The Difference Between “Love You” And “I Love You”

How do you feel when someone tells you “I love you”? You feel intimately emotional and special. You picture yourself in a special place in the person’s heart. But how do you feel when someone tells you “love you”? Probably, you feel nothing special. You don’t get emotional because the phrase is just vague.

The difference between “love you” and “I love you” is largely found in their connotative meaning. By denotation, the two expressions are loosely of the same meaning. But with connotation, “love You” is just a vague phrase to express gratitude while “I love you” transcends to emotional attachment.

Specifically, the difference between “love you” and “I love you” is typified in the word “I.” It is a thin line that distinguishes these two expressions. With the possessive role of “I,” it depicts ownership and commitment in “I love you”. 

Going forward, there are a lot of differences between “love you” and “I love you.” These differences are deeply rooted in their usage, intent, and the prevailing atmosphere. Below are the basic 5 differences between “love you” and “I love you.”

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Difference between love you and I love you

4 Ways To Identify The Difference Between “love you” and “I love you”

1. Intent

The intentions between “love you” and “I love you” are very different. The latter is a way of showing gratitude to someone while the former is a reaffirmation of an intimate feeling. Instead of saying “thank you,” some can conveniently use “love you.” 

But, when one says “I love you,” it comes from a place of genuine feeling of affection. It is a way to convey the state of your mind to that person. “I love you” is an embodiment of attention, care, affection and love.

2. Whom are they used for

The difference between “love you” and “I love you” can also be spotted in whom they are used. To a large extent “love you” is mainly used for casual friends or strangers who just lend us a helping hand, pets, good writing, good art, among others. It is seldom used for people you’re emotionally attached to.

Meanwhile, “I love you” is used mainly for your intimate friends – Girlfriend or boyfriend -, families, and spouses.

This is because there is an established emotional connection between you and these people. The expression “I love you” is a way to reaffirm your love and affection for these people.

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3. Ownership

“I love you” depicts ownership. The word “I” shows ownership of the emotions that emanate from the expression. It is just a way of saying these feelings are coming to you. With the presence of “I”, there is every sense of commitment. You’re just personalizing your affection towards that person.

Conversely, “love you” is practically devoid of ownership or any personal attachment. There is no flow of emotions. It is just like a random compliment. There’s no actor behind the statement or anyone to be held accountable. Just a passive statement.

4. Time

To spot another difference between “love you” and “I love you”, you check how long it takes for someone to use either of the expressions. 

In the early days of a relationship, saying “love you” is very common and won’t be taken too seriously by either of the partners. However, it takes a good chunk of time for someone to say “I love you” in a relationship. 

Some people can only muster the courage to say “I love you” after 90 days of dating. At this point, they’ve carefully examined their emotions and have committed to a possible future with their significant other. 

In conclusion, “I love you” always comes from a genuine place in your heart. It takes compassion, empathy, time, patience, courage, commitment and understanding to discover this genuine place.

It is very difficult to say “I love you” because of its emotional implications. You have to consider a lot of factors and circumstances before you say “I love you.” 

What does it mean if he says love you instead of I love you?

It implies he is not yet ready to be committed to a relationship with you. “Love you” is just a casual way of indicating gratitude and appreciation.

It is rarely used in intimate relationships when the atmosphere is light and no sensitive message to pass across. If he says love you instead of I love you, it means he is still skeptical about dating you or he is not yet ready to get emotionally attached with you.

You just have to give them time and allow them to figure out the right time and the right reasons to say “I love you” to you.

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What is another word for “I love You”?

There are a couple of other means to say “I love U”:

  1. I’m crazy for you.
  2. Let’s grow old and wrinkle together.
  3. You rock my world.
  4. You’re the light of my life.
  5. You make my heart skip a bit.
  6. I’m lost without you.
  7. I have a crush on you.
  8. You mean a lot to me.
  9. I’m drawn to you.
  10. You are my princess.
  11. I’ll always be there for you.

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