I’ll be honest; I used to be somone who placed great importance upon the phrase “I love you.”
Many do. Why wouldn’t you, when trying to verbally express feelings can potentially lead to a semantic minefield? My current partner of two years has never said it. I did, within a few months.
I won’t lie, it stung not to hear it back.
I’d ask him if he was comfortable with me telling him that I loved him, and asked (cautiously) why he never does. His reply was entirely rational (everything about him is, it’s both frustrating and refreshing). Tactfully, he told me that “I love you” was thrown about so much these days, that he didn’t feel it really meant as much. He’d said that he’d told his ex that he’d loved her because she wanted to hear it. And what happened? They parted ways after four years or so.
Saying “I love you” doesn’t mean that someone is going to be around forever, life happens. People leave, and whilst that doesn’t make their relationships invalid, it sort of makes the statement redundant.
He explained that he’d rather show how he feels. And he does. He has been so inexplicably patient with me and my issues, and while he may not understand them, he does his utmost to make me happy, to support me, and make me feel loved.
I’d been back home with my family over Christmas, away for a couple of nights. When I returned to my boyfriend and we’d settled in bed for the night, he held me close, and told me that the bed felt empty without me. He held me tighter and said “you really mean the absolute world to me”.
I wouldn’t have wanted to hear anything else.