Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

I Think I Love You – part 2

30 October 2015

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Some time ago, I wrote that “I am sorry” and “NO” are some of the hardest words to express. For me, there is another example and I am not alone in that one. It’s very, very hard for me to say “I love you”. I can only say these words when I genuinely mean it. Hence, it rarely happens.

Obviously, there are ways to circumvent saying “I Love You” and especially, “I think I love you”, which is also a famous David Cassidy / Partridge Family song. You wouldn’t be inclined to substitute the word “feel” for “think” though. Your thinking may change any time but your feeling not really.

Saying these 3 words allegedly makes us vulnerable. In movies it’s even advised not to be the first one saying these 3 words. The one who says it first has actually lost. Love is viewed as a game of power and the last one saying these 3 words has won.

The PsychologyToday (“PT”) article What Does The Phrase “I Love You” Really Mean? is truly interesting: If you ask most people, they’ll likely tell you that the phrase “I love you” stands as a sign of true long-term devotion and that men are much more hesitant to say it. But a 2011 study (“Let’s get serious: Communicating commitment in romantic relationships”) shows that they would be wrong. This study [..] came up with some truly surprising findings. (PT)

Through multiple studies [..], the researchers found that although most people believe women are more likely to say “I love you” first, it’s actually men who do (by a 2:1 ratio). Why? Most likely, as the authors speculate, it’s because men do not want to miss any opportunity to move the relationship to the next level (read sex here). The researchers also found that after the start of sexual activity in a relationship, men reported much less happiness at being told “I love you” by their partners than did women. (PT) In plain English: men just say “I love you” to get laid but do not actually mean it.

When the researchers asked their participants how honest they felt expressions of love were, a fascinating pattern emerged. Women believed it to be more honest post-sex than pre-sex. Men, however, viewed it as more honest pre-sex. It seems that men and women may have different senses of what “I love you” actually means: You hear it as “Let’s take it to the next level” if you’re a man but as “I’m in it for the long haul” if you’re a woman. (PT)

Yesterday someone wrote “I love you” to me. I cannot say these same words to her – if only as I have never even met her. Saying these same words to her would feel the same to me as lying and I hate liars. And I also lack any “evidence” for claiming this feeling. I do like her though.

Several months ago, I published a blog called “The 7 stages of Love – for men” which is even #2 in my Top 10 of most read blogs. That blog outlines the vast differences in male and female psychology when it comes to Love. I have also written about “the 7 hurdles” (for men) before entering into a relationship. And developing relationships is a miracle in itself given the fundamental lack of trust between men and women. Exchanging the bonding hormone oxytocin by gazing into each other’s eyes is crucial and makes falling in love the easiest part. Staying in love is the real challenge.

I think and feel that staying in love – or any successful relationship – is built on 4 basic corner stones: Communication, Intimacy, Respect and Trust. So far I haven’t been able to discover any other pillar. Communication and Intimacy need frequent maintenance but are easy to repair. Interestingly, the pillar Trust can be repaired through (sexual) Intimacy as the hormone oxytocin is not only responsible for bonding but also for developing trust in a relationship (see my 7 August 2015 blog). Damage to the pillar “Respect” may often be beyond repair. Also see my 18 July 2015 blog.

I think I love you, so what am I so afraid of? I’m afraid that I’m not sure of a love there is no cure for.

I think I love you, isn’t that what life is made of? Though it worries me to say that I’ve never felt this way. David Cassidy / The Partridge Family

David Cassidy – I Think I Love You (1970) – artist, lyrics, Wiki

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