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Old 01-12-2013, 05:48 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Default "I love you" and secondaries

Just curious about the spectrum of thoughts on this among members here. I see some people talk about exchanging I Love Yous with secondaries. Do some people avoid that L word or avoid feeling it?

I'm curious because my (married) boyfriend's actions speak very loudy of genuine, even self-sacrificial love. But he never alludes to the word at all. The most he'll ever say is, "You know how I feel about you, right?"

I tell myself actions speak louder than words, and I know it's very easy to talk about love without meaning a word of it, so saying it, in a way, is meaningless; yet it does leave me wondering what really goes on in his mind and heart and what this really means to him.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:19 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Some people don't use the L word much for whatever reason(s). It has very little to do with being "secondary" or non-monogamous. I know plenty of monogamous people who don't say "i love you" very often. And yes actions do speak louder. If someone said it all the time but didn't show it, would you prefer that over what you are getting now instead?


Having said that, i can't tell you what is going on inside your boyfriend's mind and heart or what it really means to him.

Last edited by BoringGuy; 01-12-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:15 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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I wrote about the first time I told Dude that I loved him in this thread: OMG! I just said the "L" word.. I talk some about why I am so hesitant to use that phrase casually and other people chimed in with their experiences as well.

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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
...
I tell myself actions speak louder than words, and I know it's very easy to talk about love without meaning a word of it, so saying it, in a way, is meaningless; yet it does leave me wondering what really goes on in his mind and heart and what this really means to him.
This reminds me of a conversation I had with Dude early in our relationship (before the "L" word). We were in Home Depot shopping for something for a project on the house and chatting randomly and he comes out with something along the lines of "You really do WANT me here, don't you?"...I stopped dead in my tracks..."Really? I rarely let people into my home to even visit and you have been LIVING WITH US for 6 months and you doubt that I WANT you here?!" He said that, sure, our ACTIONS said that we wanted him here, but that sometimes words are louder because you say them "out loud."

Now we allude to this conversation whenever he is in need of some "verbal reassurance" (since apparently this is something that I don't supply routinely). He'll sidle up to me and say "You know, words are louder..."

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Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:24 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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I forgot to add:

When he says "you know how i feel about you, etc." you can answer with, "actually no i don't know. I am not a mind reader. Why don't you TELL me how you feel instead of making me guess?"
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:30 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
I forgot to add:

When he says "you know how i feel about you, etc." you can answer with, "actually no i don't know. I am not a mind reader. Why don't you TELL me how you feel instead of making me guess?"
I might phrase it with a snuggle and differently-ish:
Sweetie, I know how i feel when you do such loving actions; and sometimes, I'd really love to hear the words from you. Would you be open to telling me in words?
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:23 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
I forgot to add:

When he says "you know how i feel about you, etc." you can answer with, "actually no i don't know. I am not a mind reader. Why don't you TELL me how you feel instead of making me guess?"
I did say something remotely like this once...possibly twice. I don't remember his answer. Something to the effect of, "You know I want this to go on forever."

I appreciate the input. I find it interesting why people do or do not use the word love. I think I'm afraid to ask him directly because I suspect right now it might open a can of worms he's not entirely prepared to deal with.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:05 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Adding: I guess I find it interesting to note my own need to hear clear words, even when I KNOW that words don't necessarily mean anything.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:32 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I think it's easiest to sum up as: I like to hear it, but only if it's authentic. I would prefer authentic actions to inauthentic words; however authentic words combined with authentic actions is best.

It's not terribly difficult to tell when someone is saying it and not meaning it. And there's nothing wrong, IMO, with saying it obligatorily at times.

We always say "I love you" when we say good-bye. If anything were to happen to us, I want those to be the last words we say to each other. Even though we do it out of habit, we still mean it. We wouldn't say it if we didn't.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:07 AM
AggieSez AggieSez is offline
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Default You might ask why they avoid the L word

Some people (even poly people) really don't like explicit declarations of love, for a variety of reasons. Admittedly it's a word that come with a lot of social baggage and expectations -- because declaring love is a typical major benchmark of progress along society's standard relationship escalator.

But if you're not hear the L word and that bothers you (or if you're just wondering why), it's probably a good idea to talk to your partner (and metamours, if any) about it.

Sometimes existing primary-style relationships have an agreement (or tacit understanding) that you "can't fall in love" with a non-primary partner. This is usually a way of establishing hierarchy, and an attempt to try to prevent jealousy or to keep a non-primary relationship from becoming "too important." Whether or not this is a good idea or if it works, it happens.

Trouble is, often existing primary partners do not clearly articulate this boundary or rule up front to non-primary partners. Perhaps they haven't even discussed it clearly between themselves, or perhaps they're just embarrassed to admit it -- especially after a non-primary relationship has gone on for awhile and the people involved are obviously pretty invested in it. A lot of drama can ensue in such situations -- which a clear, direct conversation could often prevent.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:43 AM
Sereia Sereia is offline
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First post here ever so sorry if I don't know all the ins and outs!
I say I
'I love you' *a lot*. I say it to my daughter probably 50 times a day. My husband a few and my lover usually when I see him. With my lover we first exchanged 'I love you' after a difficult but invigorating online chat - where we basically decided to stop the physical side of our relationship - and then ended up at 'I love you'. . . So we said it once and a while - while 'just friends' and we say it quite a bit now that we are lovers again. Life is interesting hey?
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