Marathon runners have it. So do Crossfitters, gamers, art dealers, and social media people.
Insider language is everywhere. All subcultures have specialized words that comes with being part of the insider class. These expressions (THAC0 comes to mind) represent specialized, complex ideas that are important to the culture, but meaningless outside of it.
This is true for larger cultures (Canadians, Americans, the French) as well as smaller ones, of course. I can say “Voice of Fire” to Canadians and have a bunch of emotions come up– it’s a short sentence that brings up a ton of related feelings that mean nothing to anyone else.
Point? Short phrases mean a lot. But I’d actually like to make the argument that we should eliminate some of them… and that maybe “I love you” should be the first.
“I love you” isn’t a death sentence for relationships, but it sure as hell does make couples lazy. It takes all of these deep feelings and coalescing them into one vague blob of a sentence that is entirely meaningless.
Using the word “love” means a lot at first– there’s anticipation, tension, etc. It represents a million little things, but over time, it gets overused. It starts to mean nothing– especially if you’re saying it as often as the typical couple.
Are you in a relationship? Try this instead: If you have feelings that are welling up inside of you and that you want to express how much you care about someone, tell them WHY and WHAT THEY ARE. Don’t just use a phrase that everyone else uses– tell them what’s unique about your feelings and what you think of them. Try these and observe the reaction.
“You are one of the most thoughtful people I’ve ever met.”
“I adore how you always think about the little things.”
“Thank you for supporting me, even when it isn’t easy or convenient.”
… or better yet, come up with your own! 😀
People don’t hear what we like about them enough– we take it for granted that they know, but often, they don’t. We never tell them. Even if they do know all about it, I’m willing to put money down that they prefer hearing how you feel vs yet another “I love you.”
Wipe it out of your vocabulary, just for a week. You’ll be amazed at the difference.