It seems to me these days that the “L” word doesn’t mean the same as it did when I was growing up. The term is so loosely used now that it seems as if it has no merit. So what exactly does that word mean and how did it over time become a right of passage? I will try to take you through the journey of this word.
If you have not figured out what word I am referring to, it’s “love”. Love, by definition, means a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend. But that is just one definition. There are actually 14 definitions of the word love as it relates to a noun form. Each one is more in depth or more at the surface than the other, depending on how you view it. In my lifetime I have associated the word with, and this is my own definition, a burning desire to show or express affection to another person, place, or thing. The key words in my definition are the “burning desire”.
In order to understand why these words are key you would have to understand my back ground. The way I was raised and brought up, a man almost never says the “L” word, especially if it was to another man. This includes fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, and brothers. If it was a male that word was never directed towards them. I still think that to this day I have never told my father that I love him. It is just something that is implied and understood. Even as I have grown and have tried, it will not come out and feels utterly weird to even try to say. Now with that being said, I am sure that most people would assume that since you didn’t tell your father, I’m sure you told your mother. Nope. I think I was in college the first time I told my mother that I love her. The reason for this comes back to those two words “burning desire”. In any case, mother or father, there was no burning desire of affection. It was I’m suppose to love you and your are suppose to love me so there is no desire and it damn sure is not a burning one. It was more so an innate one.
For me it was hard to use the word “L” word because of the way I grew up, but these new generation brothers use it like they use the “N” word. It is good that we have crossed the generational gaps as to where men were taught not to express there emotions to a place where it is ok and not seem weak to do so. However, I think that in doing so some of the meaning of the word has gotten lost. If you recall, I said that there are 14 definitions of the word love in the dictionary. When I hear these new “N” words use the “L” word, I immediately think about one definition of the word specifically, sexual intercourse. I think that the first definition listed has been intertwined with this one and it now reads “a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection for sexual intercourse”. Many brothers these days will tell a woman that he loves her just so he can get her goodies. I started to say loving but we all know there’s no love there. I have seen one of my boys tell a number of women that he loves them knowing damn well that he doesn’t. All I could tell him was that he better be careful.
So how did this transition come to pass? I am not sure. I do know that even before my time, having sexual intercourse was referred to as making love. Even then I am sure that it was referred to as an art and not a form of manipulation. Making love, back in the day, was view as a passionate display of affection to another person through sexual intercourse. It was understood that there was passion on an emotional level between the two even if they were having an affair. There was a general “Love” so to speak between them. Otherwise they would use the “F” word or use another word synonymous with the “F” word, screw. I think as the affairs became plentiful, meaning more than one person, the making love went from, art, to graffiti, to just a can of spray paint that has one solitary color. This screws the world up because one color can’t make discernable art.
All in all the “L” word is a very powerful word. Believe me when I say that it was the hardest word for me and is still the hardest word for me to say. I have learned over the years that using this word doesn’t make man weak. I have also learned that the use of this word can and will make some women weak. Not weak in the sense of physicality but weak in the emaotional sense. They start to let down their guards and fall prey to some men’s “BS”. I will say to the brothers, do not use the “L” word as a means to get sex. Only use it if you mean it. Love is a powerful and wonderful thing and should not be thrown around loosely. I am not saying revert back to what I was taught because that can be worse, but make sure that when “I LOVE YOU” comes out of your mouth, it’s due to a burning desire to show affection to another person and not a selfish desire to “bust a nut”.