The Value of Love

One argument that I’ve always had a hard time picking a side on was whether or not one should be highly reserved in the use of the phrase “I love you.”

There are those out there who believe that over-using the phrase, or using it before one is absolutely sure of its truth, cheapens the phrase, the word “love”, and perhaps even love itself.

But I was always uncomfortable with trying to figure out where exactly that line was. At what “level” of love was it okay to admit that it is what you are feeling? I love a number of my friends as if they were family; is it okay to tell them I love them? When I’ve met someone who tickles my fancy, and I’m feeling those first stages of lust, I may also be developing a friendship with that person, and find myself loving them as I do my friends – is it safe to tell them that I love them?

I’ve found that, recently, I’ve stopped worrying about it. If I love someone, romantically or not, I simply tell them. It catches a few people off guard, but for the most part, I find that it is well-received, and that my friends are grateful for the permission to let me know that they love me, as well.

I think part of my decision to take this route is due to seeing the reservation of the phrase “I love you” as being similar to a company making a “limited edition” item. It can be sold for more, and is therefore seen as worth more, simply because there are less of the item. Only a few people can have the item, usually those who can afford it. When people reserve the phrase “I love you,” they’re attempting to make it worth more, and attempting to prove its value by only giving it out to people who have made an acceptable level of emotional investment.

But, people, LOVE IS OF INFINITE VALUE. It isn’t worth more or less based on how often you tell someone you are feeling it. You’re not going to run out of love to give, because there isn’t a limited amount of love to give. You can keep on loving your whole life, telling people you love them every day, and really, truly loving those people every day, and that love doesn’t have to run out. You might stop loving someone because of certain events, but there is no cookie jar of love that you will eventually scrape bottom on.

And we shouldn’t feel that the love expressed by people who express it often is cheap. Yes, there are some people who use the word “love” insincerely, to get something they want or reassure someone and spare feelings, but who are you to decide that the love of someone who loves many is somehow worth less than yours? Simply because yours is “limited edition” love? Please.

Love is not a commodity. You can’t commercialize it. So, love, and tell people you’re doing it.

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