How can we know that our I love you very much encapsulates the same intensity of feelings as the I love you very much we hear back? How can we be sure that we don’t undervalue or overvalue other people’s intimate confidings? Because if we do so, we hurt or are hurt, we delude or are deluded. No one wants that. Is there any way to get reassured about our relationship’s balance and avoid all the misery that comes with wondering if we’re treated fairly?
We can’t stand uncertainty, but that’s all we have. We can’t know for sure what other people think and how they feel. We all have unique personalities, upbringings, and life experiences that impact how we perceive other people. Attempting to compare our love with that of others will always result in distortions and disappointments.
There’s no objective measurement panel to determine the depth of love. No miles, pounds, or gallons. Worse, there’s no consistency in our subjective interpretations. The phrase I love you can lift us up one day and make us fall down the rabbit hole the next, depending on circumstances and moods.
The meaning we give to our words and actions can be drastically different from what others interpret them to be. An act of love we consider important may seem insignificant to someone else. Conversely, what others may consider a wonderful manifestation of love can appear to us as just a pleasant incident.
With all these breaches in communication and perception, how can we still love and be happy in love? Does the answer lie in vulnerability? Unconditionality? Humility? Having the courage to open up to others and share our insecurities with them takes a lot of trust that most of us aren’t willing to give blindly. But do we have a choice?
Love is an innermost feeling. Everyone loves in their own way. Our emotions are never identical to those of another person, so we’re inevitably going to feel more deeply or less intensely than the person we love. And unfortunately, or fortunately, we’ll never know how wide this gap in feelings is.