It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m on my way out to perform obligatory rituals bespeaking my devotion to those females in my immediate love-sphere. Not that I mind, mind you.
I say “I love you” pretty much every day (I’d say every day, but I’m hesitant to say “every” anything): at least every day to each of my three children who are in the house (even the 16 year-old boy), and every day to my wife. It’s important to me.
I talk to my daughter away at college once a week, sometimes more, and I tell her I love her about seven times per conversation to make up for the other days (not that I plan it that way, but that’s the way it works out), and when I actually SEE her, I imagine I am a mushy mess of hugs, kisses, “I love you’s” and “I missed you’s.” I’m an emotional guy, especially about the kids.
According to a Reader’s Digest poll, most of us are pretty mushy:
- Nearly three-quarters of Americans – not counting those who live alone – say “I love you” at least once a day, according to a new poll.
And that goes for men as well as for women.
The poll, conducted in November by Chappaqua-based Reader’s Digest and the Gallup Organization, asked 1,000 adults living in households how often they said those three little words to their spouse or children.
Seventy-three percent claimed they said it once a day, including 71 percent of men and 74 percent of women. In addition, 14 percent claimed to say “I love you” several times a week, and 5 percent said they say it once a week, which would mean 92 percent of Americans say the words at least once a week.
A third of those who responded said they found themselves saying “I love you” more than they did five years ago. [AP]
The love is spreading – this can only be good and is a very promising sign, especially for men, who have been notoriously emotionally reticent in the past. The emotional liberation of men is one of the best changes of the last 50 years or so.
When our 4 year-old is feeling particularly profound, she will say not just “I love you,” but “I love you as a heart” – she came up with that one herself.
Happy Valentine’s Day – don’t be stingy with your “I love you’s.”