Weird Human Behavior

They’re so romantic, I think I’ve finally fallen in $!#@

In order to express our feelings, we should stop using the word "love" like it was a profanity.   What am I talking about?

In order to express our feelings, we should stop using the word “love” like it was a profanity.

What am I talking about?

When’s the last time someone stubbed their toe and remarked:

“My toe just came into unexpected, forceful contact with a stationary object. The result is both painful and surprising, I wish that didn’t happen.”

No, from my experiences in these types of situations it’s much more common for people to react by jumping up and down like they are at a 1950’s sock hop and utter words they wouldn’t use at say, a kindergarten recital.

Beyond the retro hilarity, my point is that people often use generic, over generalized words to express thoughts or emotions that are much more specific or precise.

One thing that I’ve learned in life is that the word “love” can be interpreted very differently depending on the context. There’s erotic love, platonic love, and everything in between. In fact, when you get right down to it each individual has their own set of criteria for determining what love is.

Love is a universal concept, but society has never been able to give the word “love” a universal definition.

For the most part, love’s unique interpretation is part of the human experience and is based both on the environment we were exposed to and our personal, cognitive assessment of the idea itself.

In North America, the words “I love you” when spoken in a romantic context have a powerful effect that very few three word sentences do. But why? The meaning is so subjective and open for interpretation.

For example, when someone says “I love you” what does it mean? Unless we know the person well, how can we really know what they mean?

Instead of using this bland Hallmark statement which seems to make people swoon with delight, wouldn’t it be helpful if people were more specific and said things like:

  • “You are the most amazing person I’ve ever met, please validate my existence and think the same thing about me””I would do anything for you as long as we’re sleeping together”
  • “I really admire you and thoroughly enjoy being your friend, as long as you keep getting me backstage”
  • “I appreciate the way you make me feel, but when the ego boost stops so will my phone calls”
  • “You’re a wonderful person of course I’ll wait for you, unless something else better comes along”
  • “You’re more valuable to me than anything. Well, at least in the first few months of our relationship anyways. After that I’ll treat you just like everyone else. Actually, probably worse because I don’t even treat my friends nicely and I really don’t like myself”

Okay so I’m a little jaded but still, the point carries through like a hot knife through the butter of what people try to pass off as “love.”

With meanings like that I would prefer to have someone tell me to go “F” myself so I know to move on and not waste my time.

So here’s my next social experiment, the next time I hear anyone, and I mean anyone, tell someone else they love them I’m going to ask them what the word “love” means to them.

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    • I’m sorry to hear that. Love is a very difficult thing to understand as sometimes people don’t understand what they have until it is no longer there. Some of the worst mistakes I have made have centered around not understanding how good my life was until I went looking for something better. Stay close to God and look for someone equally as close to Him as God’s unconditional love will never fade or waver. The best partners are the ones who seek to reflect Love’s perfection.

  • Excellent article/blog. Love is not what you get, it’s what you give. And usually one person doesn’t give and the other does. Most pursue the illusion of romantic love lasting over one year. And the euphoria of romantic love is their quest. When they have taken all they can without giving in one relationship they move on as a sponge to suck more love from another. This goes for both genders. In case you are wondering how I mean this.

  • I really enjoyed this blog. Love means so many different things to different people. This is why it should not be used lightly.

    I agree that we should ask, what exactly do you mean by “love”? Because what it means to one person may be defined altogether differently by someone else. For example, saying I love you could mean:
    I want you, just for tonight.
    I like the way you make me feel.
    You’re sweet and kind, but let’s just be friends.
    I know you’re expecting me to say it, so, I said it.
    Thank you for paying my bills.
    I never want to let you go.
    I really mean I like what you do for me.
    You turn me on, but I can only take you in small doses.
    I’m only saying it, because I’m not close enough to the nearest exit.
    Since it’s the first time anyone has ever uttered those words to me, and I don’t know how else to respond…right back at ya.

    We cannot control what others say, but let’s make sure we are people of integrity when we utter those words.

  • These are great potential “I love you” definitions!

    I have uttered “I love you” recklessly and with haste, and had the same done to me in return. It is such a powerful statement, but has so many potential meanings. As time goes on, I look to people’s families for the interpretation of what their “I love you” means, and it is often a very accurate reflection.

  • True love is:

    I’m committed to you.

    You’re my priority.

    I can’t live and don’t want to live w/o you.

    I’ll hang up with my best friend just to cuddle w/ you.

    I accept you with all your weird idiosyncracies. I actually find them cute.

    I’ll help you grow and be what you can be, even if it doesn’t include me.

    I’ll let you go, if that’s what will make you happy – even though it breaks my heart.

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