Wednesday Wisdom: TO LOVE OR NOT TO LOVE?

Today I officially moved out of my apartment; I handed in my keys to the “landlord” and *poof!* done! The apartment itself was nice and I met some of the best people and best friends I have had in a long time; I also have quite a few memories in that place (that I can no longer access!) … but the “neighbors” in the apartment upstairs were absolutely awful (it was an old house made into “apartments” – the only division between apartments was a large wooden wall installed between the front entrance and the front room – the building itself was never modified for apartments) and given the circumstances of the tenants there, I do not think they will be leaving anytime soon. At any rate, I tried to pay a visit to a neighbor outside the building who wasn’t answering and so I called another “town friend” while I waited. At the end of every conversation with both of these individuals, they always say “I love you” – a phrase I struggle to articulate even in the most “lovey dovey” of circumstances.

This got me to thinking – despite my conviction that things should not be said if they are not meant, what is the impact of not being told “I love you too” to friends who tell you they love you? I genuinely believe that the phrase “I love you” is overutilized in general, especially between family members who aren’t necessarily fond of each other or between “romantic partners” who don’t really mean what they are saying when they say it. Furthermore, I hold the very “post-structural” conviction that the repetition of a word or phrase tends to render it less meaningful over time. However, if the person with whom you are speaking is a friend, is there really any harm in telling him or her “I love you!” even if you don’t really mean it? As I have mentioned here before, you never really know what other people are going through; even if people seem to be perfectly happy and content in their lives, you can never really know if they are lonely or sad or what their underlying mental “condition” might be.

Given all of these things together, I have come up with this “Wednesday Wisdom” – if you have made friends with people and have been there for them in tough times, it doesn’t really hurt anyone – yourself included – just to say “I love you” back. It might seem kind of goofy that this is a “tough pill for me to swallow,” but if I put myself in the shoes of the other person, even in a “happy” place, if I were to say “I love you” to someone and not be told “I love you” back, I would feel hurt. Even saying “you too!” instead of “I love you” doesn’t really do the trick. So perhaps it is best just to say “I love you!” to the friend who has been there for you or reached out to you when you had no one else there. Even if you don’t necessarily “love” that person, you might be making his or her day by just saying those three little words.

With that, I will end this post! *And the crowds cheer for a fairly succinct post!* Thank you very much for taking the time to read this! I hope you are all having a wonderful day and a happy and healthy day wherever you are in the world!

❤ Always (or, as I will now say back to my friends, “I love you!”), Beth


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