The Four Letter Word: Love

The “L” word. Exactly how important is it for your partner to say that they love you? Also, how often should one expect it to hear it? When we embark on our dating experience we are not given a handbook. Sure, some might be lucky enough to have a few individuals around to assist them along the way with some words of wisdom but the final decision rests on the individual. Personally, when I become serious with a guy and we have reached the point where love is a part of the relationship I like to hear it not only because it makes my little heart feel good but also because this is a crazy world. People leave out to go to work and never come home. I at least want you to know how I felt about you and you I with no doubts. However, I have been told that I was loved and never actually felt it through the persons actions. Which brings me to the concept that love is not only a four letter word but an action.

With that being said, is it essential when dating someone for an extended period of time that they tell you they love you? What if your partner is afraid to say it first? Some feel as though they loose a sense of control and are submitting to another person when they say those words. Some cannot handle being that emotionally open. I know because I use to be one of those people.

Ladies, do you put a time limit on when you should hear it? If a person never says it, do you stay with them? I have a friend who dated her man for over a year and he never once said the four letter word to her. She would call me upset and hurt not understanding. I asked her “does she think he loved her?” She would say “yes”. I said “why?” She responded “because he shows me. He is always there when I need him and seems devoted to me.” I replied with “maybe he feels he is showing you his love. Isn’t that enough?” She paused for a moment and replied with an honest “No. I need to hear him say it.” I had to agree with her. If I was in her position, I would want to hear it as well. It simply is not enough to guess or assume how a person is feeling these days. Plus, the actions that she considers love could just be standard boyfriend actions for him.

In the same aspect, some people take love to an extreme a’ la’ Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odum and are in love after dating two weeks and married after a month. I don’t want to judge but eff it, that type of love doesn’t seem sincere to me (guess I am judging, oh well). How can you love me when you do not know me? The first few months of dating everyone is on their best behavior. It is only after year or so that people start to let it all hang out even in small doses. What about when I am on my cycle and my moods are less than desirable and I want to lay around the house in my duck pajamas and scarf eating Almond Joys? Will you love me then? Or when I am on the toilet and I am having a “Al Bundy” moment and am in need of a roll of toilet paper? Will you love me enough to bring me one? Sure it sounds brash but I am trying to prove a point.

Love unlike so many of the other four letter words should not be taken lightly. With that being said, if you do love someone then there should be nothing stopping you from showing it and saying it. They compliment each other. Truth be told expressing it with words is just as important as expressing it with actions. Without those three words, how can a person be certain?

Written By: LJ Knight

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  1. One of the best articles from you ever LJ.

    Love is definitely a verb… it is about actions and deeds, not words.

    Sure, it’s great to hear it, but mostly I want to be shown it 😀

  2. When you get a love that’s unquestionable, you have to know you’re blessed. There is a fine line and a particular balance that allows both action and vocally expressing your love important. I’ve been with the same person for the last 18 years and at different times in our relationship one meant more than the other, so I really think it depends on the needs of both partners to hear and having the emotional availability to say to it. For women, I think with both they are generally easy to bend either way but sometimes men have a specific way of showing who and how they love. You should peep that out in the beginning stages of your relationship because I think men tend to be resistant to change in that area of their life. If you know you need your men to show you or tell you they love you in a particular way that they don’t know or don’t want to express, you have to ask yourself is it worth biting the bullet and chalk it up as something you will learn to except or is it a deal breaker. My husband tells me and shows me he loves me all day, everyday which reinforces our relationship beyond measure…I’m definitely blessed! =D

  3. I think most women love to see and hear it. But actions always speak louder!

  4. Every generation dances the same dance singing the same song about how there is no handbook for dating, relationships, marriage, and raising children. There is such a thing. What is lacking is a sense of responsibility of older people and institutions to share ancient truths, to teach them with power, surety and conviction. As a whole Western society has removed the sacred practices of initiations into the mysteries from the family and community structures, and replaced it with dysfunction, which is quite a moneymaker.

    Young people are not a priority, in the sense that young people need to be needed. They are a commodity, or a venture, or investment in the sense of how can we exact a better marketing strategy for this and this. Young people have become models for millions of older adults who try to stay young. And for other adults young people are a source of fear. In that mess every generation of children are asking the same questions about love as if they are on a maiden voyage in search of an elusive treasure. Love is action as you so simply point out. It is patient, kind, doesn’t spread mean gossip. Love uplifts, and sustains, and being energy changes form as our perceptions of self, life, and death change in our lifetimes. Warrior-priests, like me, teach that love is also an act of the power; an act of the will. Love is a great mystery easy to access if the root of one’s upbringing, like strong hardwood trees roots, was fed gently with loving care from parents, guardians, and community.

    Trying to define love through the veils of dysfunction is illogical. This kind of loving is destructive, and will not bear good fruit. Sista said it right. This is one of best articles written on the subject, Ms. Knight. I commend you on your writing style. It’s clarity, and strength gently leads the reader on solid ground to explore these questions about love. –Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories

  5. love is love…and the way a person wants to express it as long as it healthy, clean, happy, honest and full of joy, its all gooooooooooood!!!

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