOOOO moments as soon as I saw the words on the screen. He was thrilled! "I'm so glad to hear you say that!" he told me, and I couldn't take it back.
  2. I
    He told me he thought he was falling in love with me the second time we met in person, after two months of talking online. He said it for real on Christmas Eve, in a letter he wrote me. Two days later, we went on a hike (him, me, and the mutual friend who had introduced us). As we walked, he helped me avoid the mud and mapped out a path for me to cross the water. His behavior, the way he took care of me, just reinforced what I'd thought, that I loved him, too.
  3. R
    When we were dating, it was never a real romantic love, but the night I was assaulted, he called me and then stayed on the phone with me as I drove home sobbing. He told me he loved me and I said it back and I felt safer.
  4. A
    We were laying on my bed after watching Parks and Rec, doing a bit as an old married couple arguing at a diner about how he'd always order the chicken pot pie and then send it back because he didn't like it, and how every time I warned him and he didn't listen, and giggling. He looked at me and I knew it was coming. "I think I love you. I love you," he said to me, and for the first time, I said it back immediately, no hesitation.