TO: Men all over the planet
RE: The weight of I love you
DATE: May 1, 2012
I'm a words girl, boys. I guess it comes with the territory of being a writer; it's just something I can't escape. I don't mind it usually -- being so hyper-attuned to words and how they interact with each other -- and have even been known to have a favorite word or two over the years.
But there's one phrase composed of three words that has always left me conflicted, as if my stomach was being tied in knots over and over again.
I love you.
Frankly, I love you is the most emotionally charged phrase in the English language, and seeing as how you say it first in relationships, I figured we needed to have a little talk.
It should never be said lightly. It means something. It carries weight. It can't be taken back without someone's heart breaking -- or at least someone's car getting keyed, thanks to a little inspiration from Miss Carrie Underwood. Me? I don't bandy the phrase about haphazardly as if it's the newest trend. I say it...when I mean it. And only when I mean it.
You can love things with relative ease. You can love shopping. You can love watching a basketball game. You can love taking spontaneous road trips on a long weekend. But the minute you look someone in the eye and uttered the phrase I love you, there's, well, no going back from that. There's no delete button, and you can never take those words back, no matter how much you want to or no matter how much of a mistake you think it was.
Bottom line: You can't change what you said. The words have already leaped from your lips and into the ears of the other person, whether you meant to say them or not. Maybe you were caught up in the moment. Maybe you were seduced by the romantic ambiance of the restaurant. None of this really matters because at the end of the day, your reason for saying the "L" word isn't nearly as important as the simple fact that you said it. And chances are, the fact that you said it is going to linger for quite some time.
So, please, boys, proceed with caution when you find yourself in I love you territory. It can be one treacherous path. When said at the right time, I love you can be the most magical three words in the whole world, falling softly on your ears as if you've just heard them for the first time. But said in the heat of the moment creates a fire that will ultimately leave you burned and scarred. Be careful... xoxo