Belenen (belenen) wrote,

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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