When I Say I Love You, This is What I Mean.

Via Ben Neal
on Aug 9, 2013
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love, relationships, audrey hepburn

I love you. And not a day goes by that I don’t tell you.

But the silent poetry that throbs in my chest cannot be uttered in three little words—or 3,000 for that matter. Whenever I try to describe the way I feel for you, every word seems trite and hollow; the whole English language insufficient.

Maybe if I write it, raw and uncut. If I pour myself out, and breathe passion fire into these words and make them live, they might come into your heart and dance. Maybe when you read this it will take you there—to where the wild drums are beating, where pain and bliss both run together, where lovers die into each other, and are born again…

I want you to know this feel this.

When I say “I love you,” what I really mean is that I want you. From the very first time you ran your fingers through my hair, I have longed for you—for your touch, your embrace, your taste on my lips.

You turn me on. It’s undeniable. It’s chemical. It’s electric.

When I say “I love you,” I really mean that you’re beautiful. You’re gorgeous in your heels and gowns and all your glittering finery, and even more so in your pajamas and blue jeans. When you’re not even trying, when you let go and just be carelessly, naturally you, it takes my breath away—like a sunset reflected in still water, or a starry night so clear you can see the Milky Way poured out across the sky.

When I say “I love you,” I mean that I love your form, your body, your arc and elegance. I love the curve of your neck, your breasts, your back and your hips. You embody pure woman from the curls in your hair down to your ankles and toes. Like no one else can, you awaken the man in me, the beast in me, the passion and hunger and lust.

I love how you move, your effortless grace. I love how you walk, your rhythm and sway. I love how you dance. I love how we fuck­—how we breathe and thrust and grind as one. One pulse, one pleasure, one ecstatic culmination; a prayer, a holy communion.

When I say “I love you,” I mean all of you, just as you are. I love your silliness and your playfulness, how easily we can laugh at ourselves and at life. I love your courage, your strength. I love your jealousy and insecurity. I love your (sometimes painful) honesty. I love how you really walk your talk and take responsibility for your own “stuff.” I love your willingness to face your fears and grow.

I love who you are, deep down—the timeless innocence I see in your eyes. Underneath everything you say and do I see a pure and selfless intent, a kind and compassionate soul.

When I say “I love you,” I mean I trust you. I respect you. I admire you. I adore you.

When I say “I love you,” I mean that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for every time I take you for granted. I’m sorry for every time I’m too busy, too distant, too self-absorbed to make time for you. I’m sorry for every time I fall short of being the man you deserve.

When I say “I love you,” I mean that I love this dance of loving each other. I love how it constantly calls me to go deeper, to walk my talk, to own my shit, to face my fears and grow. I love sharing life with you—the triumphs and the failures, the laughter and the painful silence.

When I say “I love you,” I mean my life is better with you in it. I’m a better man because of you. And the more I come to know you, the more I want to know. I miss you when you’re not around. I’m grateful for every moment we’re together.

When I say “I love you,” I mean I want to be the one you turn to when you’re hurting. I want to be the one who listens. I want to hold you in my arms. I want to take care of you. I want to give you something to stand on in this crazy, constantly changing world.

I want to make a home and a family with you. I want you to be my partner, my lover, my Radhe—the yin to my yang. I want to wake up next to you in the morning. I want you beside me when I close my eyes at night. In a universe of infinite possibilities, on a planet of seven billion human beings, I want you.

Baby, the next time I grab you as you’re passing by, put my arms around your waist and pull you close, kiss your sweet lips, look deep into your eyes and say “I love you,” this is what I really mean:

Here I am—body and soul, sinner and saint, warrior and fool, all of my love and all of my baggage—all of me. Here I am, with open arms.

I see you—mother, daughter, sister, lover, the light and the darkness, the goddess and the scared little girl—all of you. I want you, all of you, you and only you, just as you are.

I have a place here in my heart for you. 



21 Unexpected Ways to Say I Love You.


I Love You Even if We’re not Together Forever. 


When “I Love You” Comes.

