Over time I have come to know that “I love you” is not always a three-word sentence. Of course, these are the words we normally equate with devotion, adoration and a host of other romantic sentiments, but they are not the only way to proclaim undying love.
It is the nature of human beings to want and need romance in their lives. Most women are captivated by the love stories portrayed in classic films, and while any enduring relationship must have an element of romance of the movie screen variety, there are few chances for an ordinary man to make the grand gestures of a Hollywood hero.
What makes a movie hero so appealing? Because he demonstrates his willingness to sacrifice all for the sake of honour and the woman he loves. Because he faces an overwhelming number of terrifying enemies with sword drawn, ready to prove himself worthy. Movie heroes win our hearts because they are all placed in extreme situations which provide them with ample opportunity to demonstrate their heroic qualities.
We women realize that the average modern man is seldom presented with the perfect chance to be a true hero to his significant other. But there are financial crises, overwhelming job stresses, vehicles that won’t start, appliances that break down, children who spike fevers in the night or develop croup, teenagers who try all patience, and frail elderly parents who need care. The man who can handle these things is a true hero in my eyes.
There are few words more heroic in times of stress than these: “I’ll take care of it. Don’t worry. Everything is going to be all right. We’ll get through this.”
In the end, “I love you” is really just one way of saying “I’ll be there. I’d do anything for you.” It is an affirmation of commitment, a promise — but not the only way to proclaim undying love.
Lois Gordon writes from Sherwood Park, Alberta