My late father was an ‘I love you,’ type of person. Sometimes he would call or text just to say that. No matter what kind of day I was having just those three simple words made it better. As simple as they were, the last four months without those simple calls and texts has left a hole in my universe.
It’s a whole big phenomenon this ‘I love you,’ or rather, the simple, ‘love you,’ syndrome, and the varying reactions to it.
What does saying it mean to you?
A few years ago, with the main people I spent my time with then, the L word was saved for parents and partners, very rarely for friends. If I had said that I loved them they would have thought that I was either high on drugs or drunk, which was my natural state back then anyway. Never would I have said it while sober! First, it would make me feel way too vulnerable, and second, things would have gotten very weird very quickly. I was even in a long term relationship where it was never said. Well he probably really didn’t love me, but I did. I just didn’t want to say it because I was afraid he wouldn’t say it back… again, things would have gotten weird. More than anything, it was my fear that held me back.
Nowadays however, I find that a lot of my phone calls, texts and meetings end with ‘love you!’ Sure, there is that sense of vulnerability. Even with friends, if you love them, you’d hope that they loved you back too. In that vulnerability however, is also that sense of freedom.
Why do we get so weird about saying simple words to people we are close to? And why do we get weird when someone close says it to us? When did loving and being loved become a negative thing? You’d think in a world where things are being blown apart because of hate, having someone tell you that they love you would be a good thing.
Perhaps some people feel a sense of responsibility when they tell someone they love them, like they have to be there for them ALL the time. Perhaps it is that idea that if you love someone, you have to be with them forever. But do you really? Love is big. It carries through distance and space. Even when our journey with someone ends, it doesn’t mean that the love has to. I have friends who have moved all the way across the world, and just because I can’t see them all the time, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love them.
When I had my dad, knowing that I was loved made a difference to my day and my life. Knowing that I was loved and that my dad had my back gave me the courage to walk away and not take crap from people who sucked up the love I gave them but had nothing to give back. And more than that, knowing that I could tell people that I loved them without them shutting down, gave me a sense of liberation. Love is this strange element where the more you give, the more you get back. It’s like that little speck you throw out into the universe rolls around, gathering particles and growing, and it comes back, big enough to envelope you.
The only dilemma I see with being a ‘love you,’ sort of person is when it comes to loving in that way, convincing and being convinced that that’s the case, but I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
So it’s Friday. If you love someone, tell them (only do this if you really love them however, doing it to get laid or to get something out of it is just unethical), and if someone says it to you, accept it.
Until next time, I love you!