Three little words – you know the ones. We all want to hear them. We all want to say them.
Those three little words are spun, sung, whispered and wished for. They are immortalized on film, they monopolize our music, and they pump blood through our most lauded literature. So why is saying “I love you” so problematic? And finding love, even more so?
I love you, I love you not
What if you hear those words, and you don’t feel the same way?
What if you say them, and the sentiment is not returned?
As little girls, we pluck petals from the flower, and repeat I love you, I love you not. In France, I learned a different refrain: Je t’aime – un peu, beaucoup, passionément, à la folie. Loosely translated: I love you a little, very much, passionately, madly.
Wouldn’t it be easier if we had ways to communicate degrees of affection? More options than love’s presence or absence?
Timing is everything
Sometimes, feelings don’t blossom at the same pace. Sometimes life’s challenges intervene. Sometimes, you stumble into someone terrific, but the alchemy is missing, or perhaps it isn’t there yet.
- If someone says I love you, and you don’t feel it, do you walk away?
- Is it reasonable to expect your lover to wait until you catch up?
- Is it different when you’re 30 or 50, or 80?
- Are you more cavalier if you think you have all the time in the world?
- More appreciative, when you have a second chance at love?
There are times we are in transition, or vulnerable, and apt to say those three little words. They affirm that we are living positive emotions again.
There are times we are frightened, and we need to speak those three little words. Sometimes hoping for the solace of their return.
“I love you” takes courage
There are times we seek to risk, to grow, to share deeply; we create love or we indulge in love, desiring the intensity of the emotions that comprise it – grand, grandiose, momentous, surprising, delicate, vulnerable, silly, empowering. We feel it, we revel in it, we want to live it fully.
Romantic love, and three little words. What bravery it takes to speak them, and mean it. What bravery it takes to speak them only when you mean it.
Three little words.
- When did you hear them last?
- When did you speak them last?
- Do you know the key to your own heart?
- Do you love safely, deeply, passionately, or even madly?