To Everyone I’ve Loved

When it comes to romantic love I’ve probably been a complete failure in some book. I’ve had two soul mates, one fatal attraction, a first love and a high school sweetheart. Not all the same people of course. I’ve told acquantainces and friends that I am in love with about 10 different men at different points, some of whom I never even bothered to have a relationship with. I was the classic fruity flaky Pisces, forever looking for something beyond myself.
Or am I? I’ve noticed a tendency of friends of mine to say “I love you” in much greater proportions than when I was young. What does “I love you” mean in this context? I wouldn’t say it to a business associate (though even if I did, I’d say it would more likely cause a professional exchange of “well you’re great too”)
So this “I love you” thing. It’s now being used for BFFs, for friends you haven’t seen in awhile, for strangers. I have to wonder does it cheapen love or strengthen it that those three magic words are given out so freely? What do you think?
Earlier tonight we went to a friend’s house, or I should say a friend of my husband’s house. The friend’s mother was there, a woman who I had never met before but had heard a lot about. She said “I love you.” to me in broken English.
“I love you too.” I said back. What else could I say?
All you need is love…really?

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