I love you, but….

When my grandson Ethan was young, a friend gave him the book, “How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?”. It’s about dinosaurs (children) who do all sorts of kid-like things that make parents frazzled, but then turn around and do something sweet that touches their hearts. The last sentence in the book is “…that’s when you give love, and I know this is true because that’s how a dinosaur says, ‘I Love You!'”

It’s easy to say, “I love you when…”
• you show me love can be unconditional
• you’re happy
• life is uncomplicated
• you spend quality time with me 
• your smile lights up my day 
• we’re on vacation
• you understand my emotions better than I do 
• you help me around the house
• when you’re positivity always shines through
• you help me to be a better person  

It’s also easy to say, “I love you because…”
• you’re a great cook/provider/parent
• you always see the best in me
• of who you are 
• you have a positive mindset
• you know and understand me better than anyone else 
• you’re always willing to listen to me
• our life together is wonderful
• you’re so laid back
• you challenge me to be a good example of who I am 
• I feel seen every time our hearts share some space  

Things change when “but” becomes part of the sentence. This is where, in our humanness, we get so caught up in ourselves that we choose not to “see” the other people around us; when we say, “I love you, but…”
• I don’t have time to listen to your problems
• what you’re saying requires me to make some changes
• I don’t want to deal with anything emotional or painful
• you’re asking me to understand how you feel
• right now is not a good time
• I need a lot of space
• this conversation is much too heavy for me
• I need my freedom
• you don’t see things my way
• this is just the way I roll  

Sadly, we put a lot of “I love you but” statements out there, some spoken, many unspoken. When do these sentences (strings of words) become sentences (decrees and judgments) for the person on the receiving end?

Many times there’s a line we’re willing to love up to. Then we stop. Sometimes that’s healthy; after all, we do need to create boundaries and protect ourselves from being hurt or harmed. Sometimes, however, crossing that line doesn’t happen because it’s just not what we want to do, deciding life should play out our way.

Do you know people who have stopped sharing who they really are, or expressing how they feel because it “doesn’t really matter”? Are you becoming “small” or “quiet” because you’ve heard too many sentences beginning with, “I love you, but”?

In our relationships and homes, peace requires “I love you when” and “I love you because” statements. “I love you, but” doesn’t make relationships better. When we don’t validate one another; when we are unwilling to hear another’s pain; when we only take into consideration what we feelwe lose sight of the essence of our walk together in this life. I know we can do better than that. ❤︎

special thanks to Betsy, Liz, Nancy, Jill, Dan, Sam, Monica, and Mimi for their contributions to the “I love you when” and “I love you because,” sentences. (I love you all!)

Blog: peacefullhome.com
Instagram: @peace_full_home
Facebook: facebook.com/kayspeacefullhome

©peace full home.com®/intentional living, 2013-2020.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kay McLane and Peace Full Home.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

4 thoughts on “I love you, but….

  1. No buts about it, I thoroughly enjoy what you are doing here. You are living your life with purpose. I love you when you look back at the day and say I intended to influence some measure of joy, change, or mindfulness into the life of another. And I just might have had fun doing it, too.


    • Dan,
      Thanks for your kind words! I’m passionate about the blog and the poetry; it’s something I have to purposely move away from doing, I just get lost in my thoughts. You’re a great example of mindful living and I honor your presence in my life! ❤︎


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s