I love you.Really?

 i love you Pictures, Images and Photos

This morning I read something interesting on 'The Speaking tree' which is a Sunday supplement that comes along with Times of India. Every Sunday,I read almost all articles in this section diligently and I always think and contemplate about what is written.

There was an article today by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (who is a humanitarian, spiritual leader and an ambassador of peace) who founded the 'Art of Living movement.'

Among a lot of things he said, what made a deep impact on me were the following words:

 "When someone says 'I love you', you ask 'really?' "
But when someone says ' I hate you', you don't ask 'really?' One accepts it without question.

How true! What a profound observation!

What is it about the words 'I love you' that scares most people? Is it so hard to accept that one is loved? Has cynicism seeped so much in, that it seems almost impossible to believe that someone can love us? Is it that we think 'oh-my-god.what does he/she want now? Why is he/she saying 'I love you'. Does he/she mean it?'

Why do we question ( at least most of us) the veracity of these words and why don't we just accept?

In my teens and in my twenties, I found it very hard to say these words. I suspect it is the same for people from a certain time, brought up in a certain culture. We did not go about saying 'I love you' in my family. (I was certain that as and when I had my own children that was truly not how I would raise them but this post is not about that.)

When said with sincerity and true depth, these three words are powerful indeed. They seal a bond. It is an unconditional acceptance of the other, with all their flaws. The magical thing about saying ' I love you' is that it need not be between lovers, but just between two souls who're deeply connected at some level--a mother and child, sisters, brothers (two men I would presume would find it hardest to actually say them), best friends.

The Speaking Tree also had carried a small piece called 'Do it now' by Dennis E Mannering about an exercise given by a  professor to his class of adults. They had to say the words "I love you" to someone they had never said these words to before--what is more, they had to completely mean it too. Most people in the class were initially annoyed (after all saying "I love you" is an intensely personal experience and nobody can direct another to say it) but decided to do the exercise anyway. What followed was a moving experience.
Some might argue that saying the words is just 'not them'. They might say that they do so many actions to prove their love (for example a spouse lovingly waking up the other with a cup of coffee), then why should they say it, especially if they are uncomfortable with it.

I quote from my earlier post  which spoke about it.

The fact is that three simple words "I love you" when said, when you really mean them, have the power to uplift, to heal, to comfort, to calm and reassure. They are very powerful words indeed. All humans long to hear these words. They show an unconditional acceptance  of the other person and create a powerful shield around their vulnerabilities.

If you hear these words often, you are blessed indeed as there are so many who crave to hear it but have noone who will say these words to them (Think about it). Of course, if these words are casually uttered and if you say it to all the people you meet, then they do cease to have any meaning at all.

But when said with all sincerity and when you truly mean it, a kind of magic happens which is hard to explain.
Don't believe me? Try it!

And I, for one, am fortunate indeed to hear these words often from my closest friends, from my spouse and from my children. I silently thank them and they go into my cup of blessings.

Ps: Book giveaway--Flash fiction contest 30th March is last date!


  1. Buahahahaaaahaaaa.....
    First...after a looong time;-D

  2. Such a beautiful, beautiful Post Preeti!!!!
    I guess from where we come from, actions were supposed to speak louder than words.
    I think I told my mum "I Love You ma" for the 1st time after I had my own child. She was taken aback in the beginning, I said it whenever I ended my phone conversations with her. But now she responds back:-)).
    I guess its hard when we say it for the 1st time but after that it sure gets easier:-)

  3. Lovely post....and I miss TOI here!

    I will tell it to my bapuji who is 73yrs old, and must be missing my parents as they came here this weekend. I know he will cry (coz he does even without me saying I love you) but it will make him happy :).

    Another thing I find people really appreciate and feel happy is when I give them virtual hugz.....I know it for sure coz they have expressed that to me when they meet me in person!

    Half-way thru your book :)

  4. What a thought provoking post! In our family a lot of I love yous gets exchanges between me and my mom but my Dad and brother are rather reserved. Recently I called my brother in Canada when I was confused about a decision and he helped me with it very patiently. I was so happy that while ending the conversation I said "I love you bhaiya!" He just laughed but I could make out that he was really pleased!

    p.s/ I love you Preeti :)

  5. A post that one can relate to...easily and lovingly!!:).
    I have never heard any 'iloveyou' words from my parents (only actions speak)...and with a conscious effort i've started telling them to my kids and now its become a easy part of our day-to-day life. Said with all sincerity and warmth, yes..it does mean a lot. Loved reading the post by Dennis Mannering too -touching!:)
    The reason why the question 'really?' follows the words, i guess, is coz ppl are so ecstatic they they want to make doubly sure that its not a misplaced feeling and love to hear it echoed!!??

  6. Beautiful, moving post. I agree these are three, powerful, healing words.

    My mother always say, nobody (or not everybody) can look into your heart, so if you love someone you must say so.

