This post originally appeared here on Illumination.

Excuse Me, Did You Say You Love Me?

Love is a universal topic, and it’s damn complicated.

I don’t understand why people would take something so straightforward and turn it into an illogical, nonsensical labyrinth. After all, love is love, right? It’s an expression we used to let someone know we care for them. Even if it’s not true, we can easily leave it like that.

But no, we didn’t. There are all sorts of hidden agendas behind these 3 simple words. I’ve heard it all and way too often.

I love you, because of how I feel now until I change my mind.

I love you because it’s convenient until I get what I want.

I love you, as long as you do what I say.

I love you, and you ought to feel lucky because I do.

This is all-inclusive, I’m not referring only to romantic relationships but also familial love and friendship. After a while, everything loses its meaning. There is no more depth, no honesty, no sincerity, no shit. Everything flies out of the window and all that’s left are those 3 empty words: I love you.

I can never understand the concept of love gone cold. What does that even mean? Love can only happen within one person’s heart. It involves one person.



Photo by Ithalu Dominguez from Pexels

From the beginning of time, we accept love to be unconditional. There are no strings attached, and there are no obligations. We love it because that’s our nature. The source is love in its purest form, and we are an extension of that. We don’t love because we want to get something out of the other person. We love it because it’s what we can offer from our internal fuel tank.

Perhaps that’s why they say love is blind. If we are without sight, we could probably love better.

Some of us get lemons, but some of us get shit. Either way, that should not affect the love we have for another. I’m angry with you, but I’ll still love you. I don’t agree with you, but I’ll still love you because what happens on the outside does not affect what is available on the inside.

You don’t tell your kids you love them as long as they are obedient. Children can be naughty, but love is unconditional. You don’t tell your partner you’ll love them if they keep themselves clean. What if they messed up? When stuff happens, and sometimes it will, you continue to love them even when you disapprove of what they do.

I can never understand the concept of love gone cold. What does that even mean? Love can only happen within one person’s heart. It involves one person. That means whether or not you love me back, this is how I feel about you. I love you and that has nothing to do with you. It’s completely my free will. My choice. That is taking place within me.

When the motive of love is due to exchange, it becomes conditional.



Photo by Ithalu Dominguez from Pexels

The complication does not happen later in the relationship. The complication starts right there at the beginning when you define love. What do you mean when you tell someone I love you? Is that an expression purely from your heart? Does it have anything attached to it?

I love you because you’re cute. What happens when he’s no longer cute?

I love you because you make me feel special. What happens when he stops making you feel special?

When the motive of love is due to exchange, it becomes conditional. This is where the force of love which is as strong as death becomes flimsy and frail. This is when it’s easily overlooked, ignored, and put on the back burner.

I don’t get disappointed in love. I get disappointed in the people who told me they love me. It is obvious they do not know the difference between love and emotions when they profess their love. A bunch of confused, ecstatic people.

Emotions are fleeting. You can ride the roller coaster for however long you desire, eventually you would have to get off. Then you’re left to deal with the effects on your brain and body. Those come in various forms — extreme stress, trauma, brain injury, phobia, blackouts, only to name a few.

Original Photo by Natalie from Pexels

When love becomes an exchange, it loses its value. We cross the line of unconditional love when we expect to receive something in return for the love we can offer freely.

It is not love when it’s demanded to last till death do us part. It’s not loving when you can’t be yourself in his absence. Certainly, it's not love if you can easily withdraw it in a heartbeat because of external reasons. While it’s nice to receive gestures of love and affection, those are not a replacement for the real thing.

I learned that I have carelessly traded my sacred energy with the wrong people and allowed them to destroy me, simply because I did not understand what love truly means.

But we all grow, don’t we? Through experiences, we learn and we get better. I was as hurt and as damaged as I allowed myself to be. Treading on dangerous ground once or twice was a mistake and a lesson to learn. If I constantly return to the same place, again and again, there are no more lessons to learn, there is only self-destruction.

If I tell you 'I love you', I mean it every time. There is no give and take. I’m giving it. Period. Is that even possible? Of course. It saves me a lot of heartache and disappointment because when I have premeditated unrealistic expectations, it causes resentments.

Just because I’m giving freely does not entitle you to hijack it for selfish motives. When you do, it becomes fatal because you’re taking part in a murder. I’ve come to realize how freeing love truly can be. To love and to be in love. That’s all there is. I hope you see it the next time you tell me you love me.

I count it my privilege to let you that know I love you.

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