Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dating: The L Word

Last week Cousin and I sat down for dinner at my grandparents house.
Right before we began to eat, my God Son exclaimed "I love you mommy!".
Those four simple words triggered a huge discussion to explode across the dinner table.
...and by explode I mean my family is very, very loud...

See, we totally L-WORD each other :) :)
Growing up my parents never said I love you to me or Brother.
Cousin never heard it from her mother nor did we ever hear it from our grandparents.
Don't get me wrong, I know that we all love each other, but it's something that we never say.
We express our love with actions, but never actually say the words.
Besides, showing someone you love means way more, right???

That being said, we developed a slight fear of the word "love" itself.
My ex and I would refer to it as the "l-word" and it still made me uncomfortable.
This is going somewhere...I swear I'm not trying to spill a therapy session on you guys!! 

My cousin decided to end this cold hearted tradition by enforcing the L word into her son.
Now they say "I love you" every morning when they wake up and at night before bed time.
Super cute, but it still makes me wrinkle my nose in awkwardness.  Just sayin!!

This got us thinking.
Are we weird because we don't use the word "love"?
Is this effecting our current or future relationships?
Does everyone else in the world say I love you to friends and family?
...so many questions left unanswered!

Papa thinks it makes us soft and is just unnecessary to say.
Nanny thinks that she shows it way better than she is at telling it.
My cousin thinks we've been mentally scarred for life.
I think that it's meaningless.  Anyone can say anything, but people can only act the truth.
...and this is where you all come in...

Do you use the words "I love you" or do you just show it?

75 comments:

  1. So true, anyone can say it but to actually prove it, show it and mean it is a much harder thing to do and more satisfying too. Do I say it? Nope. Do I cringe at it? nope.

    So well it doesn't have to be said the fact that you cringe at it makes me agree with your cousin, you are mentally scarred for life hahahaha

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    1. Well put, Pat! I like actions more than words. Anyone can say anything that they want, but it doesn't make it true. "I have 4 pigs in my backyard?" "Oh yea? Well, prove it!" lol

      I don't cringe at in that way!!! LMAO It's just awkward to say/hear!! I'm not damaged, cat!!! ...and how dare you agree with my Cousin over me? I'll just have to catch her hand in the window. LOL

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    2. what? Cat, you don't even say it to your Viking Mistress?

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    3. Word is the cat has more important and naughty things to say to the viking woman. Besides, did you really picture the cat as a romantic??? lol

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    4. I always picture him as Pepe le Phew :)

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    5. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth after reading what Jax wrote about their pillow talk...nasty!

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    6. LOL...Sorry, Elsie. I didn't mean that have effect :) lol

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    7. Lol blabber you help the cat even without trying. Nice job. Poor one eye.

      Just dont blame the window on me

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    8. I blame it all on you cat... :)

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  2. Well, of course, showing is more important than saying, because people can say anything they want. It's much harder to have sincerity in your actions.

    But, gosh, for me, there is nothing sweeter to hear from someone I love, than that they they love me, too. Or, what really makes me melt, to get a note or letter saying they love me. I eat that stuff up!

    Saying and showing...both are important for me.

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    1. I just realized my "of course" in the first line might sound snarky, which isn't how I mean it. I meant "I agree" :)

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    2. I didn't take it snarky at all!! No worries :)

      Some people like to hear it and others don't like it at all. We're all different! I really do think it all stems from how you are raised and what your family members said to you. My parents never hugged or kissed nor did they do that to us. Now I'm one of those girls that doesn't like to cuddle... LOL

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    3. Your lack of wanting to cuddle is probably very appealing to many men, since it doesnt seem to be their favorite thing, either :)

      My family wasnt expressive, either, so I guess I'm a rebel ;) Although I would have to say that I am not too comfortable with being touched, probably due to my upbringing, unless it it is with a boyfriend, then I like it lots :) Love cuddling!

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    4. Your lack of wanting to cuddle is probably very appealing to many men, since it doesnt seem to be their favorite thing, either :)

      My family wasnt expressive, either, so I guess I'm a rebel ;) Although I would have to say that I am not too comfortable with being touched, probably due to my upbringing, unless it it is with a boyfriend, then I like it lots :) Love cuddling!

