People say 'love you' more freely than in the olden days. No, it wasn't a commonly used phrase. How nice to end a phone conversation saying 'love you' instead of just 'good-bye' or end a letter with 'love you' rather than 'Yours truly.'
One generation ago, to hear the simple words 'love you' was rare. Can you imagine returning home from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, having been away a year or two or three and your father greeted you with a hand shake - no hug, no embrace, no 'love you.' But, that's how it was! Change came slowly. Nothing good came from Vietnam but I think the ease with which we say 'love you' began with the Vietnam 'peace' and 'love' advocates.
Perhaps we are too quick and not always sincere saying 'love you' yet it is more valuable than no acknowledgement. Hearing these words took my friend Ralph by surprise when it came at the end of a wrong number phone call - and added real joy to his day. Said sincerely to spouse, children, siblings or friends, the words convey pride, hope, respect and encouragement. Even my WWII husband and brothers did, by the end of their lives, learn to hug their friends and say 'love you' to their children with a degree of ease. That was an adjustment more huge than their grandchildren can imagine!
My life has been comforted by hearing and saying 'love you.' I do not automatically go beyond courteous words (I am from those olden days) but there are people I do especially want to share them with. There are times when even the most delicious greeting card is not adequate to the person. It takes a pen in hand to convey real sentiment. Blog, text and tweet just doesn't do it.
Perhaps the pendulum has swung too far in the 'love' direction with male chest bumps and female 'kissy-kissy.' I view both as insincere and stupid... If you want someone to feel more loved, just tell them the good things you are thinking about them, bake their favorite cookies for them, share your time and relax with them - just because you care.
Have you ever wondered why people keep hand written letters? They say 'love you' in terms more powerful than the words. Ask anybody, soldier, father, student or lover the value of a letter - especially one memorializing their affection with pen and ink.
Love you, Nancy yTe \