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As a Man: Don't say yes if she asks: Do you love me

Published:Sunday | January 10, 2016 | 1:00 AM

Do you love me?

Never tell a woman you are involved with "yes" if she asks if you love her.

You may not want to lose her for whatever qualities or talents (ahem, ahem) she possesses which you admire; you may be swayed by the yearning in her eyes for that deep commitment; the moment of enquiry may be fraught with emotion, you may have even been considering that you love this lass - even to the point of being just about to say the three words yourself.

But if she asks if you do, don't say "I love you". For if those three words, equalled or exceeded in significance only by those four words "I want a divorce", are not said voluntarily, you will always regret it.

As the relationship progresses, you will resent her in the moments of tension which inevitably come when a man and a woman decide to set up shop together, and niggling at the corners of your mind will be the thought that maybe you were backed into the 'I love you' corner.

To tell a women you love her before you feel ready to do so is to do yourself an injustice. To tell a woman that you love her when you do not is an act of utter cruelty to her.

DON'T JUST SAY NO

Of course, I am not suggesting that if the lady asks "do you love me?" you should tell her no outright. At the moment, it may not be the most physically healthy option, even if you genuinely despise her (and we done know, a man or woman can hate most things or everything about the person they are partnering with except that one little attribute that just hooks them).

Exactly how you negotiate the situation is based on both personalities, your escape route, and state of dress or undress at the moment. Anything less than an outright yes is going to be a let-down in the immediate situation. A yes is going to set the stage for misery in the not-too-distant future.

Chances are, there will be a future (the duration varies), for a woman does not take those three little words being said to her lightly, whether it is at her prompting or not. She will immediately start making plans, (even if wresting an I love you out of her man is part of the plan for social mobility) as the relationship goes to the much vaunted 'next level'. Yup, those three little words change the lady's range of vision from weeks to decades, all in an instant.

If, as a man, you are to be part of her plan for her version of 'happily ever after' she has in mind, you need to be sure that you actually want to be part of her life puzzle. The I love you should be said because it is simply irrepressible - like a volcano coming to life, letting off wisps of steam and rumblings in the prelude to the explosion, the pressure building until it cannot be contained and the hot fluid shooting upwards.

Similarly, think of a voluntary I love you from a man to a lady as an awakening of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat; consider a forced one like the washout once delivered to children as a matter of course before the start of the new academic year. Don't mek no ooman Brooklax yu feelings.

Love is a decision and a commitment not made lightly. Do not be forced and do not con people pickney either.

melville.cooke@gleanerjm.com