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Code 143


[koʊd wuhn fohr three]


Everyone has tripped into a Code 143 at some point in their life. We’ve all been in relationships when we fell quicker, and harder, than our partner and we dropped the dreaded (and too soon) “I love you.” A Code 143 is simply saying “I love you” too quickly in a new relationship. Strangely, the origin comes from the number of letters in each word, hence: (1) I; (4) love; and (3) you. It is an odd convention and certainly would represent an awkward way to tell someone that you do, indeed, love them. It is often used as a colloquialism between friends when they feel sideswiped by someone dumping feelings on them.


Henry and Lori had been out on exactly one date before he dropped a Code 143 on her. He had taken her to a French restaurant and pulled out all the stops; a string quartet approached the table as he leaned in close to whisper “I love you.” There was no next date.