I had a married couple come in to see me to work on communication. I asked the woman when she knew her husband was the right person. She replied, “As soon as I met him.” I asked the same question of the husband. His response was, “When I realized that she would be a good mother and wife.” The woman began to tear up immediately, probably, because she realized that her desire to marry her husband had much more to do with passionate love than his. In fact, she told me that to get him to say he loved her, she would always have to say the words first.
My question is: How hard is it to say I love you?
The answer would be hidden in your idea of what love is and the expectations it brings. Many people, especially those who have been brought up in the kinds of churches where the term love was often used in statements such as… “I love you, brother.” Or “I love you in Christ, Sister,” are more apt to believe that love is the state of relationship we are meant to be in with one another as a result of spiritual commitment and belief. Those who are not of a spiritual ilk may take the words more seriously, especially, when they concern intimate relationships. I have noticed in the past, that people who are avoidantly attached have much difficulty in saying the words “I love you,” mostly because it means commitment and attaching to someone securely, which is out of the paradigm of avoidant behavior.
Men and women exist, however, who simply have trouble using the word love in relationships because they are afraid of hurt. If they open their hearts to love, then the unavoidable pain that comes with love will cover their much-protected lives with grief. Let me just get all of you avoidant men and women off the hook. When you say, “I love you,” you can qualify what you mean. You can say, “I love being with you, sharing with you, having intimacy with you, or laughing with you.” You don’t have to say the word and immediately attach it to longevity and marriage. Let’s face it, love is a state of mind for most people. The ones who think that love means marriage, obviously have NOT been in love too many times in their life.
If you’re like me, then you know that you can fall in and out of the “feeling” of love many times in a lifetimes without losing your life or even much energy. Sometimes, love just wanes and you move on. Other times, a painful breakup occurs, and that’s never too fun. But, would you rather that your life be bereft of love and intimacy or open your heart to someone to see if the relationship works out?
Some people think I have been way too vulnerable over the years with relationships. That may be true. But I don’t regret my life or experiencing the different kinds of love that has come my way. I understand now, more than ever, that love simply accompanies commitment. Commitment is the more important of the two feelings. Security comes with a sense of trust and commitment, not with the feeling of love. Some may attribute security and trust with the word love, but most simply rely on the feeling alone. With that being said, let’s say “I love you” more often and retreat from committing too early in relationships that have no basis for security. I love you gives us all a feeling of deep caring and joy, especially those who have been insecurely attached at childhood and are anxious in human relationships. Saying what you feel is a an authentic and wonderful attribute in anyone.
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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com. Please feel free to comment and/or sign up to receive your blog sent to you directly or stream with an RSS Feed.
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