I Love You This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

What, in your opinion, is the most over-used ideaexpressed in a popular saying?

It's what starry-eyed lovers whisper asthey gaze at a Paris sunset, what 10-year-olds shout to their mothers as theysprint toward the already departing morning bus, and what teenage girls screamand squeal at their favorite Backstreet Boy. It's supposed to be the deepestlevel of emotional connection between people, yet society has transformed it intoa pop-icon phrase to be screened onto glittery fuchsia tank tops and writteninside Hallmark cards with pastel kittens and butterflies dancing on the cover.The phrase, of course, is "I love you."

But what could be wrongwith overusing such a positive phrase? It seems there is so much hate in theworld that "I love you" would be a breath of fresh air. The more aphrase is used, however, the less meaningful it becomes. When a person reallymeans it, the phrase is so overused that the extraordinary meaning is lost.

Should the words used to describe my relationship with my grandmother bethe same I use to address my French fries? I think not. And what about the lovey-dovey teenagers who cry out "I love you" during every class break whileadoringly staring into each other's eyes, yet never understand the meaning of thewords they say?

The phrase "I love you" should be left onlyfor those who fully comprehend and appreciate it, not for those with a two-weekinfatuation.

But how can we change the way this message is used, andthe superficial meaning it has received? It's not about allowing our hormones tospeak for us or using the words carelessly. It's about using the expression onlywhen we have a truly special bond with someone. These words should only be usedwith someone whom we cherish and who can acknowledge the amazing union we havetogether. Otherwise, the meaning will be lost forever.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 5:03 am
i love this so much!
OriginalCarbonation said...
Dec. 31, 2010 at 6:43 pm

i was in the same situation with a boyfriend. We had been dating for a couple months and he had said it, so I felt silly for not returning it. He felt hurt, even though I did care about him. But, I didnt LOVE him!! Either way I eventually was laughing and it slipped out, "oh I love you" but it wasnt that way. (yet another instance of inappropriate use of the term - sorry! :/ ) and he said, "yeah, i love you too"....... it was horribly awkward... i couldnt take the words back and say "actually... (more »)

Chrxstxna said...
Nov. 22, 2010 at 6:05 am
I really object with moongal77's attitude. This essay took the words right out of my mouth. When I tried to delay saying "i love you" to a boy I dated for a couple of weeks, he thought i was the crazy one for being afraid to use those words. i eventually caved in to the mainstream, and used the word carelessly. by spreading the word, sharing this essay to our friends, whatever it is, it can help change the insight of some. it all starts somewhere. we cant just ignore this problem, and allow our ... (more »)
moongal77 said...
Dec. 1, 2008 at 11:38 pm
what do you want us to do, then?
never say i love you?

when do you think people actually mean it then

do you even know what love is?

unless you intend to change the definition of the word 'love', this essay is silly.

you can't change society.
HopefulWolf This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 9:14 am

Isn't that what this website is all about?

Writers trying to make society better?

stargal77 said...
Aug. 26, 2008 at 7:38 pm
wow, i really think this is a good article. when i read this i showed it to everyone and they all laughed at the French Fry part. hope you keep writing
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