America’s messed up ‘I love you’

March 3, 2008
“I love you” he said to me.
“You love me, like you really love me?” I said to him.
“Yes, I really love you.”
“You big people love me?”
“Well I don’t think I could little people love you.”
“You mean you love me like a friend, who you just happen to like as more than that, right?”
“No, I mean I love you. I love love love you, not love like love you.”
“Alright then, thank you.” I seemed to feel bad, you know, not loving him like he thought he loved me. I see deeper into it than him though, so I shouldn’t have felt bad at all.
My name is Shawnna. I’m 16 years old, and a junior in high school. It seems “love” is all around me. See, this is a real conversation between an ex-boyfriend and me. We had been dating for only four days and he was convinced that he loved me. I told him he didn’t, but he would argue with me. I eventually let it go. Although it would bother me when occasionally, his best friend would say “I am so happy you two are together. You’re perfect for each other. I’m so glad he finally found somebody who loves him back.” And I would feel terrible, put in this uncomfortable position saying “I don’t love him, Michael.”
I usually would just smile when he told me he loved me and occasionally thank him, but one day it got to the point where it bothered me enough to say something. “I love you” he said to me, while holding me from behind as I sat at the computer chatting with my friends.
“Babe”, I said, “I’m not going to say it back to you unless I know I mean it, and that time is not now. Besides that, you don’t love me, you lust me. That’s all. You think its love, but it’s not. I do care about you, but it’s just not love.”
He proceeded to apologize and tell me that he really did mean it, guilt tripping me, so I just let it go. He was pushing the relationship way too far way too early. It was really bugging me.
By the two week mark of us dating, it became too much for me to handle. I had to break it off. I didn’t feel for him like that so much anymore, because he sort of scared me. He had this child-like aura to him. He didn’t know what love was. That wasn’t the only reason I had to break it off. I had feelings for my best friend, and it wasn’t fair for me to be with him if I didn’t feel for him like he thought he did for me, and when I had feelings for somebody else.
See, I believe that love takes time. You can’t rush it. The word is thrown around far too much anymore. You constantly hear teenagers saying they love eachother, and then breaking up a week later. I find this ridiculous. It honestly pisses me off. Love isn’t something special anymore, like it should be. There is virtually no romance in anything anymore. All “love” is anymore is sex. That’s really just it. People mistake that lust they have for one another as love. They need to take a deeper look. Most of these people don’t even know each other all that well. I know both girls and guys who meet a person they think is cute, hang out for a day, and the next day they are together, hanging all over each other, and telling each other that they love them. Three days later they break up, and the same day they have a new girlfriend or boyfriend! It’s society’s messed up system.
I didn’t love my ex-boyfriend of two weeks, but we’re still good friends. However, I do love my best guy friend. I would give anything to be with him. I believe that love is something you will sacrifice anything for, something you would work your a** off to get. I would do that for him. We’ve been friends for a year now. We’ve had a history. It started off as that normal teenage lust thing, but it’s evolved. I’ve had other boyfriends in between meeting him and now, but my feelings still remain for him. To me, that’s love. I’m willing to wait as long as it takes for him to realize that I am here. He doesn’t feel for me like I feel for him, because he’s still not over his ex-girlfriend, which I am fine with. I’ll wait. Real love is worth waiting for. Not to mention, I know him. I know who he is, how he is, what he believes in, what his morals are, everything. All of this is because he is also my best friend. Even if I can’t have him as my boyfriend, I love him enough to be content with having him as only my best friend, and letting him be happy with whoever he chooses, as much as it might tear me apart to see.
I have a friend who has been together with her boyfriend eight months now, and she thinks he’s the one for her. They are both 17, and they are getting married towards the end of this year. This I find pathetic. High school relationships hardly ever last after they get out of high school. Commitment like that should only be made when you know you are for sure ready. I don’t believe she’s ready. I believe in the saying everything happens for a reason, so maybe she just needs this experience to show her what real love really is. I’m not saying I don’t believe she loves him, because I do. I can see it. I just know she isn’t ready for marriage; neither is he. They’re not the only case of this I’ve seen recently; it’s happening more and more. Most of the engagements don’t even make it to marriage.
The media doesn’t help this little love issue, either. They have all this music, all these television shows, and movies about sex that is candy coated with the “L” word. They’re giving teenagers the wrong idea. Eventually everyone is going to be alone, or else they are going to be miserable. Love and sex are two different things alright?! There is a huge difference between sleeping together and being together. It irritates the crap out of me to think that people can get that mixed up. There is lust and there is love. Everyone has their own definition of love, but the definition of lust is all the same; an overwhelming desire or craving. Just because you really want a donut doesn’t mean you’re in love with it, right?
It’s not even just teenagers. Adults are just as bad. I have a friend who has an aunt who thinks she is getting married soon. She has her dress picked out and everything. The thing is, her fiancé is in jail. Her entire family is almost positive it’s not going to happen. He was a cheapskate and bought her wedding ring from Wal-Mart. Not that I am a material person or anything, but if you’re buying something to show your commitment I think it should be at least slightly a big deal. She has her hopes up for something that’s not going to happen, and the sad part is her family just laughs.
I don’t know what I’m really trying to get at, but I guess all I am really saying is you need to think twice before telling somebody you love them, because you could hurt them as well as yourself. America has the wrong idea of what love is. Take a deeper look into everything, don’t rush it, and get to know the person before you make a huge commitment. Marriage should be for life, not just a few years out of your life. Love should be something special, something you’d sacrifice anything for, something you would give anything to have, something you would wait your life just to feel for just a second, and something that sickens you to be without. That’s what love is.

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