A friend asked me if I loved her once, and I had trouble saying yes because in my head, the only people I loved were my family, my cousins, and a few of my boys that I held close enough to me to call them my brothers.
That was a stupid response. That was a trained response. That was a response that came from thinking that I was supposed to keep my love exclusive.
After some thought and some perspective from various bloggers (a lot of inspiration from Jason Mraz), I'v realized that all you can do is love. Having different magnitudes for how much you like someone and creating a line between "like" and "love" just makes appreciation harder. It makes it harder to connect genuinely. If you keep it at love (not to mention, staying away from "dislike," or "hate"), all you want to do is make the most of your relationships.
I'm slowly becoming a great believer in love. That love that Jason Mraz so effectively describes:
The greatest love imaginable: That Love that dwells inside us all,That Love that makes us so, That Love that makes us all connected whether we believe in it or not.I'm trying to remind people of that love at the end of my conversations. Whether it be on the phone, on AIM, or in person, it leaves the person thinking - "Wait, did he just say, 'I love you'? Huh. That was kinda nice."
It's weird for me too, but I think it's kinda nice.