Recently I’ve become one of those fun-loving, optimistic types who believes that we really can love the whole wide world and all of its inhabitants.
I find that most people can get behind this mentality—except when it comes to dating. You see, when I form a romantic connection with someone, I tell them I love them right away—even if I’m not planning to date them exclusively.
And why shouldn’t I?
If I really love everyone, what does it matter what form our relationship takes?
Some people have said to me, “The L word is serious, you shouldn’t say it so soon,” or “You’re taking the fun out of falling in love by doing that.” But let’s put that in context of how we use the word love with other stuff.
If you have me over for dinner and serve me some delightfully delicious pad thai, and I find it to taste absolutely divine, isn’t it acceptable for me to tell you that I absolutely love it? Do I need to have it a few times before I know that I love it? Does it make you uncomfortable if I use such strong language about the food you just served me?
Probably not, so it’s okay for me to love food that I just met, but not a living, breathing, beautiful person who has my heart all a flutter on a first date?
I was a foster parent a few years back and I remember when I took in my first child. The first night I tucked him in, I wondered if I should say “I love you.” I decided against it because part of me felt like I wouldn’t be telling him the truth. How could I love him when I didn’t even know him? He’d see right through it or think I was trying to replace his mother.
After a few nights I came to my senses and realized he’s a six year old boy and he needs to hear “I love you” from the person who tucks him in at night. So I said it and without hesitation he said it right back. At first I thought I shouldn’t say it because after all, love takes time and I’d need to build up to saying that word. But the truth is, the reason I signed up to be a foster parent is because I love kids, which means I loved him before he even arrived.
So many people say “I love people!”
We say we love football, and massages and chocolate cake, but then need to wait to tell someone special that we love them…why?
To me, saying “I love you” means that I want the best for you and that I value all parts of you, not just the favorable parts. I can feel that for someone right away. That feeling can also grow, just like a sequoia tree. When a sequoia tree is young and small, it’s not anything lesser than a sequoia tree. Same with my love—I love you on the first day and my love continues to grow big and strong the more I get to know you. I get to fall in love with you every day, from the start, instead of waiting for some perfect moment.
So what if we tell someone we love them too soon and they don’t say it back? The dread!
Well, does chocolate cake love us back? No.
Does a newborn baby return our verbal sentiments? No.
That’s not what love is about.
If we think love is about what we get in return, then we don’t know what love is—the truth is that we are pure love and giving it out feels just as good as when it reflects back.
It is why we are here, and we need to stop holding back.
I can see only good coming from telling someone, everyone, that you love them.
Why not just start saying it more often and see what happens?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Lealyn Poponi
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: the dimka at Flickr