This week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory included a scene where Leonard said, “I love you” to Penny.  And she responded with those words everyone wants to hear, “Thank you.”  On the one hand, I was a little surprised to learn I was in possession of some old fashioned values.  After all, it seemed to me that such expressions of emotion usually came before all the schtupping.   But what do I know?  Kids these days… and get off my lawn!!

Anyway, the larger point was that it got me to thinking about what good responses to “I love you” might be.  There’s the tried and true, “I love you too.”  But that seems almost perfunctory.  Maybe not during the initial saying, but year after year, it can seem like you’re not really trying.  Sometimes I’ll try and dress it up by responding with something like, “And I you.”  It gets beyond the trite,but borders on the pretentious, which may not really help.

SwayzeThe other day, Kim responded to me with, “I know.”  Now had this been a first time exchange, that might have been as bad as “Thank you.”  However, after all these years, I think it’s a great response.  If she can still tell, then I must be doing something right.

If you’re Patrick Swayze, you can get away with saying “Ditto.”  For anyone else, this comes across as less imaginative than, “I love you too.”  Further, it reminds her that you are not Patrick Swayze, and that is not helping your case.

And in the event you’re inclined to counter that she’s no Demi Moore either, well, just don’t.  First rule of holes and all.  You might has well have responded, “That’s nice Honey. Now can you move? You’re blocking the TV.  And since you’re up, will you get me a beer?”

Which brings us to the audience participation part.  What do you think are particularly good or bad responses to hearing, “I love you”?

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