Tuesday, May 16, 2006
When should I say "I love you" to my Callah?
Your advice seems to be the exact kind of advice I would typically give to another, and it kind of made me nervous that I got that same advice from you. So as a response, I re-read what I wrote in the last blog entry to make sure I wasn't giving the wrong impression or information.
The topic of the blog entry was me noticing that along with my feelings of love for her, there are also feelings of sexuality arising between us as a result. We have spoken about this and she is feeling the same thing.
The second topic, not to be confused with the first, is that I wondered whether my thoughts have an affect on her -- first I took the analogy that thoughts can affect her soul or can affect her on a spiritual level, and then I took it further with the bus analogy wondering whether there is a physical element based on one's thoughts, meaning that I was wondering whether me thinking sexual thoughts about us halachically is actually BREAKING shomer negiah on some level. It's a stretch, and OBVIOUSLY THE HALACHA IS that one CANNOT break shomer negiah with thoughts alone, BUT, I was wondering about it from a hypothetical and philosophical point of view.
Where you made a mish-mash of everything I wrote is that you 1) came to the conclusion that I was having sex with her in my mind, and therefore 2) I was feeling it with my body and 3) therefore I was using her 4) without giving love in return because I haven't told her that I loved her. Then you moved one step further and told me that 5) if I don't tell her that I love her, because of the intensities of the first night, if she is not comfortable with me fully, then the first night might be a physically painful experience, which can have major marital consequences and can leave many emotional scars.
So let's sort things out.
I am starting to get the feeling from your comments, as well as the comments from my parents and friends that I should tell her I love her if I feel that I love her, which I do. Note: that when I originally tried to tell her that I loved her, she said, "how can you possibly have real feelings for me?? You've only known me for 8 weeks, meaning that you've only seen me around 10-12 times..."
So I waited for the right time to tell her, and since waiting, I have been wondering whether it is better to tell her now or after (or closer to) the marriage. I am getting the feeling that many of you feel that since I am feeling it, maybe I should just say it rather than holding my feelings back from her. Although I'm not sure whether it is smart to do it now or another time because I don't want to "blow my wad" professing my love for her at a time where I am absent from her presence for extended periods of time because I am literally in another city studying for my bar exam. This -- when to profess my love -- is issue #1.
I also want to note that TELLING SOMEONE YOU LOVE THEM RAISES THE EMOTIONAL LEVEL AND INTENSITY OF THE RELATIONSHIP AND I AM NOT SURE THIS IS HEALTHY WHILE WE ARE ONLY ENGAGED AFTER SHIDDUCH DATING, AND WE ARE NOT SEEING EACH OTHER REGULARLY AND WE ARE TOTALLY PLATONIC. I KNOW THAT SHE LOVES ME AND I LOVE HER, BUT WE HAVEN'T VOCALIZED IT. AS PLATONIC LOVERS WHO SEE EACH OTHER ONCE A WEEK AND WHO SPEAK ON THE PHONE MULTIPLE TIMES EACH DAY, WE ARE ALREADY HAVING DIFFICULTY WITH THE LEVELS OF THE EMOTIONS THAT HAVE DEVELOPED BETWEEN US. IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT WE HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO BE PHYSICAL UNTIL THE MARRIAGE, I FEAR THAT TELLING HER THAT I LOVE HER WILL ONLY PREMATURELY INTENSIFY THE FEELINGS IN AN INAPPROPRIATE TIME WHEN IT IS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO EXPRESS OUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER, AND IT WILL ONLY MAKE THE TENSIONS THAT WE CANNOT BE TOGETHER [AND I AM REFERRING MERELY TO AN EMBRACE OR SPENDING THE NIGHT TOGETHER AND WATCHING THE SUNRISE] THAT MUCH WORSE.
Issue #2 is whether the sexual thoughts that have been popping into my head are healthy or unhealthy, and whether I should divert my attention from them.
Issue #3 is the inquiry into whether one's thoughts have physical effects, and if so, what are the reprocussions of these thoughts. Issue #3 was the title of the last blog entry.