Last night a dear friend of mine and I were talking about what it means when someone says I love you. What can you then expect from them? What are they committing to you? What are the levels of love? How do we each define it and why?
We talked for a long time. He just got a Dear John letter (and no his name isn't John!). He went from planning a life with this person to suddenly being dumped pretty unilaterally. No discussion, no explanation really, just see yah.
I thought about what it means when I tell someone I love them. First you need to understand that from the time I was a small child, I always felt that it was very important that people knew how I felt about them. The people I love, know it. Now for me there is friend love and nurturing sister I have chosen love and lover/life partner love and parent love and sibling love to name a few.
The one common bond I found with all of these types of love, the final bottom line statement would be "I won't walk away". That says it completely for me. It means that no matter what I will not walk away. I will stand and deliver. I will ask questions when I am hurt, I will talk about problems that come up. My real friends know that they can talk to me about anything. Short of something horrible they have done to a small child or an animal there is nothing they can tell me to change my feelings for them. I am in their corner. I may not always agree with the choices that they make or the things they do, but I don't have to. I still love the person. And I expect that, no I demand that in return. And lucky me.....I mostly get it.
I think that is the reason I have such longlasting, longstanding friendships. Atlanta A and I have been friends for 37 years! Indiana M and I have been friends for 20 years. Halfass and I have been friends for 16 years, Bulldog J and I, 15 years, Music Mama D and I, 16 years, etc.
HM is an extraordinary man, he is so secure in us that he isn't intimidated by the friendships I have. That is one of the reasons he and I can be together so easily. I know for sure that he and I can disagree and still not walk away. We will work it out. We love each other. I am sure of it.
I have some of the best friends in the whole world. And when I say I love you, I mean it.