Saying I love you

I like to think of myself as a sentimental person. I love giving and receiving handmade gifts or something that has a meaning that only the receiver/giver and I would understand. I have watched too many Bollywood movies that are super sappy and romantic, but I love them anyway. I love having deep meaningful conversations about life with anyone who wants to have them. Yet saying I love you is very strange for me. As I kid I never told my family members that I love them. I've never really said it to my friends, either. When these thoughts entered my head a little while ago, I realized that I’ve barely said those words throughout my life. But why? Growing up in a Bengali household, I was never taught to say it. We say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ but never ‘I love you.’ Never ‘I miss you.’ In fact, I have never heard my parents tell each other that they love each other. I've never seen them kiss either. Public displays of affection are considered taboo in South Asian cultures. Although that is slowly changing, my parents have held onto those views. I have to say, however, that I have known them to be a tad more progressive than other Bengali parents I've met throughout my life. But I know my parents the most so I could be biased.

Even though my parents don't display affection in conventional ways, I truly believe they deeply love and respect each other. I can see it through their actions of how they take care of one another.

So perhaps that's why. I tend to show people I love them, not say it. Even after this realization, I still feel strange about uttering those words. But I'm going to work on that. Just saying it and actually meaning it. I never say anything else I don't mean, so perhaps it's time I start saying more of what I do mean.