Why You Should Be Saying 'I Love You' To More People, More Often

by Emily Brookshire
Amy Covington

"I love you."

Twenty-somethings are obsessed with that term. We are blindsided by a four-letter word and consumed by what it means.

We talk about it endlessly. We argue over when to say it, how to say it and if it was too early to say it. If we're awkward about it, we pretend we didn't say it at all.

We make rules for that one phrase that dictates our relationships, like waiting at least five dates before saying it and never saying it first. But when we actually want to say it, we are pushed to immediately decide if we are “in love” with the “love of our life.”

We are checking these items off our love list, one by one. We're obsessed with society's expectations about love, instead of actually loving people because it feels good. Honestly, that's bullsh*t.

Twenty-somethings are living their lives in search of “the one." But life isn't a Nicholas Sparks movie.

Guess what? That's OK. You don't have to be "in love" to feel it.

Love is not just assigned to one other human. Your love isn't just for the missing piece to your puzzle.

That's an amazing idea. I mean, I want it just as badly as the next person does. But at the end of the day, it's just an idea.

While we wait for Mr. and Mrs. Right, we're missing out on the millions of moments when we can actually love wholeheartedly, and maybe even be loved in return.

So, stop waiting and say it. If you say those three words more than once, or to more than one person, that doesn't mean your feelings aren't genuine.

Love comes in different forms, at different times, for all different people. Different strokes for different folks, if you will.

Feeling love brings so much joy to one's life. So, why not wrap yourself up in it? Why not share your emotions when the mood strikes or when it feels right? Why not love hard and often?

Speak the words. Say “I love you” to the roommate who listens to you cry, who actually laughs at your asinine jokes and who instinctively knows when to wrap his or her arms around you just by listening to the tone of your voice.

Say “I love you” to your best friend. Because honestly, no one else puts up with you and your psychosis better than he or she does.

Say “I love you” to the friends, mentors and family you have in your life. Say it because it simply feels good to speak those words.

There is a type of calmness, joy and comfort that comes from telling someone who makes up the fabric of your life that he or she is valued, cherished and loved.

“I love you” is verbal sunshine. It makes you smile, deep in your heart and down to your toes. Look, Tyra Banks said it best: "You don't have to have a ring on your finger to say 'I love you.'"

You don't have to wait for "the one." Instead, you can love many people. You can have multiple moments and memories that will actually last a lifetime, despite how cliched that might seem.

Because at the end of the day, love doesn't go away. It is the truest form of glue.

So, go share your love. Give more of it every day and all day. Just say it.

Also, when you say it, make sure to yell it out loud with zeal. Make the most of all that love. What else are your 20s for?

Now, go celebrate your people. As for all of mine? "I love you."