The first time you share those words with your partner can feel as if time stopped.
A wave of mixed emotions may hit you: excitement, fear, nervousness, joy. After all, “I love you” is a powerful, potentially life-changing phrase. But with each subsequent confession, those three little words can become a little more commonplace, a little less exciting.
“Often times, the longer that couples have been together the easier it feels to just skip it altogether.”
In the honeymoon phase of a relationship, we’re likely to profess our feelings nonstop. But as time passes, we’re sometimes less likely to say “I love you” to our significant other. Not everyone is comfortable expressing their emotions, and often times, the longer that couples have been together, the easier it feels to just skip it altogether. But how important is it to use the L word with your partner? One might argue that love is much more about action than simply saying it. Stephan and Ayesha Curry share a little pillow talk on the topic.
Ayesha: I’m shocked that we’re going to have this talk because we’re in bed. It’s 9:50 p.m. on a Thursday, and typically when we get in bed to have serious conversations, you fall asleep.
Stephan: I could probably fall asleep now. But at 9:50, it’s a decent time to have a legit conversation. What are we talking about?
A: The topic is: Does “I love you” go without saying? Years ago, I got upset because you didn’t tell me you love me, and I had waited all day to hear it. You said, “You know I love you.” Do you remember?
S: I do.
A: Talk a little bit about your perspective on that. Does “I love you” go without saying?
S: Yes and no. Growing up, the way we showed love was being present, supporting each other. You didn’t necessarily need to say the words.
A: So that time you said I should just know…
S: That was one day, right?
A: Yeah. But then we started to have arguments about it. I was like, “You can’t just expect me to know.” It’s funny, though, because a year ago I would have said I don’t believe it goes without saying. But now, I look back and I realize I was being told “I love you” all the time by my parents. Sometimes they said it to make up for something that should have been done differently, almost to shove an issue under the rug. I think hearing the words “I love you” started to become my crutch. So then when you didn’t say it that day, I was like, “Something must be wrong.” And that was annoying because then I disregarded all of your wonderful actions. It was like the words became more than the actions. But now I know the two go hand in hand. You have to have both.
S: It also has to be a feeling. You could not say it to me for 10 days and it wouldn’t change the way I felt or my belief that you loved me. If you didn’t cook breakfast for me for two weeks and we were home every day, in my head I’m thinking, something else must be wrong, not that.
A: You’re saying once you fall in love, the love goes without saying?
S: When we first got married, we had nothing but each other for a year, and there was more opportunity to do things for each other. Now, if we don’t have the time, it’s because the circumstances have changed and we’ve evolved with them. That defines how we express our love for each other. But the feeling stays the same.
A: I think you’re right. I used to need to hear it a lot, and now I don’t need to hear it as much because I have all of these moments that allow me to know that you love me. I think at this point for us, love goes without saying.
S: It goes without saying, but it doesn’t go without doing because every day there are little things that we commit to in terms of holding up our end of the bargain with the family that we’ve created. And if one of us were to do anything that’s selfish or outside of the priorities of our marriage, our kids, and our jobs, in that order, then that’s when we might question it.
A: That makes sense. “I love you” goes without saying sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t.
A: I love you.
S: I love you too. See how I said it with energy and excitement and passion and belief and conviction? This concludes our broadcast day.
‘It goes without saying, but it doesn’t go without doing because every day there are little things that we commit to in terms of holding up our end of the bargain with the family that we’ve created.”
As seen in the pages of Sweet July Magazine.