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    5. Oh, being a rebel is always a good thing!!! Do you, girl!! :)

      I can understand where you are coming from. I remember your story about living in Honduras. That would make me guarded with that sort of thing as well. At least you don't let it effect your personal relationships. :)

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  3. I've never heard I LOVE YOU from my family either.
    I do use it a lot with my friends, especially with my best friend who hates it, but he knows he will still hear it from me, no matter what he says LOL :)

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    1. Aww, do you do it to tease him or because you feel the need to express it? I tease my brother and will scream LOVE YOU BROTHER just to embarass him. I also feel the need to tell my best friend (Biff) how much I love him. But, I think that's more of me teasing him too...Hmm, this is so deep of a discussion!!

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    2. no, not teasing, I have an urge and need to say it :) I'm like that. He's embarrassed by it, but methinks he loves it and enjoys it secretly. Who wouldn't?

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    3. Oh, he loves and totally enjoys it!!! I'm sure a few more times and he'll get over the embarassment :)

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  4. My mom said it every night to my sister and I before bed. Dad was just a silent observer, but we knew he was "in on it" too.

    Likewise, I kiss my teenage daughters and tell them the same every night.

    This being said, I shy'd away from it with non blood relationships.

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    1. So you continued with the tradition that your mother set forth. I really do think the fear of or an individual's take one on the l-word all derives from their family. :)

      I thought the opposite would be more popular. I thought people would be more inclined to tell friends they love them than their family. Interesting!!

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  5. As an Indian, this is one of forbidden words in our culture. The movies and stories in India kinda ruined that as well. They use this L word so often that the meaning doesnt exist at all now. And if you watch bollywood movies this word is patented only between two unmarried juvenile college kids. No one else is supposed to use that word.
    And my parents, friends, noone had never used that either, we dont hug or kiss either.
    But me and my kids say that all the time. And we know the meaning and we cherish using that word and it works like magic.

    Love you Jax :) Love that picture, you and your brother looks like twins and that Italiano nose, I am loving it :)

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    1. Really? I had no idea about that with the Indian culture. You taught me something new!!!

      My family doesn't really hug or kiss either. Unless we are all formally getting together, then we'll kiss on the check. Well, it's more like I "cheek" them. We hit our cheeks togheter... LMAO

      Ohh, you l-word meee?? eep!! hahahaha Yes, Brother and I look very much alike. All 3 of us have been blessed with that nose!! LOL Our parents have it too. My baby cousin is the only one with a bit of Irish in her. Can't you tell?? lol

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  6. Enter in the kill joy LOL For those looking for lightheartedness skip this:

    Jax, I used to think the same exact way as you. It might be a NY way of mind. Actions not words kind of things. And, to be honest, I'm still like that in most ways. SHOW me you love by doing XY or Z but now I don't take hearing the words "I love you" for granted anymore. When Senior, my first husband, was leaving the house on Christmas night long ago, I was on the phone and didn't want him interrupting me; he was trying to tell me he was going out on his motorcycle for a ride. We never said "I love you" on a regular basis it was just assumed we knew it. My last words to him were "Alright, Senior!!" He never came back. He was killed that night on the motorcycle.

    Now, no one in our house leaves without saying "I love you" and even if my current husband and I are in a fight we say "I love you" before we go to sleep. We know that we all love each other; it's a given because we're family - kids, spouses, but I don't ever want my last words to someone not to be "I love you".

    I know, my situation is unique and one in a thousand but it taught me the value of saying the word love and letting those you love know it.

    Sorry this is such a serious comment....I know you like to keep things light on here...I just wanted to share this - delete if needed - no worries home girl!!

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    1. Oh, Elsie!! You're 100% right about everything that you just said. I don't try to keep my blog light hearted, that's just the way it so happens to be :) Never fear about posting any comment here. As long as people aren't disrespectful to one another, all is good!

      Looks like it's a group decision that it should be said as well as expressed. Maybe I'll try telling my little stinky butt god baby that I love him to bits!! See, even that made me cringe!! I'll just keep repeating the word over and over and over again... :)

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    2. Okay, good, I didn't want to be a "bummer" LOL

      Yeah, try that L word on and see how it fits =)

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    3. You could never be a bummer!! I'll try it out. My little mush mush loves hearing it :) If not, then I'll practice on the fish... hahahaha

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  7. @Elsie,
    That was so sweet and so appropriate. Damn dame, I l-word reading your post and comments. You have way with words.

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    1. She's pretty amazing, ain't she?? :)

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    2. Aw shucks you two - you're both far to kind....

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  8. We show it and say it. :) I'm a verbal person, so a simple sentence of appreciation from my husband can make my day. I think it really just depends on the person/family.

