I read this joke somewhere, this woman asked her friend how to break up with her boyfriend, and the friend replies, easy just tell him you love him. Now why is it that love is the hardest word to say in a relationship? I believe because saying ‘I love you’ opens more than just floodgates but also invites landslides, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and tornadoes. It breaks the boundaries of control and that wall you build around yourself.
Love is the most complex emotion and misconstrued word ever. Saying I love you entails actions and how many men/women have we dated actually did actions that reflected that?
What could be worse in saying I love you to the person you love? You become worried your partner would get scared of the commitment you just imposed on them. If I said I love you and he/she replied I love you too, would it be because they felt pressured they had to say it? Did they actually love you in the first place then? We always expect the man to say it first so that they wouldn’t run away if we say it first. Although I have met men who can look a woman straight in the eye and tell her he loves her without flinching and yet of course not mean it.
My English Literature teacher told us during high school that love is just a 4 lettered cheap word. At that time, we were stunned at her beliefs. How could she utter such blasphemy!! She had crushed our ideals of love and romance. She continues further, ‘love has no meaning. You don’t just say I love you to your husband’, you also say I love my bag or I love this colour and I love this shoe that I just got. Today you say I love you to your boyfriend, you break up the next day and you say I love to the next boyfriend.’
Have we been using the word love so blatantly that it is now lost in translation? I hope not, because the word love is the only word we can use to express how we feel towards that someone we don’t want to let go off. Take love away and we are left feeling hollow and empty.
So the next time I say I love you to that certain someone, I want to mean it and I don’t care who says it first because love breaks down ego. In the words of Max Ehrmann, Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.