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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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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 01-13-2013, 10:05 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Quote:
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.
That's why i say it to my partners all the time. Spouse says it back and usually says it first, and Other never says it casually, but i still say it to Other and they don't seem to mind.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:24 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
Do some people avoid that L word or avoid feeling it?
I can't avoid how I feel. I can choose whether or not I express it though (the WHEN.) As well as the rest of it -- where I express, how I express, why I express, what I express, and matters of degree.

When we were dating? DH told me he loved me first. (So did BF2 in that rship now that I think about it.) I like a slow unfold, and I like to get there at my own pace.

For example -- I told DH I was glad, happy to hear that he loved me, and I was in the process too... falling in love. But just not ready to go verbal. I found body language easier -- kisses/hugs, etc to convey my affection/love for him.

So if it was ok with him, I'd just say something like "I know" and update him when I was in another place on the verbal front. Or use whatever other phrase he wanted to hear better til I was ready to go with "I love you." He said he was fine with that. "I know" was good.

So when he expressed his love for me through words again at other times, I would smile and say "I know. Thanks!" and squeeze his hand or hug or something. He was free to express himself, I was free to receive it in the way I wanted to receive.

I demonstrated all kinds of loving behavior toward him in the other love languages. But I wasn't ready for words of affirmation til I was ready. Then I WAS ready to go verbal, and it was received by him just fine.

Relationships are a dance.
Quote:
I guess I find it interesting to note my own need to hear clear words
If you have a need, you could ask if he's willing to meet the need at this time or not. It doesn't get any simpler. He cannot mind reader.

If you enjoy hearing words as a love share method, tell him you'd like him to express it via words when he's ready to go there. You appreciate his actions, but the words too would mean something to you when he's ready to go there. Letting him know your preferences isn't a bad thing in relationship.

Quote:
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.
Let him own his own baggage. You hold and own yours.

If he is like me, and you let him know your preference he will say "Thanks for the heads up. I'll let you know when I'm ready."

No can of worms in sight. Just plain communication to get to that handy old fashioned phrase place... "we have an understanding."

HTH!
Galagirl
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