Do We Mean Our "I Love You"s?
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Do We Mean Our "I Love You"s?

"...it is clear that today we struggle to identify just when we really choose to use the phrase “I love you” while meaning it simultaneously."

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Do We Mean Our "I Love You"s?
Flickr via Mikhail Chekmezov

My mother is a stickler for the words “I love you”; emphasizing each chance she gets to lecture that the phrase is special and shouldn’t be thrown around. For so long, I took this opinion and threw it to the side. After all, I was part of several theatre groups -often full of very animated and affectionate people- and I had tons of friends that I expressed my love for while I was with them or talking about them. It wasn’t odd to throw the three words at each other in moments of laughter and approval; it’s just what you did. Needless to say, I never really thought about the phrase when I said it because it became a muscle memory reaction; it never came to mind to think about it meaning.

We all know what love is: a deep affection for another being. I know I love my parents, my sister, my cousins, etc- I’m fortunate enough to be sure of familial love. However, I don’t necessarily consider love when I think about my friends. Harsh at first, the notion isn’t exactly as bad as it sounds; a good relationship is not always equivalent to love. Having an intense companionship or a strong sense of happiness when you’re with a friend doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to love them.

Of course, it is nice to throw the phrase around. It sends positive vibes and feelings in every which direction, and can’t necessarily do serious harm. To say you love your friend can just be a great way to emphasize just how much you appreciate them being there. Of course, you can love a best friend just as you would a sibling, and in that case the phrase fits.

On the other side of the issue, I find it humorous that some are obliged, forced even, to throw the words “I love you” towards certain individuals in life. Family members specifically assume that the similarity of DNA and blood creates a strong bond that just brews love naturally, and in many fortunate cases, this is the truth. However, it hurts to imagine the unfortunate souls that are instantly confused with the idea of love, growing up and habituating to giving out the phrase to those they are near frequently. Though some familial relationships are strung with hardship and toxic nature, individuals feel obliged to consider it to be love, regardless.

Furthermore, it is clear that today we struggle to identify just when we really choose to use the phrase “I love you” while meaning it simultaneously. The habit comes easily, and in result the phrase meaning becomes diminished. However, the three words hold so much importance in our lives and the love we receive from one another is a truly driving force. Therefore, it is certain that once we define for ourselves who gains our love, we’ll become freer and more certain of our safe environments.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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