Let’s Talk About The L-word
No, not loser or lemons. But LOVE.
I have a confession. I’m a bit uncomfortable with the L-word, especially when it’s joined by two others to make the ultimate three-word sentence – I LOVE YOU.
I’m totally OK with the emotion, I’m lucky enough to have gorgeous people in my life who I care for hugely, but I have always struggled to say it out loud to anyone other than my husband and my children.
And, until recently, this was fine, I simply expressed my love for people in different ways. In the last few weeks though, I’ve become aware of my awkwardness around it. This was prompted by three people (not my husband or children) saying “I love you”, provoking a weird self-consciousness and inability to reciprocate.
So, how important is it to say “I love you”?
Well, I guess it depends on your perspective.
Gary Chapman, in “The 5 Love Languages”, describes how each of us has a personal preference when it comes to expressing our love. The two of most relevance here are “Words of Affirmation” and “Quality Time”.
My family never really said the L-word, instead expressing the emotion through the things we did and the time we spent together.
By contrast, my husband and his family definitely prefer to express their emotion in words – my mum-in-law was one of the three people who told me they loved me recently.
It’s clear to me that I prefer to show my love through Chapman’s “Quality Time” – the saying, “actions speak louder than words” definitely resonates. And I am pretty sure that my discomfort about saying the words out loud has something to do with protecting myself. Somehow verbalising the emotion makes me feel incredibly vulnerable.
Thinking about it though, it seems a bit crazy. Especially right now, after a tough few months for family Postans, which led to so many offers of help and support from the many brilliant people in our lives.
Overwhelmed by offers of help…
I have honestly been overwhelmed by the love shown by friends and family around the country, from hugs, to offers to cook meals and clean the house, to turning out in the middle of the night when I had to get to the hospital quick sharp, to the actual words “I love you”.
All of these show love and I am incredibly grateful for them, even if saying the words out loud still makes me feel self-conscious and awkward.
I understand it’s important to show love in the way that fits the recipient best. So, to the three people who said it, I love each of you. And to the others who showed their love in different ways, I love you too.
I promise to continue working on my ability to say it out loud in 2019!