Belenen (belenen) wrote,
Belenen
belenen

my "I love you"s have gone silent

I've had such an odd relationship with the word love, at least in the middle of "I" and "you." When I was a child, my bioparent M constantly said "I love you" (pretty much every day) while never acting loving. I despised the hypocrisy of that and made sure to only say if it was both true AND the way I was feeling at the moment. The first time I can remember saying it was to my best friend when I was 15, and I was so shy about it that I wrote it on a note and hid it in zir suitcase after a sleepover! Since then I've opened up more to love and now I love everyone (yes, even rapists/ pedophiles/ sexists/ racists) but I still won't say it unless I'm feeling it at the moment. That includes resisting the pregnant pause that some people leave after they say it -- I'm not going to say it just because it is expected.

Weirdly, recently I've felt unable to say it as freely as I did before. Sometimes I'll be thinking it so loudly that my mouth actually starts to say it before my brain slams it shut. Worse, every time I resist saying it, it becomes harder to say, because I feel like I lied AND missed the 'right' moment by not saying it the first time. And that REALLY bothers me. I'm not sure what changed but I feel I've lost a part of myself by setting some kind of paradoxical taboo on the phrase.

I liked being free to say it whenever I felt it. "I love you (and I feel it so strongly right now that it is all I can think)." I liked not worrying about what people thought of my sincerity or my emotional stability. I know that some people think you cannot love a person without having built a relationship, and some think that to give love away freely is a flighty, simpleminded act, but it used to be that expressing my true feelings was more important to me than others thinking I was lying or fickle or silly.

It might be partly that I have significant in-person relationships for the first time in 7 years, and it's harder to say when you have to deal with the immediate response of the person. I really can't stand the idea of someone saying it to me because it is the expected response, and I don't want to make anyone feel awkward or uncomfortable with not knowing how to react. But there have been so many moments when I wanted to say it to different people! I think to get past this block I'm just going to have to make a decision to say it next time I think it. Now to screw up my courage to the sticking point and make that decision.
Tags: communication / words, love, openness
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