  7. Hi Preeti,
    Lovely post!!!!!
    I agree, even i was never comfortable telling "I Love You" to my parents. It was kind of implicit.
    But later i realized the importance, the difference it makes in our life. I guess most relations that fail are b'cos people fail to express their feelings. Either they are shy or their EGO comes in between.
    These days when my 4-yr old comes upto me and says "Love u Mama, I like u the most"....I really feel blessed.
    God Bless!!

  8. I tell ya, try a high-five or fist pump. No one will ever respond with a "really?" That is what my wife will get, whenever she finds me.

  9. Such a moving post. Loved it.

  10. Inferno: The response 'really' wasn't literal.The post wasn't about what someone says.Look at the deeper meaning please! And glad that your wife gets a high five or a fist pump or whatever.

    Gayu: i can completely relate to your joy!

    IHM: Wow--a wise lady, your mother.

    SK: perhaps..but the post wasnt about whether someone says 'really'. It is metaphoric--implied.

    Ruch: What a sweet and spontaneous thing to say!! I could just picture the whole scene. And thanks :)

    Shachi:Wow (about saying it to bapuji).

    Reflections; yes m'am--you are first! I still cannot tell my mom 'I love you' :) I have texted her the same though :)and she has texted back :)

  11. Swapna: Guess you commented just as I was replying to the comments. Thank you!

  12. SK: And i forgot to say happy you could relate!

  13. one of the best that I have read so far...:) Reading it on a monday morning was really awesome as I normally hate mondays... :)

  14. Im reading your posts since more than 3 hours now :) Loved to read something straight from the heart :)
    your new subbie :D
    Even I was staying in Pune for more than 6 years and just moved to Miami a few months back after I got married. Feeling closer to my roots now and I'll never miss a chance too..
    Keep it coming gal!!!

  15. Mmmmm . I remember your earlier posts on the subject. Three magic words indeed , which when truly meant, are the most magical of them all.

  16. Hi Preeti,

    As it quoted it stands true, it is hard for anyone to accept he is loved by someone or he loves someone.

    i had a lucky day as i heard it from my spouse and from my lovely mom...

    U have a amazing week ahead..


  17. Preeti, in answer to your comment on mine...of course, I comprehend the symbolic undertone in your post, which made me reflect on the generation shift and the beauty of the words.
    My last few lines were a casual comment on the title and the first few lines..
    Am sorry if it irked you! :(

  18. SK: not the least bit! Please read my comment to you later and also on your FB wall.

    Anish: Lucky you--hope you have a great weekend as well!

    Ramesh: I agree :)

    EVEolution: Welcome to my space and thanks so much :) Subbie=? :))

    Sushobhan:Thanks so much :) I don't mind Mondays but hate waking up.

  19. This was such a beautiful post, Preeti...I love reading the speaking tree, they make me sit up and take note of those little things i tend to take for granted...

    I loved what IHM wrote (commented) too...

  20. Very truly said Preeti. Love is something which is rarely found these days and yet people run away from it when they get it.

  21. Anonymous5:07 PM

    Beautiful n touching post Preethi! I can so relate to it.. :)
    I too feel blessed when my daughter says the 3 words to me.. and it definitely is magical!!

  22. Hey Preeti...
    A very sweet post written...i should say that i could relate to it coz i hav gone thru this feeling where in u just know who means it when they say " I love you"...Initially whn my sister was around before her wedding i neva told her...I love you but then all my conversations on phone with her these days....end with 2 lines " love you and miss you lots"...and we both know it when we say it...these 3 words can make a person happy when said with complete heart...
    and i have been really happy wheneven any one says it or i say it to anyone...makes me feel really good...

    I had written a post just a few days back on these 3 words...would like it if you could read and comment on it. Find the link below


  23. True, the column and your comments are thought provoking.

    We take it for granted that by not saying in the negative, it means "I love you"!

    Moreover, the culture in countries such as South Asia (in contrast to Western world) these words are hard to come by, verbally, unless for one's children. It comes into play only when there is an "issue" and requires resolution OR when 2 individuals are dating/newly married.

    How one expresses her/his feelings to the other individual is very much dependent on the individual - the form does not matter but the intent is - whether flowers or cooking a meal or something else!

  24. Titus: Please read the link )article by dennis e mannering and other links too). You can, of course, choose to express it in anyway you like. But I firmly stand by what I have written. It is extremely important to say it.Ask yourself if YOU would like to hear the words? When was the last time someone told you those words? How did it make you feel? Ask whether the recipient of your affection would like to hear it or not. If the recipient also has same opinion as you (that an action is enough) then it is fine for you two and you two are made for each other.

    Ginger: read and commented too! :)

    Softypink: touch wood and stay blessed!


    Suma: yeah-- Speaking tree is very good indeed. Makes me think.


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