Replacements For The Phrase "I Love You"

As we all know, few things have grown more worn down and shoddy with overuse than the words “I love you.” When strung together, you could elicit everything from what a couple says before they slip a ring onto each other’s finger, all the way to a sorority girl’s proclamation to the roommate she’s “married” to on Facebook. The term has lost some meaning. So, though they may be a bit cumbersome, I propose a few new terms that more succinctly get to the heart of the matter. This, my friends, is true love.

“I would pick you up at the airport at 7 AM, not even the airport that’s closest to me — the one you have to take 1-95 to get to. I’d go there even if there wasn’t a McDonald’s on the way to get some hash browns and McMuffins. I would settle for gas station breakfast on the way because that’s how much you mean to me.”

“If you are 99 percent sure you’ve discovered the coworker who isn’t flushing on the second floor bathroom, and have further deduced that it’s the same one who has been bad-mouthing you to your boss, I will let you talk about this. I will listen to your corporate Sherlocking for at least 20 minutes, despite the fact that literally none of this story is engaging to an outsider. I will help you plan ways to catch him not flushing, and simultaneously use this information against him with the boss. We will be a team.”

“No matter how incredibly lackluster your mother’s cooking is — and despite the fact that you’ll never fully understand this, as you’ve grown up eating Shake-N-Bake and lettuce with literally just oil and white vinegar on it — I will always be game to go eat at your parents’ house. I will always help her prepare the potatoes (which she will proceed to simply boil and put on a plate), and be kind and respectful to her wishes. I will compliment, but not so much it seems fake. (Though I may secretly eat a burger later that night — I am only human.)”

“I will spend weeks — maybe months — before Christmas trying to think of something really special to get you. I will get extremely excited wrapping the gift, and learn to deeply hate myself, as, once again, I didn’t cut enough paper for one side and the corner looks like it got into a fight with a pair of scissors and has to be stitched up with Scotch tape so its innards don’t fall out all over the operating table. I’ll still get all pumped when I’m handing it to you, I’ll just tell you not to look at the left side.”

“Because I know doing dishes fills you with some kind of inhuman rage, and though it’s not my favorite thing in the world, it doesn’t drive me to suicide — I’ll do the dishes. I’ll put some music on and do the entire sink. I’ll even even go back to finish the pans after I let them soak, universally recognized as the truest sign of dishwashing dedication.”

“For no one else, but for you alone, I will allow my music to be touched. You can change it and put on something that makes me question the entirety of human history — how could it have possibly led to a man on the moon, a vaccine for polio, and this horrendous song? — but I’ll listen to the whole thing and even maybe bop my head a little to the left and right. A little.”

“I will suddenly look at all the things in life that seemed incredibly lame — going to bed early, making complex plans for the future, and driving out the country just to be in an empty house — and think they seem kind of, well, tempting. I’ll want to start constructing things that will last for a long time, and coming back to work on them more later. My horizons will extend beyond brunch this weekend, and I’ll start actually using that horrendous panda calendar my aunt bought me.”

“I’ll realize that I’m not the only person in the world. Little by little.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Jannes Pockele

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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