Love is just silly. As a word, it is inadequate because two people could say it and mean completely different things.
Like connection love: “I Love You” meaning I want to be one with you, share your life and your experience and have you share mine.
Appreciation love: “I Love You” meaning I understand your value to my life, those around you, and the world. You are significant and necessary and will not be overlooked by me.
Acceptance love: “I Love You” meaning neither your shortcomings nor your accomplishments can impact the way I feel about you. I know you are doing the best you can with what you have.
Loyalty love: “I Love You” meaning I will stand by your side no matter what. You can always count on me to be whatever you need me to be.
Affection love: “I Love You” because I enjoy spending time with you, having fun with you, taking care of you, being helped and protected by you.
Back in my church going days, I loved when the Preacher would point out the actual Greek word behind whatever “love” scripture he was reading that day: Agape, Eros, Philia, Storge. This always opened up the verse for me and improved my understanding of biblical terms in general. With all of the confusion that occurs in our relationships with others, wouldn’t it be nice if we learned how to go beyond “I Love You” and begin opening up to those we care about?
Imagine the different emotional and intellectual response you’d have when greeted with a thoughtful “I love you, you are my partner in this life and can always count on me,” versus the sweet but less informative “I love you,” we throw around casually these days.
Yeah. I’m going to try to increase my love vocabulary; this just sounds like a really good idea.
Maybe you’re saying, “I mean many of those things, to some extent, when I say ‘I Love you.’” This is understandable.
I have heard:
“Something I’ve always thought to be true during my time here so far, is that there are as many forms of love as there are moments in time and when you factor in the moments between humans who have a particular bond, “I love you” can capture an infinity of thoughts and emotions, most of which are beyond basic conceptual thinking. But my intent behind the words is simply “You matter to me.”
May all beings feel loved. May all those who matter to you, swim in their awareness of exactly how.