Love is a powerful word. The words "I" and "you" placed before and after the word "love," respectively, carry a high level of emotion, meaning, and passion. Throughout my time in college, I've thought a lot about this statement and the meaning it holds. Saying "I love you" is like signing up for an emotional rollercoaster. In a relationship, saying these three words to a significant other change everything. They bring a relationship to the next level. Over the past four years, I've become more protective over these words.
The words "I love you" were a bit premature in my past relationship. My boyfriend and I were both young and naïve and threw the words at each other early on. I don't think either of us knew what those words meant to each other. I'm a very emotional and passionate person, and I fully committed myself to another person by saying those words to him. Looking back on it, I don't think I was ready to say it at the time. At the moment, I felt pressured. It was the kind of thing where he said it to me, and I just said it back. Over the course of a year, I dug myself deeper and deeper into an emotionally abusive relationship. Each time I was feeling uneasy about our relationship, I constantly thought, "but he loves me."
I'm hardly an expert on love, but I can say with confidence that one should use these words sparingly. You make more of a commitment to a significant other when you express this level of emotion. If your partner says it to you and you don't feel ready, you should not feel pressured to say it back. An individual should only say these three words if he or she truly means it and fully understands the responsibility that comes with it.
I've learned a lot about love during my college experience. I've learned that love can be both amazing and disappointing. Love requires a lot of hard work. You expect a lot from a person that says "I love you" back, and feel prepared to be let down. Always remember—everything happens for a reason. You should never feel regret about your life decisions and where they take you. Take everything in, and learn from it. If you can gain anything from heartbreak, it's a meaningful life lesson.