Mind Candy

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Do we say “I love you” enough?

Posted by mandyf on January 24, 2013

I love you. I love you! Have you said it yet today? If not, what are you waiting for? Has anyone said that to you today, and again, if not – why? That is a powerful string of words! None of the words is hard to pronounce of unfamiliar, but it seems like we just don’t use them very much anymore. It wonder why it is we don’t say or hear it as much as we used to it seems and although I know I don’t have the answer to that, it got me thinking about the power of “I love you”.

I thought about this a bit and sat down and tried to think how many times in one day I heard these magic words. It was 4 times. Based on what I was able to find out from other people this was slightly above average which surprised me quite a bit. Most people said they heard it twice a day and said it as many times. That was primarily people that were married. Single people came in around 1-2 times a day with women hearing it slightly more than men. When it comes to fairly new couples, well, they tend to say it a lot – upwards of a dozen or more times a day.

iloveyouetcMy very basic little inquiry is far from scientific, but there was an easy to spot trend and that trend made me sad. What I did find, however, was that people who are very active in social networks tend to be told they are loved anywhere from several times a day to 50 times a day. While that is awesome, most said they don’t actually have anyone type in “I love you” very often, but rather they get a ♥ left for them which they consider to count as an I love you. I looked through a day of messages and conversations and saw I might receive 30 or so of those hearts and leave another 20 or so for others.

But then I stopped and asked myself – “Do I really mean I love you when I leave those hearts scattered around?” Maybe a third of them I do, but the rest . . . I began asking myself why don’t I just say I love you if that is what I really mean. My first thought was a heart is quicker – two keystrokes and done. Plus it looks neat. It grabs attention. I know I like seeing them when someone leaves them for me, but once in awhile, seeing the words “I love you” actually typed out would really be nice. But why should we do that?

We need to tell people, on or offline, that we love them because we all need to actually hear or see those words. We may think we are so toughened and independent it doesn’t matter, but the fact is we all long for them. We want to hear and we want to say it, yet we rarely seem to take that first step. We wait. We wait for someone else, or too often we say it in a way that is hurried or lacks much if any emotion. We say it like “you left the milk out”, or we shoot off responses like “back ‘atcha” or something.

Start telling people you love them because no one else may. Everyone should be hearing and saying this everyday. Tell people you love them because they deserve to know that someone cares about them enough to merit those words. Tell people you love them because none of us knows the future and we may miss the chance to say it before it’s too late. Say I love you because it is the best way to hear it back. Just do it because it feels good and three simple words can make multiple people smile at once.

Here’s the catch – because these words are so powerful, we need to use them wisely. Don’t go throwing them around when you don’t mean it. They should always be said in a genuine, heartfelt manner. It should always mean something and if it does, you’ll know it when you say it.

If it seems too hard or uncomfortable or you’re worried what someone might think – erase that all from your mind. Start slow with just one person and build to where you can say it without hesitation. Don’t worry about the reaction. Saying I love you doesn’t mean you want to start having kids with someone, it means you have a deep emotional attachment to a person you care for. It is perfectly fine for two friends to say I love you to each other. It is okay for two men or women to say it to each other.

And now to come clean – I don’t actually say it enough. Today, that changes. While my family and even my cat hears I love you on a daily basis, my closest friends don’t. Not from me at least. For me, today is the day I tell the people that make up my “online family” and friends I don’t keep in touch with nearly enough, that I do love them. I love them for the friendship, the smiles, the support and even for sharing their tears with me. Without them, my day isn’t full and my life would be incomplete. For that, I love each of them.

Will you accept the challenge and start telling the people important to you that you love them as well? I hope you do.

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2 Responses to “Do we say “I love you” enough?”

  1. Tom Laing said

    Love you Amanda

  2. mandyf said

    Love you too Tom 🙂

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