Why is saying “I love you” so scary?
How is it that so many people can be afraid of three simple words: “I,” “love” and “you”? The answer is rather obvious — saying “I love you” to a person is saying that not only do you care about this person immensely, but you also would do just about anything to keep that person as a part of your life.
Saying “I love you” to someone is telling that person you need him or her, that you depend on him or her in some way or another. We’re so reluctant to say we love someone because it’s basically telling that person that we are submitting a part of ourselves to him or her. We are entrusting a piece of ourselves to someone other than ourselves. This scares us. And rightly so.
As human beings, we rely on other people our entire lives. We rely on our parents for food, shelter and safety until we are able to fend for ourselves. Nowadays, this often means relying on them well into our 30s.
We rely on people our entire lives because it’s the only way for us not only to survive, but to get ahead in life.
Saying “I love you” to someone is admitting that you rely on another person for one of the most important things a person could rely on anyone for… you’re telling someone you’re relying on him or her for your happiness.
Happiness: the elusive holy grail of holy grails. How do human beings measure success? We don’t really measure it in financial wealth or in accomplishments deserving of grand recognition. We measure success in a different kind of wealth; we measure it according to the level of a person’s happiness. Of course, money, recognition and the respect of our peers certainly does affect a person’s level of happiness.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of individuals out there who are rich and famous — and miserable. Those in such a position most would refuse to dub as successful. How can a person be said to be successful when he or she is unhappy? Isn’t failing to be happy the grandest failure of all?
Success is only as good as you can enjoy it. If you are a world famous billionaire, respected for your intellect and prowess, yet are unable to think about your life without your eyes filling up with tears, then did you really succeed? Or did you fail, only in such a way as to give everyone else the illusion of you winning in life?
Happiness is a fleeting emotion — true. We can’t hold on to it, but can only enjoy it as it passes through us. Yet, it’s those moments that happiness fills us up and makes us feel truly alive, that we live for. Without such moments, life is bland and if anything else, depressing.
What we as people are after in life is happiness. Most of us do our best to find happiness either inside ourselves or in material things and accomplishments. Finding happiness within yourself is most definitely the first step.
Adding a few material things and some grand accomplishments definitely helps as well. But to truly be happy, you need every piece of the puzzle — the last being other people to love and to love you in return.
We were created to need each other. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; we’re animals and all animals work together in order to survive and even flourish. We are no different other than differing in the complexity of our perspective.
The truth is that although we need each other to be happy, to succeed in life, we don’t like the idea of depending on others so profoundly. We don’t like the concept of needing other people. Why? Because we have learned that needing others means trusting others, and trusting others often leaves us bruised and bleeding.
Too many people focus on material things and accomplishments in order to achieve happiness. So much so that they overlook the love of others entirely. More than that, they hurt others and break their trust, making it very difficult for those individuals to trust other people. This creates a vicious cycle of pain and heartbreak.
We trust, we get hurt. We get hurt, we hurt others. We hurt others, if we allow ourselves to trust again then we are likely to get hurt yet again. Or… or we stop trusting other people entirely and choose to seclude ourselves, focusing on other aspects of our life – like money, toys and trophies.
This makes everyone not only your competition, but your enemy. Yet, we still need other people in our lives in order to be happy. We need to trust others and let them into our lives.
We need to give up a piece of ourselves and trade it in for a piece of them. If we find ourselves entirely alone, it isn’t possible to be happy. Thankfully, we created the concept of romantic love, making love not only a decision, but an emotional inclination.
Romantic love “blinds us” and makes us make “insane decisions.” Truth is that the only thing we are blinding ourselves of is our inclinations to distrust and to protect ourselves — inclinations that although helpful, are also damning.
But because we feel we need to have other people in our lives, and love the romantic concept of having one special person in our lives, we allow people in. We allow them to enter our lives and we allow ourselves to trust them.
However, we rarely allow people all the way in because we are still holding on to the notion that we may very well get hurt. And the truth is that we very well may. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed, but that’s what makes love so beautiful — both the pleasure and the pain.
“I love you.” Such frightening words. If we say them, we are saying we trust someone enough to let him or her into our lives completely. We are telling this person we are giving ourselves up to him or her. Such a frightening thought. No one wants to be the first person to say it. No one wants to risk those three words not being reciprocated or being reciprocated halfheartedly.
No one wants to be the first to give in because no one wants to risk losing, risk ruining what they have and risk losing the person they care so much about. If you remember one thing then remember this: If there is no chance of you losing, then there is no chance of you willing… without the possibility of failure there is no possibility for success.
Without the possibility of sadness and misery, there is no possibility of happiness. And without the possibility of pain and suffering, there is no possibility of pleasure and bliss.
About the author
A young writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur, Paul Hudson (@MrPaulHudson) has been writing for Elite Daily nearly since the start. Currently located in Manhattan, Paul Hudson primarily devotes his time between writing for Elite Daily and a mining startup in Turkey. He loves sharing his life experiences with his readers and makes sure to practice what he preaches.
This article originally appeared on Elite Daily.
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