no. (roses_rejoice) wrote,

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three little words

As most of you know by now, I usually do not have much of a problem saying "I Love You" to people. (I said "usually" because I did go through a period last year following some upsetting personal doodoo where I had difficulty saying much of anything, including "I Love You", to most people, but I realized it was a temporary condition and finally got over it around February of this year.)

However, it is important to me that people realize I don't throw those words around casually. "I Love You", to me, means something between "You are very important and probably a key person in my life right now and hopefully for a long time," and "I would die 4 U." Just because I say it easily, or say it to people outside my family, doesn't mean it loses importance. I'm not one of those high-schoolish people who sign everything, "Loveya!" or tell all of their 42 closest friends that they love them on a regular basis (usually in between backstabbing overdramatic episodes involving party invitations and boyfriend-stealing). I can understand having love for large numbers of people in the kinship or agape sense, but that's not the same to me as "I Love You." Semantics.

Each person deals with "I Love You" in their own way. Some people are very uncomfortable saying that phrase at all. Some only apply it to their parents, children and life partner(s), or to some subgroup of that group - e.g., one might say "I Love You" easily to their child, but have difficulty saying it to their parent. Some people have no problem saying it to their family but don't want to say it to an SO unless/until they are sure this is The Big One, For Life. Some people have more than one significant person to whom they express love. Other people have one SO and a bunch of close friends of varying degrees, but feel very comfortable expressing love for them all, knowing that each person will understand the spirit in which it is given.

When it comes to expressing love, I understand that people have different capacities and comfort levels. However, as usual I am most comfortable with the people who are most like me, who can easily express love, but do so seriously and to a relatively small group of people. (But note, to a group nonetheless and not just One and Only One.) When someone regularly runs around saying, "I Love You" to 25 of their supposedly closest friends, half of whom they don't keep in touch with on a regular basis, or insists that they continue to love all 20 of their ex-relationships although they aren't speaking to most of them, I begin to doubt their sincerity. Rationally speaking, they may be very sincere but our styles of expressing love, possibly our styles of loving, differ. It is difficult to feel secure and love someone if they aren't on the same page as you. I suspect that I have had a similar mismatch with folks who preferred to express love for one, two or no people and had to deal with me openly expressing love for maybe 5-15 depending on where my life was at the time. I am better at spotting such mismatches now and dealing with them, although it still hurts when I say "I love you" and it is not properly understood because the other party ascribes a different weight or meaning to the phrase than I do.
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