Understanding what “I love you” really means by Dr John Demartini, human behaviourist and founder of The Demartini Institute
The three words “I LOVE YOU” can be for some the most challenging words to say – and yet also the most appreciated
Why is saying “I love you” in a relationship such a big deal?
At the core of every human being, we all just want to be loved and appreciated for who we are. So, letting someone know that you love them is one of the most precious gifts you can give.
They’re significant because they when love emerges it means that you have come to appreciate both the positive and negative, good and bad, happy and sad and ups and downs of a relationship.
What does it mean to say, “I love you”?
Many people hold back on sharing their love and appreciation for others because of a fear of rejection. So, these words can really indicate true vulnerability and intimacy between you and your partner.
Every time you care for someone more fully and tell them how much you care, you increase your self-worth. The phrase “I love you” can also mean that you love and appreciate yourself as well.
Why do we place so much importance on these three words?
When love emerges, it means that you have come to appreciate both the positive and negative, good and bad, happy and sad and ups and downs
I often ask my clients what they would do if they were told they only had 24 hours to live. In all, if not most cases, they say they would make sure they used their last hours to say, “Thank you, I love you” to all the people that they feel have contributed towards their lives.
“I love you” is a phrase that is universally seen as important and significant to any relationship, romantic or otherwise. It’s a way to share your appreciation for someone and the truth of your heart.
Love is our ultimate objective, whether we’re aware of it or not
We may think we’re looking for something else, something material and fleeting, but even the pursuit of transient goals just leads us back to the truth of love. The purpose of all relationships is to dissolve the barriers that keep us from recognising the love that already is and expressing the love we ultimately are.
How else can we express how we feel if not by saying, “I love you”?
We can express our love for our partner by helping them fulfil what is most important to them and what they value most. It shows that we listen to them and understand what they desire and what is most meaningful to them. Taking the time to find out what is important to them, linking your values to what they love and communicating their values, can bring you both fulfilment and appreciation for each other.
Other ways you can express your love is by showing gratitude
Here are some ways you can show gratitude:
Say “Thank you”
You can do this by saying ‘thank you’. There is no limit to how many times you can thank a person, and while they seem like two simple words, their meaning is universal and their effects can be profound.
Write a thank you note
Write them a thank you note and let your message come to you in the moment – there is no need for the words to make sense to anyone else but the person it is intended for.
A smile can be contagious if it comes from the heart and can tell a person much more than what words can say.
Give a gift that counts
The power of a gift is ultimately the thought that goes into it. Take the time to really look at who the gift is intended for and what they value most in life. Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated for who they are. If you give a gift that really speaks to their values – it’s likely to be remembered forever.
If you’re still struggling to overcome the fear of saying “I love you” I suggest the following:
- Write down 25 benefits to you of your sharing the words ‘I love you’ with the person you wish to share your heart with, and then also write down 25 drawbacks to you of not sharing the words ‘I love you’ with them. whenever we see more benefits than drawbacks in an outcome, we take action.
- Write down all the things you fear may occur if you say ‘I love you’ and then take each item you listed and ask how it will benefit you if it occurs. Every situation has a balance of support and challenge and no matter what happens you will always experience both sides.
- Write down 25 benefits to the person hearing you say you love them and 25 drawbacks for that person if you do not tell them. When you perceive more benefits to them of hearing the truth of your heart you will feel inspired to tell them you love them.
Are there other ways of understanding how somebody feels – without hearing them say, “I love you” and how can we recognise these signs?
Love involves embracing who each of you is and what each of you brings to the relationship: two distinct perceptions and ways of thinking and feeling about the world.
This is what I call the love dance, where both partners learn to enjoy all parts of themselves and of one another. When you love people for who they are, they turn into who you love.
Love comes when you realise that the purpose of a relationship is not only romance, joy, support and so-called happiness; it is also equally about learning, challenge, growth and personal evolution.
A fulfilling relationship requires concentration, organisation, effort, and skill
There’s serious work in keeping and developing any connection with others, whether it’s personal or professional. Anytime you don’t put action and energy into your relationships, they automatically undergo entropy and decay. So your desire to be close to your partner, physically and intellectually, and to understand their values can bring you closer to love.
To access Dr Demartini’s teachings, visit www.drdemartini.com