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When last did You Say “I Love You?”

By Chinelo Eze 28 June 2020   |   7:00 am

 

Often times we develop in our relationships to the point where individuals involved transcend to the level of nonverbal communication. They begin to speak through a mere look at each other and understand what a glance signifies, a great way indeed to evolve right? But I need not emphasize that sometimes, voiced words are affirming and are as assuring as they sound.

The 3 magical words forming the sentence “I love you” give the impression that they are patterned to a particular sect despite its universal ability. Let us start with the just concluded Father’s day, how many people exclaimed those guaranteeing words on that given day?

This is a sentence that puts in perspective a universe of feelings as it also defines relationships between husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, siblings, and other family members and friends precious to us.

The Theory of Vulnerability
The vulnerability and exposure probably felt in saying those words is the primary reason why most times the emotional state is held back. How does that play out in Nigeria? It is appropriate to say it is an awkward statement to utter as the average Nigerian has been taught to be inflexible and suppress emotions as the idea is that emotional display by a man symbolizes a weak man. In this regard, the man wears a “poker face”, is unresponsive or unsympathetic to things that require some facial reaction which reflects a deeper feeling.

Again, the man feels that his authority might be thus lost or even threatened by showing emotion. This has invariably left many perplexed on the level of emotional availability of the African or Nigerian man.

Shades of the Watchword
Now in boy-girl relationships, lays silently the question, ‘how soon is too soon to say those words in a relationship?’ Too early can reveal obnoxious intentions or help with the direction and seriousness of the relationship.
One funny thing yet is the awkward responses partners get when they own up to their lovers such as ‘me too’, ‘you better’, ‘thanks for letting me know’, ‘thank you’, and finally ‘okay’. These unexpected replies do not necessarily reciprocate the previous declaration and this without a doubt, can leave a relationship in turmoil and distrust. To reiterate, it is not all bad because you get to find out how the other person feels about you.

“Thug Lovin’ ”
Emotions or sensations are not stapled out for the female gender only but all humans. The famous “I love you 3000” is another version of the usual, made popular when Tony Stark kisses his little girl goodnight as they compete for who loves who the most.
Clearly for many to vocalize “I love you” just about feels like ripping off something invaluable which is simply connected to fear and rejection. This is where “Thug lovin’” comes to play as an unconventional display of affection.

Many people have a hard time being verbally affectionate, clueless on how to annunciate their feelings, and do so in ways undreamed-of, yet, everyone loves a word of affirmation.

Not having the culture of expressing ones moods also makes it hard for an open up. Aristotle lets us know that it is essentially human to be imitative so man learns first by imitation. So habitually nurturing the pronouncement and assurance of feelings is a good way to start in easing the comfort of opening up their heart just like Stark and his daughter. Talk about killing two birds with one stone, aiding child development and striking emotional balance. Well, just like Stevie Wonder, “ I just called to say “I LOVE YOU”.

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