I think we all know the three words I’m talking about. To some they mean so much, to others not much at all. Sometimes used as a weapon, or to reassure, or to win, or as leverage, in our own intricate lives.
Quite recently I have given these words a lot of thought. Initially, and I have to admit, somewhat laddishly and childishly, in my youth they could form a source of amusement amongst friends. It was always ‘has he said it yet?’ or ‘has she told you yet?’. It was a way of finding where you were, with someone, in terms of your friends, and in the hierarchy of life.
I’ve often disagreed with people over what love is, and how you feel it. I strongly believe our thought of what it is change as we get older. For me certainly love meant something completely different at 17 to what it does now. It can be unbelievably amazing, or ferociously destructive. It can cause peace and war, animosity and adoration, control or contentment.
In its most pure form, it is a beautiful thing. Can love be one sided? Does it have to be requited?
I used to think it did, but now I’m not so sure. As long as isn’t damaging or obsessive, one sided love can survive, although one could argue, it may be seen as a waste of energy and effort.
I know saying “I love you” must never be said for the sake of it, or out of habit, or just with the hope of someone saying it back to you. It must never be said for any other reason than for that it is what you truly believe at that time, in that moment.
A friend had a girlfriend who used to say to him: “I love you” and his response always used to be “I know you do”. He said this was because she only said it so he would say it back, but I don’t think this was his reason for not requiting.
Another friend would always end every single phone conversation to his wife with “I love you, bye”. He didn’t love her anymore. It was plain to see. Saying it was habit and they soon divorced. I’ve always found it interesting that some people say it all the time and have never meant it, and others never say it at all but feel it in their heart, never to be shared. It opens us up, exposes our vulnerabilities, our soul and our inner most thoughts, weaknesses and strengths.
A girlfriend used to say “are there three little words you’d like to say to me?” I’d reply “are they what’s for dinner?” She was never amused. Like I say, a juvenile protective reaction would always be to make a joke of it. I like to think I’ve grown up a little since, but it was also I didn’t like being prompted. I’ll borrow my friends excuse.
Does love hurt? Doh!!! Hell yeeeaahhhh, like a bitch, when it doesn’t go your way, or turn out like you’d hoped, or dies. But does it heal? Oh yes, it can do amazing things.
If you are struggling to understand what it means, perhaps this will help. Years ago, someone wrote this on a Christmas card to me. I never understood it then, but now I do. It’s from the Corinthians 13: 4-7:-
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.”
Mark Scotchford © 11/09/2013