“I love you”. Those three little words can mean so much, but are often bandied around with little or no thought to their meaning.
Personally, I don’t use these words unless I mean them; unless I fully believe them with all of my heart and soul. As a result I never expect anyone else to use them unless they feel the same. But I’m an idealist, I know. Realistically, some people use them to get into somebody’s bed; some people use them to get people to do things for them; some to make people feel good; and some to give a guilt trip. (Yes, I know some people only use them when they feel it, before anyone says I’m turning into a cynic).
I tell my daughter I love her a lot. Because I do. It’s an unconditional love that supersedes any little annoyances we may have in day to day life together.
My daughter tells her friends she loves them regularly. Maybe it’s not the same love as I have for her, but good friendship is a kind of love. And I have a few friends who I can honestly say I love – and I tell them it too from time to time. When it comes down to it, friendship and love are extremely close; I should know: I married my best friend.
(Interesting side note here: when I think about it I’m not sure if I ever loved him more than a best friend. Maybe I was fooled myself into thinking that it was ‘real’ love. I was only 21 when we got married – what did I really know?).
Last year I was in a relationship with a man for 5 or 6 months whom I cared about very deeply but I never told him I loved him. I wasn’t ever 100% sure so I didn’t say it and neither did he. It wasn’t an issue for us, we both had strong feelings for each other, we just never felt the urge to say those words. This is one of the reasons I find it so hard to work out why some people just say it at the drop of a hat.
So come on people; if you mean it: say it. Make someone feel special. But if you don’t: please never say it. Even if you say it out of kindness.