Love is possibly the most ambiguous word we use on a day to day basis. We can love our family and our pets, but the definition of love is not set in stone. Needles to say there are many different types of love.
As a new relationship reaches maturity the “I love you” is mostly said in passing. We forget what the word even meant in the first place. So why say it?
Have you ever heard your partner mutter “you don’t say I love you anymore”. In translation he/she is saying “I don’t feel loved”. In order to feel loved we need to actively show it. And you know as well as I do that the ability to show love is subjective. It deeply depends on what you or your partner value in terms of receiving love.
Gary Chapman is an author of the famous book The Five Love Languages. He simplifies love into affectionate languages we show in romantic relationships. The five languages consists of words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.
We may value different practices over others. And it’s our job as caring partners to understand what our significant other needs. We should also recognize that our love language may not be the same as our partners (no matter how compatible you are). We must compensate and be aware of our partners needs. If you’re not sure what type of affection you value in a relationship I recommend taking Chapman’s personalized quiz.
I’m not advocating that we should be the person we were at the beginning of the relationship. The honeymoon stage can only last so long. I’m saying that we should be consciously aware of what love is.
Saying I love you is nice, but it doesn’t keep a relationship together. It doesn’t effectively solve arguments or issues. The word Love is so ambiguous that our interpretation of it may be dead wrong. We say this term so much, but we don’t know what it means. We have books, research, and people dedicated to understanding how to show love. Let’s stop saying I love you, and actually show it.