The Problem With "The L Word"

"I love you" has become an increasingly popular phrase in our everyday language. We say "I love you" to our friends when we split off for class after morning coffee, "I love you" to the guy who helps us pick up our pens when our pencil case decides to dump all over the floor (we've all been there), and "I love you" to the semi-stranger commenting heart eyed emojis on our latest Instagram selfies. But when it comes to dating, "I love you" takes on a whole new meaning entirely. Even if your significant other was your friend long before you started dating, now saying those three words is completely different. It's no longer a "see you later," a "thank you," or a response to a good deed. It encompasses the bond between two people who choose to be closer with each other in a way that they are not close with anyone else, who form a deeper commitment and bond, who tug at your heartstrings each day and make you wonder if you should start a Pinterest wedding board, just in case. It's a secret you lock behind closed lips until the time is right.

Like many of my peers, I am a frequent user of the phrase. I throw it around flippantly, to my friends, my peers, the guy who gives me my latte at Port City Java. But once I started dating my girlfriend just over a month ago, I ran into a problem. Now, a phrase that fell as easily from my lips as saying "me" to a funny post on Instagram is something I have to safeguard, something that I've slipped halfway out many times and turned into an awkward "I lov-iiiiike you. I like you." Luckily, my girlfriend understands (she uses the phrase the same as I do), but it's difficult to convey how I care for her without saying those three words. I wouldn't say I'm in love -- we haven't been together long enough for me to feel that deeply. But I enjoy being around her and appreciate the little gestures she makes each day, like bringing me soup when I'm sick or sending me a cute Tweet because "it reminded me of you."

I've asked around a bit to see if anyone has come up with a viable alternative for a boo who's not quite to the stage of "I love you." Much to my relief, consensus on this issue seems to be as confused as I am. One of my friends, Allison, replied to my question, "'I like you a lot. So so much.' is what I've resorted to." Another friend, Brie, says "I really like you a whole lotta bunches." Though these phrases are cutesy, they don't convey the same direct, deep message as "I love you." I continued to search, kicking myself in the meantime each time I slipped up.

After the long, drawn-out research that reading comments on an Instagram post entail, I came across some good alternatives. My friend Maia suggested "I adore you," which I feel to be the right mix of serious and sweet to be a serious contender. My girlfriend suggested "Je t'aime," because saying anything in another language is easier than admitting your feelings in your primary language. For the time being, I have settled on "I appreciate you," and using my actions rather than my words to show my girlfriend just how much I care for her until the time is right to say that three-word vow.

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

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less

Now that college is around the corner for most if not all young adults, students once shook by a pandemic now have to shift their focus on achieving their career goals. As if we thought we had it together already! As an NYC girl, I have always seen myself as a hustler, hungry to advance my career in journalism by having one skill: working hard.

Keep Reading... Show less

Kourtney Kardashian has decided to leave "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" after nearly 14 years and although we saw this coming, it breaks our heart that she won't be there to make us laugh with her infamous attitude and hilarious one-liners.

Kourtney is leaving the show because it was taking up too much of her life and it was a "toxic environment" for her.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

We Asked You How You Felt About Resuming 'Normal' Activities, And Some Of Your Answers Shocked Us

The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they'd feel comfortable doing "normal" activities again, considering COVID-19. We asked our peers the same thing, for science.

Last month, the New York Times surveyed about 500 epidemiologists asking about their comfort level with certain activities once deemed normal — socializing with friends, going to the doctor, bringing in the mail. That's all well and good for the experts, but they are a very niche group, not the majority of the population. What do "normal" people feel safe doing? In certain states, we've seen how comfortable everyone is with everything (looking at you, Florida), but we wanted to know where Odyssey's readers fell on the comfort scale. Are they sticking with the epidemiologists who won't be attending a wedding for another year, or are they storming the sunny beaches as soon as possible?

Keep Reading... Show less
Disney Plus

Millions of musical-lovers around the world rejoiced when "Hamilton," the hip-hop-mixtape-turned-musical harder to get in to than Studio 54, came to Disney Plus.

For those who had the luxury of being able to watch it in person and rewatch it with us mere mortals on our screens, the experience was almost as gripping as sitting feet from Lin-Manuel Miranda himself. From the stunning sets, graceful choreography, witty dialogue, and hauntingly beautiful singing, the experience was one even my musical-averse family felt moved by.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Keto Is All Fun And Games Until You're Undernourished And Almost Pass Out

Keto is just another extension of diet culture that boasts rapid weight loss, but at a steep price.

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

There has been a Keto diet craze going around in the past couple of years, with many of its followers claiming significant weight loss. With any new, trendy diet claiming miraculous weight-loss, one starts to wonder what exactly is happening behind the curtain. The keto, or ketogenic, diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that claims to help the body shift its fuel source from carbs to fat. In the medical community it has been prescribed to patients with uncontrolled epilepsy to reduce the frequency of seizures, but other than that there is little conclusive evidence to other potential benefits.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments