Why I Reserved My "I Love You"

Why I Reserved My "I Love You"

It's not that I don't love you, but because I do.
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I don't say "I love you" often, and I'm not going to apologize for that.

I know that people notice this. They comment on it occasionally, but personally, I don't understand why hearing these words so often is necessary. I shouldn't have to use those three words to make someone feel "good enough" or accepted. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but it's true. In my opinion, those three words are overused, abused, and lose their meaning over time when people say them for what seems like no reason.

When I say "I love you" over and over, it starts to feel like I'm obligated to love the person. I'm not forced to though, I choose to, and if someone needs constant verbal confirmation of that love, it begins to feel like a chore for me to give it.

When people say it to me, I do feel obligated to say it back, and on occasion I will. Most times however I'll say, "love you," or "love you too," or just "you too," because to me, the addition of oneself adds another level to the words that the person I am saying them to should already be aware of.

Those three words all put together are special. They shouldn't just be thrown around. They are meant to show an appreciation and deep connection with someone. I don't walk around telling people "I see you" ten or more times a day, even though I do. It is implied when I smile, nod, wave, or have some sort of interaction with them.

I don't have anything against the people who say it all the time. The words may have a meaning to them that is drastically different than what they mean to me. Maybe that is how they express their love clearly and effectively. No one has the exact same love language.

I suppose a lot of it comes down to how we interpret and receive love. I believe that love -- real love -- is expressed in actions, not by repeating words to assure people that it's true. If you need to say it because you can't show it, that is a problem in my mind. For example (in some situations), if someone can't glance over their shoulder to make sure they didn't lose me in a large crowd, it implies that they don't necessarily care about me. Or, if someone continually backs out of plans last minute, it doesn't come across as love, let alone as being respectful.

I don't need to hear someone say that they love me during every commercial break while we are watching my favorite show. To me, having someone watch the show with me implies that they love and care about me, especially if they are watching something they may not enjoy as much as I do.

I love my friends, family, pets, people, and so on. I will tell them, and do tell them, I just don't say it (verbally) every single day. Just because I haven't told all of them they mean a lot to me today, it doesn't mean that I don't love them. Not saying it doesn't mean I take it back for some reason. You can't exactly "take back" the love you have for someone. Love isn't just the word, it's the feeling. Even if you're angry with someone for not answering your phone call, it doesn't mean you stopped loving them.

People need to know that you care about them, but you can say this in other ways. For instance, "I appreciate you" or "I'm so lucky to have you in my life" are two fine examples of things that you can use to let people know that they mean a lot to you. Saying it more often doesn't mean you love someone more, nor does it necessarily mean you love them less.

So no, I'm not going to say it for yucks and giggles. I'm going to say it when there isn't anything else that I could say or do to explain the feeling I have. I'll use those words when a person really, truly needs to hear them or I feel they fit the situation. To me, those three words together are special, just like the person I say them to.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.

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Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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