There are so many reasons why I don’t like those three little words, but I’m going to break the word “love” down first. What does that word even mean? A feeling of affection? Well what does that mean? My feelings for pizza are very different than my feelings for my sister, yet I claim to love both. Is love a feeling at all? Some claim it’s an action, whether it’s choosing the highest good for the other person, or simple actions that prove a certain feeling for another person. There are debates that are trying to argue whether love is a feeling or not, it will be interesting to see what the final verdict is.
The words “I love you” are so often thrown around. Maybe a person means those words, but to what extent. Does the person who used the words know that they are saying? There’s a difference between “I love you like I love my pumps” and “I love you and I wouldn’t hesitate to die for you.” How is a person supposed to know the difference between the two when they are both masked behind the three little words of “I love you.”
If my spiel has confused you and you still believe that the words “I love you” are always honest, then stop, breathe, look around. Do you know anyone in a bad or abusive relationship? How often does the couple say they love each other? How often do they complain about their significant other or come home crying? Do you think that’s love? They both use the words “I love you.” Those words are pretty, but do they hold any meaning? Maybe they’re just pretty words to get someone to stay, nothing more.
Now think about that elderly couple down the street who have been together for fifty-eight years. The couple who only yell at one another when a hearing aid has gone bad. I’m sure they had a few bumps down the road, but I don’t believe that they misused the words “I love you.” I think they say the word “love” in their actions more than anything else. In the way they hold hands as they hobble down the street or the way they laugh at the pictures of their grandkids as they reminisce of the events the day the photo was taken.
Personally, I don’t think love is a feeling. I think it stems from a feeling. However, love itself shows in the things one will do for another. I also believe that love and respect go together and you can’t have one without the other. I also think that "love" is a word with so many meaning attached that any real meaning is lost, thus maybe the word shouldn’t be used. Other languages have multiple words that mean “love” however their meanings vary and aren’t usually taken lightly. Maybe people should start using a different word or words. Like Greek. There are different types of words for love in the Greek language, such as eros, phileō, agapē, and storgē. Eros is the more exotic type of love, full of passion, fire, and desire. Phileō is a deep friendship or fondness that aims to make both people happy. Agapē is a selfless love for others, to care for someone even when they are unkind or unworthy. Lastly, storgē is the love for a family member or pet, considered dutiful and quiet, but a powerful love nonetheless.
I will leave my words at that, take away from it what you will. And in the terms of agapē, I love you.