Relationship writer, Tim Mousseau of The Good Men Project explains why one of the most uttered phrases in history, never defines a person’s true feelings towards their partners.
Here’s what he wrote:
I made myself a promise a long time ago. Whenever I was in relationships, whenever I found someone significant enough that I felt comfortable saying “I love you”, I would not add the word “too.”
My reasons for this are many but mostly because I do not believe the word “too” has any room in relationships, especially when concerning matters of love.
Look at the meaning of too, its root and principles. Too means also. Furthermore. In addition. More so. Too is not a separate clause, it is support for something already existing. Too does not require one to make their own choice or further their life by personal actions but instead is throwing oneself in support of an existing thought.
There is nothing inspiring or original about too. Too is not an action but a reaction. It follows another’s ideas and saps power from their concept. Too is the equivalent of saying ditto. Why would we ever add “too” to “I love you” then?
I love you should be a statement of power. It is something to say to another because it is meant from within the depths of our heart. When we tell someone we love them, it should be organic, brought about because we experience these emotions on a visceral level.
Love is a manifestation of feelings we speak because we have lost all other words to describe the intensity we feel in a relationship. A good I love you, spoken at the right moments, compresses all the intimacies of caring for another into a few words that can be said to sum up the deepest feelings of the heart.
I love you is often considered the end all phrases for affection. Why cheapen this powerful statement by making it an also? Saying I love you is the phrase we are add to a relationship to escalate it. It is a natural way of moving things forward. It represents the most profound feelings of affection. We shouldn’t cheapen it.
Where we are so hesitant to tell a significant other we love them the first them, no one wants to rush into that, we often seem to forget its profound significance. By the second or third time we say it, we are repeating it back to another, responding to their I love you with a “too” because we allow it to become a routine.
If you want a jump start to your relationship, if you want to do something small but new, stop saying too when saying I love you. If your partner gifts you with those words, respond if you feel compelled but never because it is the expected courtesy. (It is important that if try this experiment, you share this with your partners first so they are not taken by surprise when you don’t just openly repeat “I love you too” every time they say I love you.)
Let’s take back the power of this phrase. When someone you love says I love you, react in one of two ways.
Say you love them because you do and can feel every part of these words in this moment, not because you are vending machine that dispenses an “I love you too” in exchange for an “I love you.”
Or wait. Don’t say I love you in that moment because you do not feel it at that time. Only say I love you when you mean it fully with every visceral part of your heart.
Removing the routine of repeating “I love you too” every time our partner tells us they love us is powerful. It makes us speaking these words authentic, makes love as meaningful as the first time we were nervous and anxious about saying it. When we stop using “I love you” as a response and forgo adding “too” it means that we are saying I love you because we are acting on our own thoughts, not reacting to another’s.
Cut the “too” out of your “I love you’s.” Let’s make love less a reaction and more an action of care and hope, inspired by beauty and touching the ears of your partner like a kiss.
Saying I love you has power. The results can be wonderful once you cut out the obligation of too and focus on only speaking from the heart. Let’s not rob the power of these word by making them a further addition but returning them to an independent declaration.