Bonus! Get read to swoon all over again:


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Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Ben Neal

Ben Neal is a father, a musician, a mystic poet and lover of Zen. He lives with his beloved in Kansas City, writing and teaching meditation and experiential spirituality, tending his garden, raising his son and riding the wave of global Awakening. He loves to have passionate philosophical discussions on the nature of ultimate reality over hand crafted Belgian-style ale. He aims to suck the marrow out of life, and infect the world with unbounded Love and Freedom. Connect with him on Facebook or on his blog.


65 Responses to “When I Say I Love You, This is What I Mean.”

  1. Stunning. Breath-taking. This is amazing, Ben.

  2. bneal817 says:

    Thank you, Jennifer. One of the sources of my inspiration was your article "Real Love is Home Base." Yes, it truly is!

  3. bneal817 says:

    The comment below was intended as a reply to you, my dear… but somehow I encountered some technical difficulties 😉

  4. Valerie Audrey Martin says:

    Wow. You put into words exactly what so many would like to receive from the man in their lives. Lucky is the woman who has you at her side. Beautiful piece.

  5. Kathy says:

    Wow… I mean wow. I feel this in my bones. Such brutal raw honesty is refreshing and incredibly beautiful. You made my day!

  6. Wow, that is an insanely huge compliment. Thank you, Ben.

    And your love is a lucky lady.

  7. Tara says:

    This is absolutely incredible. These words truly fluttered from your heart. I want to hear more poetry!

  8. bneal817 says:

    Thank you, Valerie. Truth be told, I feel like I'm the lucky one to have her at my side!

  9. bneal817 says:

    Thank you Kathy. This is love, raw and uncut. I'm glad you feel it!

    ~ Ben

  10. bneal817 says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Tara. This poetry… who can claim it, or tame it? I court the Muse, and I tremble in anticipation of her next kiss. When it happens, I'll share it.

    In the meantime, there is a link to my personal blog in my bio above. You might like what you find there. I'd love for you to visit.

    ~ Ben

  11. Clara says:

    I cried reading your letter. You hit all the sensitive notes in a soul. May you receive all the happiness that comes from such intense giving.

  12. bneal817 says:

    Oh Clara, thank you. You've touched my heart.

    When I finished writing this, I went back and read it over, and over, and over… I cried a bit, too.

    ~ Ben

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful!! Thanks!!!
    Lucky you, for feeling that deep connection and expressing it… and She is lucky too for being your inspiration!!!

  14. Mandi says:

    As a Mother of Boys, i can only wish to instil this Honesty in them so that they may communicate their emotions so clearly. Thankyou for your inspiration to be a better person myself.

  15. bneal817 says:

    Thank you Elizabeth. I am indeed lucky to experience this love, and to have someone to share it with!

    I appreciate your comment.

    ~ Ben

  16. bneal817 says:

    May you and your boys know this love, and live it and give it. Thank you for reading.

    ~ Ben

  17. Brian says:

    I wish I wrote this. You said so many of the things that I feel about the woman I love. Beautiful. Thank you!

  18. aliza orent says:

    wonderful. thank you.

  19. bneal817 says:

    Thank you for reading Brian. Blessings to you and your beloved.

    ~ Ben

  20. bneal817 says:

    Thank you for your feedback.

    ~ Ben

  21. Alycia says:

    Wow… Waking up this morning I could not have asked for a more heart expanding gift. Thank you for sharing from the depths of being, for trying to communicate from a place that (as you said) can be nearly impossible to verbalize. As words often fail when we feel beyond the physical realm we live in. But you darling, have written from the soul, from your infinite heart space and I am inspired, illuminated, and reminded… Thank you Ben, thank you for being you.

    Much love and blessings on your journey,

    Alycia ~

  22. Lisa says:

    Wow! I've felt this love for and from someone and you captured it beautifully. Nicely done and so well said. Good work, Ben.

  23. Cigdem says:

    wouw! infected! with love! thank you 🙂


  24. bneal817 says:

    Thank you so much Alycia. Much love to you, from my soul to yours.

    ~ Ben

  25. bneal817 says:

    Thank you Lisa. I'm happy for you, that you have been to this place of unconditional love… it is the most precious gift I have yet experienced in this life.


    ~ Ben

  26. bneal817 says:

    Thank you Cigdem. It's contagious, alright. Thank you for your sweet words.

    ~ Ben

  27. Chris says:

    Wow is all I can say. What an amazing letter to the woman you love. I have to be honest and admit I am jealous of her!

