"The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how they love them while they're alive." -Optimus Prime

Oftentimes opportunities are missed to express love and affection for those around us, whether that means to a romantic partner, family member, or friend. It doesn't necessarily have to be romantic love; in fact, some of the richest experiences of our lives involve companionate love. That could mean that time you sobbed into a friend's arms and felt their love as they put their arms around you--or a spontaneous deep talk at a coffee shop. Or it could very much be romantic love, the felt silences in between saying something profound to one another, the whispers of affection in the midst of cuddles.

I used to hold back when it came to the words 'I love you,' then it hit me that if I felt it, I should say it. So many opportunities to become closer and to truly express myself were lost in my hesitation to speak 'I love you.' An important lesson I learned from my current boyfriend is to be more open with those words--because of past relationships, I felt like I had to hold back, to stay grounded in non-expression. Because of him, however, I am able to say what I feel.

Hopefully, I am able to pass on this lesson with the following reasons to say, right now, 'I love you.' Doesn't matter who you choose to say it to in particular, as long as you feel it and then let them feel your love in return. There's nothing more important to our emotional lives than knowing we love and are loved back--by telling someone you love them, you are filling yourself with that love and also passing it on to them. Please take this to heart and say it at least once today--if you're feeling especially generous, perhaps make this a more regular practice. It can be uncomfortable if you're not used to saying 'I love you,' but I promise that it will become less uncomfortable and almost reflexive over time.

1. "Never miss the chance to say to someone you love them for you may never have that same chance again" 

2. "If you tell someone you love them, never look for it to come back. Say it because it's real, it's how you feel, and because you need them to know that they are loved." -Sylvester Mcnutt 

3. You feel love, you should express love

4. There are times when you may have needed to hear those words

5. Fill yourself with love and positivity (for yourself & others)

6. They may not know how you feel (even if they do, it always feels good to know again and again)

7. "True love is about vulnerability; allowing someone to see that you want and need them in your life, and trusting them not to hurt you" -Unknown

8. Speak your truth

9. Oftentimes people feel that no one cares and no one loves them (set the record straight)

10. You could save a life

11. You could save your own life

12. They may not know how you feel

13. They may want to know if you still love them

14. "The truth? I like you. A lot. You make me happy. You make me laugh. You're smart. You're different. You're a little crazy, and awkward, and your smile alone can make my day." -Unknown

15. "You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But, if you meant it, you should say it a lot. People forget." -Jessica

16. "I love hearing you say 'I love you'" -Unknown

17. You can make someone's day

18. They may love you back

19. Words left unspoken can haunt you in the future

20. It's better to have loved fully and completely, than to have kept those feelings to yourself

21. "To say 'I love you' one must first be able to say the 'I'" -Ayn Rand

22. "No matter how much I say I love you, I always love you more than that." -Unknown

23. "In a sea of people my eyes will always be searching for you" -Unknown

24. Love is near universal

25. It feels so good to say and to hear 'I love you'

26. You can't assume that they can read your mind

27. You feel it and that's enough (fear shouldn't get in the way of real love)

28. Even friends can express verbal love for each other (and it's not weird at all)

29. "A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself." -Jim Morrison

30. "Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer." -Jean de La Fontaine