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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Dear Dad, I Hope You Know

I hope you know that you are my best friend.
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Dear Dad,

I hope you know that I love your silly jokes, even when I say I don't.

Throughout my entire life, you have always managed to get on my last nerve with your countless jokes and teasing. However, now that I'm older, I realize you do it all out of love. So for that, I thank you. Thank you so much for always knowing how to make me smile or laugh, even on the worst of days, I know I can always count on you to have my back.

I hope you know that I'm so incredibly thankful for you and everything you do.

You always work your hardest to make sure you provide for our family and then, to top it all off, you're still there at the end of the day supporting us in all that we do. From sporting events to dance recitals and even to sorority banquets, you're always sitting in the front row cheering us on to reach our full potential.

I hope you know I'm so appreciative that you're the best mechanic around.

Because my car has been through the ringer too many times to count and you're always there to figure out what went wrong. Not only that, thank you so much for always changing my oil or replacing my brake light when it went out. I know I may not always act like it, but I'm so appreciative of all the little things you do for me.

I hope you know that I'm sorry.

When I was younger, I wasn't always the most pleasant daughter, and for that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not listening to you when you told me to take out the trash or to clean the kitchen. I'm sorry for yelling at you, talking back to you, and being a big pain in the butt, but I'm so thankful that you still love me anyways regardless of how many times I screw up.

I hope you know that you inspire me.

Not only does your hard work and dedication to your work and your family inspire me, but your overwhelming sense of love and gratitude you have for everyone around you does as well. Even though you try and act tough, you're such a big teddy bear and all of your friends and family love you for that.

I hope you know that you are my best friend.

And for right now, the only man in my life that I need. I pray every single day that I can find half the man to marry that you are. Thank you for always being that example for my sisters and I to look up too.

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.

So I know I stole this line from my article to Mom, but I want you to know that it still applies to you and I mean it wholeheartedly. I don't mean to make you cry or anything -- and I'll laugh at you if you are, but I want you to know that when the time comes, I'm going to be there for you just like all of these years you've been here for me. I will be there to support you, talk with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and love you for all of my life.

Dad, I can't imagine my life without you. Thank you for being YOU.

I love you,

Your daughter.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Stop Assuming Your Queer Friends Are Going To End Up Falling For You

News flash: if you're my friend, the chances of me falling for you are slim to none.

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Ever since I came out my senior year, I've encountered bumps of my friendships due to my sexuality. I think people understand gay, lesbian, and bisexual identities rather well. However, there are other members of the LGBTQ+ community that isn't as understood as well.

I identify as pansexual but start using the term queer. Essentially, I don't have a preference if someone identifies as female or male. When it comes to love and relationships, I care about the quality of the person and if I'm getting the love and respect I deserve.

However, to some of my friends, they seemed to become afraid. They distanced themselves in our friendships in fear I would end up falling for them.

News flash: if you're my friend, the chances of me falling for you are slim to none. You are my friend for a reason. If I liked you, I would honestly be too nervous to talk to you.

It's nice to know to have that kind of self-confidence where you think everyone has a crush on you. That's the attitude to have because you are a pretty great person. However, sorry to break it to you, but you just are not my type.

There is absolutely no reason to cut off a friendship just because you don't understand. Your queer friends would probably like you to ask questions. It can be a sign you care about them and showing support. There is nothing wrong with asking questions either. When you're in class and you don't know anything, then you ask a question. When you are getting to know someone, you ask questions. Even if you knew this person for a while, ask away!

I think there is a stigma of not knowing something and feeling embarrassed. However, it shouldn't be this way. We should embrace the unknown, learn, and grow from it. It's 2019. It's all about being open-minded to differences. We have to do better for the next generation.

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