  28. Dolores says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Made me cry 🙁
    This truly sparks my thoughts on whether love truly exists. It’s wonderful to read the raw emotions which one human being can stir up in another based solely on our natural human inhibitions and experiences.
    Absolutely beautiful I say…

  29. Ami Sa says:

    Ben my man, it is absolutely stunning. It couldn't be truer about how I feel about the love of my life. I am so so darn lucky to have her. I write too, I have written a lot- Pieces which captured parts of it, always looking at it through a magnifying glass. This is the panorama of my heart. I told her while posting this to her- If there was a better way to say what I feel, I still have to write it.

  30. Greg says:

    This is exactly howni feel about my love, and I express it to her all the time, day by day, but it’s a powerful thing to see it all laid out in one huge swoop. We’re lucky men to have loves like ours. I wish more people did. I wish it for everyone. Thanks for putting this together for me to share with my love. She recognized your words as mine. True and magnificent writing. May all women be so loved.

  31. victoria says:

    made me cry!

  32. Lindsey says:

    Ben, I cried at your letter. The words in this letter have matched my imagination of true love. Touched the most sensitive parts of my soul. Incredible that you’re able to put this into words.

  33. Minunette Heuser says:

    Loved it.

  34. Mary Elizabeth says:

    My soul awakened by the loving words spilled from your mind,body and soul! Tears came to my eyes for these words remind me of the love my husband has for me. Thank you! Love can never really be defined by one person for love is boundless in the ever loving soul.

  35. Demetra Szatkowski says:

    This is absolutely beautiful and so incredibly accurate.

  36. Ginger says:

    Where do I find a guy like you Ben? 🙂 This was absolutely beautiful. Your wife is a lucky woman.

  37. Mike says:


  38. Cathleen says:

    umm talk to us in a couple (5 max.) years…. this kind of self-indulgent 'love' is obsessive and definitely not healthy…

  39. nicole says:

    Ben, thank you for writing down something so powerful and so deep.. I have to say, when I was reading this, I felt like my husband is whispering in my ear. Because this is how he talks to me every single day, we carry and look after our love from a bottom of our hearts hoping that everybody on this planet can feel the same. Thank you.

  40. MAD Hippies says:

    We've been married 30 years, and we have this kind of love, it's special, beautiful and in so many ways indescribable!! It doesn't mean there are never disagreements or days that we don't see eye to eye, but we choose to value and cherish this relationship and each other. We feel so honored to walk through each day together, in this life and into the next.

  41. aayeshahakim says:

    OMG! Incredible this is! Speechless! :)Incredible this is! 🙂

  42. Kari says:

    I love this so much.

  43. Amy E says:

    Leaves me breathless! Raw and vulnerable. Perfect. I needed to read this today. Thank you!

  44. annieE says:

    Your words are such a fine reminder to not lean so much on the I love you…but to remember the what, why and how….and to tell that truth. Is there anything better than a mate who “gets you”….If there is I don’t know it. Thanks for making me think of all the wonder my love brings to me…Every day.

  45. Jen says:

    This is really beautiful. Thank you, Ben, for putting all our thoughts in words. She's a one lucky girl. God bless!

  46. Shereca says:

    This is the most beautiful piece I have ever read. I felt the connection to my soul reading this. There were moments it felt so intense, I had to stop reading for seconds in between. Wow! You are truly a gifted and talented man to express yourself in this way. I aspire to love this wholeheartedly!

  47. Dave says:

    I just read this, and as a man, I only want to say that I wish to be the kind of man to my future woman that you are to your current one. This was beautiful, so open and honest. I loved reading it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  48. Ruby says:

    Beautiful. 🙂

  49. Mike says:

    Yes!!! These are all the words I've been trying to put together for the one I love to try to explain how much bigger my feelings are than just those three words. I can speak, I can write, I can usually express myself. But I've been left lacking for the last two years for a way to tell her what I really mean when I say "I love you". We're both divorced, we've both said "I love you" to someone we thought was "The One", and it seems like such an injustice to use those same words to tell each other now how we feel. Thank you for this!

  50. JT says:

    This is so beautiful and hot Ben! Thank you for sharing!