‘I love you’ from a child is love uncontested and so quickly recovered despite any misdeeds. Have you ever known a child to not forgive easily and in the sweetest voice extend their love?
As teenagers those words are highly cherished by their parents as they are rare and infrequent, for to admit such gushiness to your parents is difficult, yet how frequently they need to hear it from the parents. A simple ‘I love you’ to a teen promises security and reassurance of their value.
As we separate from family love to romantic love between a man and a woman I marvel at its growth. It transitions from the pressure to state the words to reassure the one you are with of your affections—wadding in shallow water—to one sided relationships that often leave one floundering in deep water. We test our confidence, which fortunately grows through time as we venture into uncharted waters of love and love lost.
When true love enters our life, we are stronger for having steered our course through many oceans. Our first connection starts with sparks and rapidly beating hearts. The next few steps are shaky and filled with uncertainty. Will he call again? Does she care? Does he think I’m beautiful? Does she only like me for my car? Once past our insecurities something special happens—twitterpation. After that first stride to reveal ones new founded love, the couple is connected at the hip and all other relationships and sometimes commitments are put to the side. Eyes light up, kisses are exchanged and those pesky butterflies dance through the night.
Though time—which cannot be defined, for one couple a few dates for others years—you reach a point when love has grown from simple desire to unselfishness and a wish to remain together forever. Weddings are planned and knots are tied. The ‘I love you’ exchanged at this point is pure and deep. It has moved beyond requirements to unbidden expression of deep affection.
Yet we reach a point when those little words aren’t exchanged as often. When first engaged and then through the honeymoon years it is repeated multiple times during the day—when leaving, chatting on the phone, texting, meeting again and often through the night. Then life rolls on, kids come and the ‘I love you’ occasions wane.
In choosing my first Love Letter I knew it had to be I love you. Its importance hasn’t dwindled; rather its necessity has grown. It can’t conquer our problems, yet if we dig deeply within ourselves and identify its true source with our spouse, saying it out loud again only renew and strengthen the relationship. Let the strength of these powerful words bring newness to your marriage—bring back the spark and butterflies or at least the warmth within from sharing such sweet words.