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    1. Showing it and saying it seems to be the lead answer here. If it's making you feel good,then you must be doing something right :)

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  9. I grew up in a house where not only was it never said, but it was rarely expressed. So I make it a point to show my friends, and tell them often, that I love them. I truly believe actions are better than words, but words do help.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You grew up in a home with never said it, so do you feel like it was missing from your childhood? That's great that you ending up embracing it instead of shying away from it. It's funny how different people react to similar situations.

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  10. my family rarely, if ever, says it. And when we do (or when I do at least), it feels weird to say.

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    1. Right?? I mean, it's nice to say and I'm sure it should be said, but it just feels awkward!!

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  11. My parents and family are like that - it's unsaid but demonstrated in everything that we do. As we've gotten older, my parents have gotten a lot better about it, but it's still not a regular thing. We don't mind... because we know

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    1. I know that my family loves me too, even though they never said it. It's funny because the only times that they said were at 3 very dramatic points in our life. It was nice to hear considering the intensity of the moment, but even then it was awkward. It was almost like "I know that you love me so why are you saying it?"

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  12. My parents did the same thing as your cousin. I grew up hearing it and saying it. My dad is one of the toughest harshest people I know, but he's not afraid to say the word "love".

    I think if you love someone its nice to be able to say it. Prove it with your actions then say it out loud. Its very nice when you don't feel the need to shy away from a word. Obviously actions are more important then words but words are nice to hear too. Its like the full effect! Do the actions and then follow them up with words.

    Yeah I think your whole family is scarred.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I guess you are all right. It's great when it's shown, but it being said is even better. Almost like the cherry on top of the sundae if you will?

      My family is scarred??? LOL It's possible!! I also think culture takes part in it. My Italian friends agreed with us that it's just something that's not said. I love you is when your mom makes you a nice big bowl of pasta when she could have been sleeping in ;)

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  13. I don't think very many people actually say it to each other. There are a lot of people that would take it the wrong way, and if you told them you loved them, they'd think you were weird, or being too "clingy", or being over dramatic and all that razmatazz.

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    1. Ohh, so Jimmy is on team Jax??? About time someone picked my side!! lol I think it's all about the actions, but others could be right too. It couldn't hurt to verbally remind people we love once in a while :) Maybe my cousin in on to something!

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  14. Actions do say things but the spoken word needs to be said and heard. Being and emotional cripple is not just by you or your family but is shared by many people. Perhaps you need it said to you by someone that loves you and them look you in the eyes. It's very natural. That's just my opinion.

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    1. An emotional cripple? So you think that it's that serious...

      My cousin went on and on about how dysfunctional we are, but I disagree. We are all happy and we all know that we love each other, we just never say it.

      I'm going to practice with my god son. Maybe I could get the awkwardness out of the word. I'm less awkward saying awkward words in public than I am saying the word "love". Hmmm

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    2. Hahahaha, I don't know if it's all that but how about just having someone whisper it in your ear to try it on.

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    3. Whisper it in my ear????? Oh my...I think I would just giggle awkwardly...

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  15. WOW, I can't believe so many people grew up without hearing the words I Love You. I honestly thought I was the only one. My mother has never spoken those words to me, and I harbor a deep resentment towards her for that. I have sat on my therapist's couch many, many hours talking about how that makes me feel. I NEVAH want me children to feel unloved so I say those words to them all the time, and show them love by my actions.

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    1. You harbor resentment? If she showed you that she loved you would you still resent her? You sound like an awesome mom! Maybe it's the generational gaps. One generation says it and then the other doesn't. Interesting!

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  16. It's pretty sad when you see kids or grown-ups get choked up if their parent says "im proud of you" or "i love you". If you say something too often then it loses it's credibility; but if you wait too long to say "i love you" it becomes akward to say it. Everyone should be verbal about their emotions and issues that is how you start progressing

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    1. That's a valid point that no one made yet. If it's said too often, it does lose it's credibility. If you tell every boyfriend "I love you" does it mean the same thing when you actually fall in love with somone? That's another thing...there's a difference between loving someone and LOVING someone. Such a complicated, awkward little word ;) lol

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  17. No Jax you are missing out little one. I love my family and friends and I tell them so. My grandfather never said those words to my father and I saw how it affected him. I enforce love. Nothing wrong with telling the people that are important to you how you feel. When my kids leave I tell them I love them. All throughout the day I tell them. Same thing with my husband. I always say I love you have a good day and stay safe today.
    Is that mushy sentimental stuff? Maybe. But there is never a doubt that even angry I love them.

