Monday, June 25, 2012

The I Love You Conundrum

I love you. I love you too.
Empirical studies show that in 93% of situations where those three words are uttered, they are heartfelt. The same studies show that in 72% of situations where the response is uttered, they are heartfelt.
Actually I made that up. Although it wouldn't surprise me if a government funded study like that actually existed. It's important to continuously find ways to waste our tax dollars.
Waste our tax dollars. That's a phrase I never thought I would use. Sounds so adult. So responsible.
What's happening to me? Last year I started flossing, now this.
Years ago Howard Stern said that when he went to school gatherings for his kids, he felt like the other parents were adults and he was a kid. I feel the same way and I consider it a positive.
Anyway I heard that exchange spoken on a show on TV and for some reason it hit me like never before. I am willing to bet when someone says "I love you", they mean it more often than not. Because if you initiate that exchange you are putting yourself out there. You are taking a risk. You have placed yourself in that Seinfeldian limbo of the "I love you too" return.
Of course because we humans are manipulative weasels you cannot take an I love you at face value. There are agendas and love presents a great battlefield within which to wield those agendas.
And of course we puny humans have no understanding at all about what love is. Love of pets, love of kids, yeah. That is natural, it flows and it feels right.
Love of each other? Every time we get a vibration in our crotch we call it love. And there are a million other emotional states that can be confused as love.
This creates the possibility of another nightmare scenario, of a disingenuous I love you and a heartfelt I love you too.
But I am willing to bet more often than not it is the other way around.
But in those circumstances where it is genuine, I love you is heavy. It's deep.
I love you too is more complicated. Your brain has a nano second to decide upon the appropriate response.
Thanks is not going to do it.
If you are in love your response will come naturally. If you are not in love, or not as in love, you got a problem.
Since avoiding confrontation is our nature, I love you too is the easy way out. In the short term.
In the long term you have created a dire situation for yourself which will only get worse as time goes on.
My plan is to become the executive producer of the next slimy reality TV show. Involving one couple per show. One person says "I love you." The other responds "I love you too." The judges and the cretinous audience must decide who is being truthful and who is being misleading. Questions can be asked of the contestants, life situations can be revealed about each of them in film clips and sound bites, twitter addicts can tweet stupidities that will scroll across the bottom of the screen.
At the end of the show a vote is taken based on judges opinions and twitter opinions and a final judgement is rendered.
The dramatic climax of the show comes when each contestant admits to lying or being truthful.
"I said I love you so I could suck you in and break your heart as payback for running over my sister's smart phone."
"I said I love you too because I want to do the horizontal mambo with you and then cast you aside like an old shoe."
Stuff like that.
I love you. I love you too.
A three word phrase and a four word phrase that have the potential for more destruction than a nuclear explosion.
Or the potential for sublime happiness that can only be experienced through selfless love.
As a betting man, I'm betting on the meltdown.

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