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Not saying “I love you”

Stepmom25's picture

I have 3 step kids. They are all young. I have a hard time telling them I love them, but I show it by cuddling with them, kissing them, hugging them, etc. They usually say it to me first and I say it back because I feel the love for them. I don't know why I cannot say it first though. Anyone else have this issue? 


Kes's picture

Nope!  I have never wanted to say "I love you" to either of my step daughters, because I don't love them, never have, never will.  They are lucky I am civil to them, as in the past they certainly haven't deserved it. 

JRI's picture

They say there are different love languages and i believe thst.  When my 3 stepkids lived with us full time, the infrequent calls from BM ended with big, loud, " I LOOOve" yous.  This was the same woman who turned them down when they wanted to visit (lived only about 20 miles away).  Neither I nor DH are the types to say that to other people, but we were the ones providing for them, driving them around, having them in our lives 24/7.  So, in short, I'm one of those people who value acts of service as my love language.  To me those are more valuable than the "I love you"s.  If you're doing everything you can, that's saying you love them, imo.

Gimlet's picture

I am with you, JRI.  I think the L word gets thrown around way too easily and I am a big fan of showing it instead.  I also don't love easily and hate feeling like I have to say it when I don't feel it. 

Acts of service are the best, aren't they?  

JRI's picture

I think my SKs value the "I love yous" since that's what BM did and as we all know, BM rules.  When both OSS & SD lived here (at different times), i found myself saying multiple times, "I dont care what people say, i judge them by what they do"'.  Cant even remember the individual incidents, just remember saying that many times.  Poor memory, lol.

MissK03's picture

100% agree on that. I don't say "I love you." The only person I saw it to is SO. Not even my family. It's not that I don't "love"them I just do not say it. I will admit though, I don't love my SS16, the other two I do.  Not him though. May sound terrible... oh well! 

Thumper's picture

Why would you say I LOVE YOU unless you truly mean it?

Love you, LOVE you...Love ya, LOVE YA, love you most, love you MORE.

The true meaning has become lost...


DPW's picture

I'll admit I have issues with the whole "I love you" thing. I do not say it all the time like others and typically save it for the right people at the right time. I think these three words are so powerful and we lessen their impact when we say it all the time. 

In my previous step life, I never initiated any "I love yous" to exSS. He would say it occasionally and I would answer with different things like "thank you", "thank you for making me feel special", give him a compliment of some sort, etc. I knew if exBM caught wind of any exchange of "I love yous", she would go psycho on my ass. Not in the mood for drama, thanks, plus if I'm honest, I never felt it for exSS. 

Thefatherismyfamily's picture

I never say it to my skids. They say it during occasions like Mother's Day or as a quick one off statement once in a while during goodbyes. 

StepAna's picture

Because I don't love her. I LIKE her just fine. I like her and care about her in the way I would a friend's kid. But I don't love her. I say it back when she says it to me, which is less and less as she gets older, but it never feels... right. I hope that changes but for now, its not genuine. 

Iamwoman's picture

I will say it back to skids if they say it to me, but OSS has never said it and probably never will - the only one he loves is himself. YSS used to say it but stopped when I disengaged. I didn't even notice he stopped saying it for several years, so whatevs.

In Latin, there are theee different words that mean love. They all mean a different kind of love - amorous (lover) nurturing (parent-child), and friendship.

English has only the word "love," so it can be confusing.

I tell my closest friends that I love them because I love them being my friends.

I tell my child and parents I love them, because I feel deeply nurturing bonds.

I tell my husband I love him, because I love him in all 3 ways.

I wouldn't get too hung up on using the word "love," and on whether or not it's overused. Really, who cares how much a word is used?

Actions speak louder than words. So pay attention to peoples actions if you wonder who really loves you.

If you don't want to say "I love you too" to skids, maybe try "Love ya bud," or "Right back at ya."

Gimlet's picture

Actions speak louder than words. So pay attention to peoples actions if you wonder who really loves you.

I agree with this, and I also appreciate the nuance in what you wrote.  I think the important thing for me is authenticity.  You say everything above authentically, and it's fine to use any word you want.  I struggle with people telling me they love me, or that someone else loves me, when I know it's not true and just some expected or trite thing they say. 

I'm sure lots of it is family baggage for me and the fact that people who talked so much about "loving" me had no problem disregarding my basic needs, so I'm pretty sensitive to it now.