When to say, “I love you” in American Culture? – Part Three

Difficulty: High Intermediate to Advanced

Finally, the last chapter of this blog! Without much ado, let’s begin the discussion. In our first blog post, we spoke about common circumstances where the phrase was used. In the blog following that one, we chatted on a few example scenarios of when the phrase could be used. Today, we will divulge into my personal experiences with the phrase, “I love you.”

Circumstances of use often boil down to how and where a person was raised. I was born in the southern part of the USA to a moderately affectionate family. So, my results will vary from others – this is my personal story.

The most common places where I heard the phrase was at home, but I have noticed that as I’ve gotten older, I hear it a lot less. There are numerous factors of why this could happen including personality types of parents and siblings, life circumstances, family breakups, etc. Nonetheless, that is where I have heard and still hear the phrase spoken the most.

The second most common occurrence of the phrase happens among my close friends. I either speak it, or someone says it to me, but only during times of comfort. If one of us narrates a difficult life issue, a way to comfort the mourner is to say, “Aww, I love you.” Ha! It’s not difficult to sometimes convince yourself that the entire world has fallen apart – that you will be the next victim of the fall. So, a quick “I love you” from a reassuring friend stands as a reminder that someone in the world understands your frustrations. It’s one of the best phrases to calm a pity party.

I believe the third most common circumstance I have heard this phrase spoken to me is among people in communities, such as my local church. I’m not very familiar with synagogue or mosques, but I do know in church (perhaps this depends on the church), I often hear “I love you” among fellow attendees. As within many communities, not every person will speak as genuine or as sincere as one would hope; so, I never weigh the phrase as heavily within these communities as I do among close family and friends.

Ah, then there are the times I have heard the phrase spoken by past boyfriends. The attention of lovers can be so fickle unless you meet the right person, so I can’t say I have ever heard a genuine, “I love you” from past boyfriends. Most of them ‘loved me’ when the relationship was ‘fresh’ and ‘hot,’ but after a while, they lost their ‘tingles’ – and begin to feel that something was wrong with the relationship. A lack of constant goose bumps and butterflies means doom for some people. Ugh, may people like that always go away! Once you marry, those relationships will probably end in divorce since the partner never learned to settle down. ESL buddies, none of you need that type of ridiculousness – move forward and find someone mature!

Okay, the last circumstance where I have heard the phrase (in my own personal experiences – not TV, etc.), has been among mentally challenged people. Yes, I hate to say it, but I have met random people on the street who have come up to me and explained how much they loved me. When I was younger, I thought it was sweet; but now, I think it is creepy, so I smile and walk away. Sometimes I say, “I love you” back, but it’s only because I don’t want to be rude.

My friends, this concludes our blog topic. I hope you have enjoyed it. Have an awesome day, and keep on loving!

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