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    1. Well, I can make a point to saying it, but my family was very adamant at dinner at how they felt about it. They think it's not worth being said. It's funny how much my family loves to yap, but they feel all the words are empty without actions to support them. I love how you and your family express your feelings to each other!! Valid point...there will never be a doubt :)

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  18. Nobody in my family ever used the word. I can't say if it had a negative effect on me or not. But I make sure to always tell my kids how much I love them. I'm big on positive reinforcement so I do my best to always praise them when deserved and be a positive with them as possible.

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    1. So you use at as positive reinforcement? That makes saying "I love you" almost like a reward? These are all very interesting and different takes on the word!

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  19. Saying I LOVE YOU seems like such an obligation. Like a reflex you say when you part from someone. My mother says "Baba Loves You" to her grandchildren but if she said it to me I would give her such a look. Saying the words makes you vulnerable to the other person saying nothing in return - and that is the worst feeling of all.

    Jerry - "You's never said 'I Love You'?"

    George - "Once, to a dog."

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    1. Yes, those words do make you vulnerable! They are 3 very scary words in some situations...other situations it's just plain awkward.

      Love your Seinfeld reference!! :)

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  20. We say I love you in my family a lot. My parents philosophy has always been that you don't know what's going to happen before the next time you see someone, so tell them you love them whenever you leave.

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    1. That's a great philosophy!! I should probably take your family's advice, but it's just so awkward for me! I'd be better off telling a friend first to start ;)

      Delete
  21. I try to show it more than anything, but I've never been good with discussing my own feelings. I've found that even when I feel it, it's hard to say but easy to show, so that when I say it, it seems to actually mean more (since it's a struggle to get those three little words out).

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    1. I agree....it's easier and more real for me to show my feelings than for me to lay them out in words. Sometimes I feel a way for no damn reason! Besides, verbalizing something leads to more questions... It's something I really need to work on :)

      Struggle?? Oh, I hear you!

      Delete
  22. I believe you should both say AND show that you love the people you love. Life is too short to keep your feelings to yourself.

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  23. My dad used his belt to show his love, and he loved us a lot

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  24. I say it a lot...my kids have grown up with it every day. You should break that awkwardness! People need to hear you love them not just see it in action...they need both!

    Love you, Jax.

    lol....

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  25. One of the things that frighten me is the thought of my parents going without them knowing how how much I respect them and the sacrifices they made to make me the man I am today. Sure they should know, but they are not mind readers, and maybe they misread my body language. "If you don't know then I shouldn't have to tell you" is a cheap cop out and never useful at any time.

    Take the guessing out. You only have to do it once and you will not regret it.

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  26. Well, I guess telling doesn't really matter, as you can lie to them when you say it, or you can just show it without ever really saying it.

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  27. I tell my two little ones as well as my wife every day ... but to each their own! :)

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  28. Jax, first of all I would like to say that you are so loved by your readers. It's lovely to see how they respond to your posts and the wonderful comments they leave you.

    About the 'I love you' words. My family are not affectionate at all. When I was growing up in Jamaica I never heard those words. And when I came to the UK, my mum and dad never told us that they loved us either. I think the first time I actually heard 'I love you' was on the TV. So sad :-( Because I didn't grow up with any display of affection, it was hard for me to show my kids affection. I had to literally force myself to tell them that I loved them.

    Thanks for this post. It was very relevant. Have a great weekend. :-)

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  29. interesting question. i say it, and i get it said to me. but i'm no saint in my actions all the time, or maybe even much of the time. it's a really good question of whether saying it affects our actions. i hope not:)

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  30. very interesting. I tell my family I love them all the time and I would probably be pretty lost without that word. especially because me and a certain member of my family have the hardest time communicating properly. When it starts to escalate to a fight, saying "I love you but I can't talk to you right now" helps to directly say that though I care for you, I need a minute.

    Though you're right, love is through action and I don't really have a negative opinion about you NOT saying it... but I just know it's one of my favorite things to have in my vocab when it comes to fam.

    ReplyDelete
  31. i consider myself a very sensitive person... and i always say i love you to family, friends and the bf!! it´s important to back your sayings with actions, of course. but to me is absolutely necessary to express my love with words!!
    :)

    xO Jannine
    http://fashionistArg.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Im like Betsy I say a lot; we said Te quiero mucho but I notice the people is scared so the last time I try dont say a lot; but. Love you a lot Jax lol

    ReplyDelete

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