Tuesday, 23 March 2021

I Love You - is it Overused?

I Love You, a Much Diluted Phrase

Many people will disagree with me on this but that is what writing opinions is all about. Take "I love you". Love in its true sense is not yet taxable or forbidden (but who knows what the future holds?) and that is to be celebrated for sure. But what does LOVE really mean? THAT is the question.

Is it really just me and my generation - baby boomers - or has the phrase "I love you" or the more common "Love you" become just an automatic and almost compulsory utterance? In my family none of us felt unloved (2 brothers and a sister) while at home. The hard work and sacrifice on the part of my parents to give us a decent life - the best they could - went hand in hand with family love. I don't recall any frequent "I love yous"  but also didn't feel deprived since my friends' families were similar.

Today I hear the phrase everywhere and every day from almost everyone. People can't leave home or hang up the phone without saying it. Preponderance of phones is probably a factor here adding to the frequency but it seems now like nothing more than "See you"; "Bye". Just like "How's it going?" and "How are you?" - you don't really want to hear someone tell you how they are for ten minutes. It is simply a traditional greeting. In the same way "I love you" has become both traditional and expected.

I am not criticizing here - if those who follow the practice feel that their family is better off for it so be it. Good for them.

To me however, it begs the question what is left for expressing special feelings for that very special person - often your physical partner - if you say the same thing to everybody else? Do they merit "I really love you?" "Double love you?" As well the word is used in everyday language way too often. My wife watches many designer / renovation shows. Every day I overhear "I just love that colour!"; "I love that lampshade!"; "I just love that toilet!"

In the heat of passion with the speaker if I were to hear "I love you" or "I love it when you do that" I would have to wonder "Yeah but more than the toilet" I heard you admiring this morning?

I think we need new expressions for those moments. Keep the "I love you" for departures and hang-ups but let's have something better for the warm glow of cuddling after lovemaking. Any suggestions?

Maybe you should just say "Oh by the way, I bought you that lamp!" and hand it over while you are both still in the mood! Save the toilet for something REALLY special!


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