I Love You?

The words “I love you” have been on my mind today. Mainly, I’ve been thinking about how they’re used and whether or not people think twice about their meaning when using them. The word “love” expresses an emotion that, to me, not even a word can accurately convey. Typically, we use it as an attempt to describe a feeling within us toward someone in our lives that we cannot be without, or whom the thought of losing is unbearable.

The only reason I’m explaining all of this is because I hear the phrase “I love you” directed at me countless times a day, from the most unsuspecting people. For the most part, I hear it from female acquaintances or “friends” and usually feel obligated to return the favor as part of a social code or something. I just find it hard to understand why girls typically feel the need to say “I love you” to each other so early in a relationship. It feels insincere and also usually leaves me feeling like some of the relationships in my life are dishonest. I was raised with the notion that the word “love” was meant to be saved for a select group of people in life, in addition to family, who deserve my utmost affection. I use the phrase “I love you” so often that I’ve forgotten to consider its worth. When I direct it towards the people that matter most, it feels worn out and unsatisfying. This makes me wonder if the people I truly love know how much I mean it, with every fiber of my being. I almost wish I could give those select people a quick peek into my head, show them all the ways I see them so that they know I set them apart.

As far as I can remember, I’ve had a hard time speaking that seemingly simple phrase to people. It makes me feel exposed. Like, here I am loving you, hope you feel the same way! I don’t know. I think it has to do with the fact that I grew up in a house with people who actually loved each other in a very real way. I recognize that love can be divided into separate categories, for very different people in our lives. I just don’t think it’s necessary to say things like “You’re the greatest person in the world” or “I love you so much. You have no idea” during situations that don’t merit those intense reactions. This happened to be all the time in the beginning of college during those first few months when everyone’s racing to form as many friendships as possible. Half of the girls I was friends with then aren’t even in my life anymore. Looking back now, thinking about all the times they said they loved me, it’s hard not to laugh.

Growing up in a house with parents that truly loved one another, in an environment that felt honest and genuine, I developed a real distaste for people being fake. I think I have an eye for spotting when people are being manipulative or insincere, which is definitely both a blessing and a curse. Overtime, it’s made be very selective of the people I choose to surround myself with, which can be a little isolating. I think everyone does this more and more as they get older though. We begin to see that quality is vastly more important than quantity.

All in all, I hope to continue saving my love for the people who really deserve it because people who surround themselves with meaningful relationships are the most fortunate of all by far. I intend to be so lucky throughout my life, but also to continue valuing genuineness as one of my favorite human qualities. I wish there was more of it.

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