When I was younger, one of my friends came from a family which had no hesitation in saying, “I love you” to each other. It was interesting to spend time with them and very quickly I noticed a sort of panic about their reassurance of love. It wasn’t creepy or anything like that. When one person left to go somewhere such as to the shops or out for the day, the others would yell out, “love you!” but I started to see the compulsion in this expression. Perhaps they worried that it might be the last time they would ever see each other, which is a valid thing to worry about. Maybe one person in the family had started this habit and it had filtered through to everyone else. Maybe they worried that something bad might happen if they didn’t say it and they would forever be haunted by their omission of words. It was sweet but sometimes it seemed a bit forced or like the words lost their meaning from being overused. Can we overuse those words?
My family knows I love them, well most of them. I know most of them love me too. When I know I wont see one of them for some time I usually tell them I love them. The same goes for when someone I love is going through a tough time. I’m better at writing “I love you” in a card or a text than I am at saying it to someone’s face, I’m sure I’m not the only one.
I feel conflicted over saying, “I love you” in other circumstances. I worry that if I say it out of the blue, the people who love me will worry that I am planning to die or disappear. Actually, during the times I have tried to die or disappear, I haven’t gone out of my way to express love beyond suicide letters or strange texts.
I also worry that if I say, “I love you” and something terrible happens, I will have created that somehow. I don’t mean like a curse, I mean I might have created some sort of perfect goodbye scenario which tempts the universe into causing disaster.