Sunday, December 20, 2009

Those Three Little Words...

I've been noticing a trend lately and it disturbs me. Since it disturbs me, I'm passing it on to you. This may be part rant but I think of it as social commentary or maybe one of my famous 30 second lectures, so here we go...

Since when did the words, "I love you," become a get out of jail free card in relationships? How have we let this happen? I've seen too many instances lately where one person will do something wrong and during the discussion they'll throw out, "But I love you." Does saying those words mean that everything you do should be forgiven? Oh hell no.

Saying those three little words the first time should be some kind of assurance for the future. An assurance that you aren't going to treat someone badly, cheat, or indulge in any of a number of types of dickery that you know are wrong and disrespectful. Saying those three words does not give you license to do the opposite!

Everyone screws up now and then, that's a given because we're human. Humans are far from perfection. Our imperfections just happen and sometimes we make mistakes because of them and hopefully then we learn from them and don't repeat the mistakes in the future. When we make mistakes and have to have those crucial conversations about our actions, there are other three word phrases that should be used. How about:
I am sorry
I was wrong
Please forgive me

Those words are words that show some regret, remorse, and acknowledgement of bad behavior. Those are words that can build a discussion that may lead to growth, forgiveness, and a deeper and better relationship. Those are words that show you want to learn from your mistakes and not make the same one again.

Using "I love you," as an escape hatch is unforgivable. Loving someone is not a license to treat someone badly or show them disrespect. Those aren't the actions you bestow upon someone you love. Using the words in that manner shows that you have no idea what the phrase truly means.

Here's a heads up: When someone loves you they don't treat you with disrespect and keep putting you in bad situations over and over again. Someone who loves you will be supportive, want to keep you safe, and will share your everyday mishaps and disappointments as well as your victories and happiness. They don't leave at the first inconvenience.

Wanting someone to share your life and love with is a pretty basic element of human beings. We all want that but let's not let those three little words, when uttered by someone who is treating us badly, overshadow our common sense and self respect. We might not be able to stop some people from using "I love you" as a get out of jail free card, but we can damned sure stop accepting it as one.

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