After my wife Jan and I concluded a phone conversation recently I realized that I close almost every conversation with her by saying “I love you.” As I thought about that it also occurred to me that every time I leave my daughter’s house and say good night to my two grandsons I tell them “I love you.” A few weeks earlier I had noticed that almost all of my phone calls with both my son and my daughter also end with “I love you.”
Primarily thinking about Jan, but also the others as well, I asked myself the question, “Can you say I love you too often to your family?” I didn’t answer myself out loud, but my initial thought was – probably not.
I continued my conversation with myself by adding to probably not “as long as you mean it.” Then I also added to my probably not “as long as it doesn’t become an automatic and thoughtless good-by.”
Moving forward with my one on one conversation with myself I then asked myself, “Do you ever get tired of hearing one of them say I love you?” My answer was an emphatic “no.” As a matter of fact I thought, I wish my grandsons would say it more often.
I can’t imagine that too many people would get tired of being told they are loved by someone, unless they thought the person who said it did not mean it or they thought the words were thoughtless.
Getting deeper into my back and forth with myself I had another thought. Telling someone you love them is certainly important – but equally important, if not more important, is showing them you love them.
One of the ways we show someone we love them is through and by our words – like telling them “I love you” – but there are other words and ways as well. Among other ways we let them know with words we love them is when we thank them and affirm them.
Another way of showing them we love them is by listening to them. Sometimes what those we love need to feel loved is to be listened to – our spouse, our children, and our grandchildren. One the best ways I have learned to hear from my wife, daughter, son, and grandsons is to ask them about their day, their schedule, and their plans. When things are not too chaotic, especially with a four year old and an eight year old, I ask follow up questions to hear more.
I don’t think I say “I love you” too often. But to be candid, I think too often I am better at saying “I love you” than I am in showing my loved ones I love them. Having had this conversation with myself, I hope to do better.
How about you? Feel free to leave a comment below and/or share this post on Facebook or other social media.