Our Story: The “I Love You” Wars

Last week, we collectively cheered as our heroes, Will and Sam, told each other, “I love you” for the very first time.  It was truly a tender moment, one that ranks high in the echelons of romantic displays of affection.  Now, as we reflect on Will and Sam’s enchanting past and look forward to their promising future, we yearn to discover what will come of this love.  Does it continue to blossom and flourish?  More importantly, how will our young couple convey to each other the full breadth and depth of their feelings?  Find out this week on “Our Story.”

I’m Ridiculously Competitive

I have a problem with being overly-competitive.  When I play games, I play to win.  For me, just playing a game isn’t inherently fun.  Pursuing victory, the chance to prove that I’m the best, that’s what entertains and excites me.

So, when I play games, I’m ruthless.  From the opening round, I am in constant attack mode.  I never “let up” or “take it easy.”  I attack and attack until I expose some flaw in my opponent’s approach.  Once that flaw is out in the open, I feast on it.  I exploit it over and over again until I’m on my way to certain triumph.  Then, as the closing round concludes and I am crowned victor, I feel the power of conquest pulsing through my veins.  I am the winner!  I have conquered all!  I am the best “Candy Land” player ever!  I can’t wait ‘til the next time I face off against my three-year-old so I can once again prove my game-playing acumen!

The only problem with my competitiveness (well, other than the fact that my family won’t play games with me anymore) is that sometimes it extends beyond games and it leaks into my personal and professional life.

Okay, “sometimes” is being generous.  It almost always leaks into my personal and professional life.  Easily the best way to motivate me is to tell me that someone else can do or does do something better than me.  Because, right away, I want to prove you wrong.  I want to prove that I am the best at everything, no matter what.

Which sounds silly.  Of course, I can’t be the best at everything.  And my brain is well aware of that as I sit here on my couch writing blog posts.  But, when I’m in the heat of a competitive moment, my brain throws all reason out the window and I want to win, no matter the cost.

Sam Accidently Triggers My Competitiveness

When Sam and I started dating, she wasn’t aware of my over-competitive dark side.  She probably assumed I was a level-headed, sane individual who could handle losing every once in a while.

That’s why after I told her “I love you” one night, she didn’t see any problem replying, “But I love you more.”

That one little sweet, innocent statement sparked my competitive fire.  I instantly replied, “No, I love you more,” but what I really meant was, “Oh, yeah? We’ll see about that.”

And thus began the infamous “I Love You” wars.

The Opening Rounds

The next day, I sent an email to Sam expressing how much I loved her.  I thought this was a good first volley in establishing my loving superiority.  Except that she emailed back a similar message, but hers was better.

Next, I thought I’d be clever.  I sent her an email where I literally copied and pasted “I love you” over a hundred times.  Sam caught on immediately that we were playing a game and she responded with over a thousand “I love yous.”  I countered with an email repeated “I love you” over ten thousand times, and she fired back with over ten thousand rainbow colored “I love yous.”

Then, I tried Google chatting with her, but she was better at that too.  I just couldn’t think of clever, witty, one-liners like she could.

Running out of options, I turned to writing love notes.  But again I was foiled.  Sam was better at those also.

After a while, I started losing hope.  Maybe I didn’t love Sam more than she loved me.  Maybe, just maybe, she’d beat me.

But, before I accepted defeat, I decided I needed to try one last time.  Yes, Sam had thwarted my every plan and outwitted me at every turn, but this time things would be different.  This time, I would devise a show of affection so grandiose and so original that even Sam couldn’t best it.  Then finally, once and for all, the question of who loved who more would be settled.

I Rise Triumphant

My grand plan was to sneak over to Sam’s apartment in the middle of the night and cover the entire outside of her car in 8½” x 11” pieces of paper and write “I love you” 20 to 30 times on each paper.

I started working on the roof of her car and quickly discovered a major flaw in my plan: it was going to take a long time to write “I love you” on sheets of paper covering her entire car.  And it was cold.  Really cold.

So I scrapped the idea of covering the whole car and decided to do just the roof.  After I got paper taped over the whole roof, I started writing and soon discovered the second major flaw in my plan: it’s not particularly comfortable placing your hand on freezing cold metal for long stretches at a time.

I tried putting on gloves, but I couldn’t control the pen very well with them on.  Eventually, I decided to give up on the gloves because my handwriting is already sub third-grade level and I wasn’t about to sacrifice pen control in my quest for victory.  So, I toughed it out barehanded.

After an hour of alternating between writing “I love you” many, many times and shoving my hands into my pockets just long enough for sensation to return to my fingertips, I finally finished.  I returned to my apartment to excitedly await Sam’s response.

I didn’t have to wait long.  When Sam awoke the next morning and walked outside, she called me up right away and gushed about how amazing I was.

And while she was going on and on about what a sweet boyfriend I was, all I heard was, “You won, Will, you won.  I admit it, you do love me more that I love you.  Your victory is complete.”

Next Week . . .

Now that Will’s victory is complete, what will he do next to convince Sam that he really is the man of her dreams?  Find out next week on “Our Story.”

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