The M Word

I LOVE YOU! vs. ‘luv you…

How often do you say, “I love you?” Who do you say it to? Do you find yourself using the safer, more superficial version, “love u,” instead? Or is it reserved for just family and intimate relationships?

More recently, I have become aware of how often I receive a simple “love u” from friends and family. I used to say “love u,” too, until I realized it didn’t have the same meaning and it wasn’t how I truly felt. That’s probably why I started noticing how often I hear “love u” from those close to me. On the rare occasions when I do get an “I love you,” I notice it feels better. It feels real and the energy behind it is much different. 

I’m not saying that people who say “love u” don’t really care about you. Of course, they do, but there is a protective barrier that surrounds the use of those two words. It’s not the same as saying “I love you,” and it doesn’t embody the depth or meaning of what love is. It’s superficial and casual. You can say it to anyone, really, because it’s safe, it’s disconnected.

We do so many interesting things and we are so manipulative when trying to protect ourselves. We seem to fight off love, depriving ourselves of it and others of receiving it. It is almost funny how much we put ourselves through so we don’t get hurt or disappointed. There is an abundance of love in this world, though, and the only way to receive it is by not trying to control it. We spend so much time in protection-mode or fearing what might happen if we open ourselves up, but wouldn’t it be a lot less painful to just put ourselves out there and take a chance? You’d think I’m just writing about intimate relationships, but I’m not. I’m writing about all the many different relationships we have.

Try saying “I love you” without expectations or strings attached. Say it for the sake of saying it and let go of disappointment if you don’t get the response you were hoping for. Love is free, it doesn’t cost anything and the more love you give, the more love you receive. That’s freedom, loving without worrying about the return on investment.

I’m not here to play it safe, and I don’t think anyone really is. We just get stuck in our comfort zones. Besides, safe is boring and we all need love and connection. The next time you find yourself saying, “love u,” think about if you really mean, “I love you.” If you do, don’t be afraid to say it!


Shannon Rooney
Spiritual Life Coach

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