Deconstructing “I Love You”

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Video Intros Subblog: Deconstructing “I Love You”

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In this post, I aim to explain a number of the issues I have with the phrase “I love you”.
I must admit that this phrase confuses me – what do men mean exactly by this?  So if someone were to tell me that he loves me, I would probably just stare at him in confusion, and mumble a confused “thank you”. I can imagine that that unenthusiastic response might make a man feel a little upset, especially if he has gone to great effort to build up his courage before telling me…
This is why I find it confusing:  the phrase “I love you” possibly involves a few distinct emotions (?) or mental viewpoints, and I’m not sure exactly which combination of emotions etc that he might be referring to, unless he specifically spells it out. Depending on exactly what combination of emotions etc he is talking about, I might want to respond positively, or alternatively I might want to draw back in caution.  By default, if I am not quite sure what he means, or if I do not know him well enough to trust him, from a self-preservatory instinct I would probably draw back (for instance, he might be using this declaration to manipulate me – as described below).  So naturally if I could be interested in him at all, I would prefer to ask him exactly what he means.
Options for what “I love you” means (might there be a few that I have forgotten here?)…

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