Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let me explain.

Last week, I made the mistake of mentioning to a few friends that I can't stand the fact that lots of people, mainly women, use the phrase, "I love you" so flippantly.

It makes me sound like a horrible person, doesn't it? I know. Uck.

I wish I could be one of those flowery, happy, smiley-faced people, who walks around kissing everyone on the cheek, massaging their neck, and boasting about my love for them.

Well ... maybe not that extreme.

The truth is I am nothing like this.

I do try to love everyone because that's what we, as Christians, are supposed to do. Some people are obviously easier to love than others, but I do generally love/like most people.

I just reserve my "I love you"s for when I really feel like they need to be expressed. It's different, of course, with my husband and children. That's an everyday thing. Period.

But, when I say, "I love you," I mean it. It's not just something to say. It's real.

My automatic reaction when I hear an acquaintance or a friend I barely know say "I love you" is "No, you don't."

Why? I'm not sure.

I think "You don't love me. You barely know me. And, if you did, you probably wouldn't."

But, there are those times when I really need to hear "I love you," and there are friends and, of course, Beau, who always know when to say it.

Maybe I'm putting way too much emphasis on the phrase.

But, for me, "I love you" is sacred.

It's not the same kind of love that you are supposed to have for everyone in the world. It's different. Or is it? Maybe you should walk up to strangers and tell them you love them. I don't know. Or maybe they'd prefer to see a little more action behind those words. I don't know.

Geez. Just don't tell me "I love you" unless you really mean it and don't expect me to say it. I'll say it when I know it's right. There. This discussion is over.


H-Mama said...

I agree. Awkward is how I would describe that moment between the 'I love you' and the expected response... with people that don't really know me. Does that make me sound crass?

Liz said...

I feel the same way.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I love you. :) And I mean it.

I say it all the time. The levels of the love, are different of course.

My love for family is different than friends and people I barely know, but I think love is big enough to cover the range.

I like what you said about it being sacred to you.

God's been working on me the past few years to really love people (it's not my natural tendency for sure, I wanted to punch the cashier at walmart just yesterday!) and I found that for me, I needed to start saying it more because it meant I was expressing it. In my heart, it's definitely more sacred when I say it to my husband and kids than people I barely know, but I'm called to love them so I guess I may as well say it.

I'm not disagreeing with you. :) You don't have to tell me you love me back...because I already know you do. ;)

BaronessBlack said...

We don't tend to say "I love you" too much to random friends and acquaintances. I think it goes with the whole reserved British thing.
In fact, sometimes it takes years just to be able to tell your best friends that you're passably fond of them, and can tolerate them reasonably well, and really very seldom want to hit them with an occasional table!

I think you're right though, about the different levels of meaning the word "love" has in current society. In the Bible there were originally loads of different words that have all now been translated into 'love'.

Mama to da Drama said...

When people I barely know or are just acquaintances tell me "I love you," it makes me very uncomfortable. And I don't like people grabbing and hugging me, either.

It's just a personality or temperament thing, I guess.

Of course, I married someone who is the exact opposite of me. Boy was that a fun adjustment! ha! He was always worried that people thought I was stuck up b/c I wasn't so "free" and touchy-feeley.

Well, some people just need their own personal space. What's the big deal? haha

Cathy said...

I agree with you. I'm not a huggy, feely, kinda person and I don't run around saying I love you all the time either. But I am starting to learn to take it from other people if that is the way they are. I just think we all need to be free to express our feelings in the way that makes us comfortable.