He never said he loved me: thoughts for Valentine’s Day
We have been talking about love; showing it, feeling it. It is a necessity when in a romantic relationship and a parent/child relationship. So it is time to start leveling, to be blunt; to make it “simple”. People ask, “so what do I do?” It is not rocket science: say, “I love you”, just like that and in other ways, daily. Then show that you love a person by being loving and giving, being mindful each day. When you say, “I love you”, you should also mean it and feel it. It is possible you were also never taught how to love and feel loved. Many men say, “My father never told me he loved me”. Is that OK? No, it is not OK. It is important to say it and to show it. This is another example of the dynamic that we should not go into automatic and do as our parents did.
So, many men who were raised this way also sink into the thoughtless, mindless method of not saying, “I love you”, and not showing and feeling real love. Human beings are capable of thinking about what was done poorly in the olden days, and improving. I was just watching a talk television show where they had a dad and his daughter discussing how to say I love you, in a certain way, and to do it each day. The dad has been diagnosed with cancer 3 different times over the years. The daughter is now 11 years old. Before his diagnosis with cancer, when she was in elementary school, he would daily fix her a loving bag lunch, and put in a handwritten note. She loved it so much that she saved the notes and pasted them into an album. When he was first diagnosed with cancer, he realized he wanted to not only continue doing this, but wanted to write notes for every day for the future, just in case he was not there, to last at least for the next 8 years. These are love notes. A simple way to say “I love you”, and to show love each day. You could tell by watching these 2 that they are very close and love each other very much.
Why do we sometimes wait until we are near death, or being threatened by death, to realize we have not been loving to our loved ones? It happens often. We have the opportunity today, while we are living, to embrace love and cause it to flourish. All it takes is putting effort, each day, into saying and showing love. Fathers of the past would cringe if we told them that their inability and unwillingness to say “I love you” and to outwardly show love to their wives and children, would cause their sons to not do well in romantic relationships, and to not be “loving” to their children; that it perpetuates a bad cycle. It is so “easy” to say “I love you”. But men will tell you: “I don’t do it because my father didn’t”; “I don’t know how”, etc. Many men sink into extremes of behavior, modeling their father’s poor behavior, either being cold, quiet and uninvolved, or being loud, rude, and crude. We want to find balance in our behavior, attitudes, beliefs; in our lives. It is not really that saying, “I love you” is difficult. It is really just ineffective attitudes, beliefs, and sinking into automatic, refusing to think and learn effective ways to “do life”; to show and feel love. It is sometimes, “I don’t want to”. If we want to live happy, successful lives regarding relationships, we have to get rid of the, “I don’t want to” attitude. We can develop the attitudes, “I want to do better than my father”, “I will learn how to show love and feel love”, “I will focus on my relationships each day”, “I will be mindful of my attitudes and behavior each day, regarding my relationships”, “I will love myself and do things each day, for myself, to show that I love myself, even though my father did not show he loved me. I forgive him for not knowing how, but I can do better than that.” “I will not perpetuate that bad cycle”. “I will work on stopping bad behavior, bad attitudes: being rude and crude, being negative, being cold and distant, being mean, being quiet and uninvolved”. “I can say to my wife and children each day, ‘I love you’. And I will feel it when I say it; take a moment to feel and be thankful for the love in my life.” If I unable to do these things, and to feel love, I will get help.