How important is it to say “I love you”

My boyfriend of two years won't say, "I love you." It's not as bad as it sounds...he HAS said it. In fact, he said it first, about 5 months into the relationship he told me he was "in love with me." He's also said it about...four times since then. Yes, I can count the number of times. Why doesn't he say it? Well, his reason is that it's "corny" and that it doesn't mean anything because EVERYONE says it to each other, including people who end up cheating on each other or divorced. So, how important is it to say the exact words, "I love you?" - Jenn from Chicago, IL

To answer your question, the words, “I love you,” tend to hold some of the greatest value.  The way I see it, is that there are different types of love in this world.  There is the love you have for a friend.  The love you have for a family member.  The love you have for an object, passion, hobby, etc.  And finally, the love you have for the person you call your significant other.  Love is what each person makes of it, and the importance is stressed by just how much that loved person, place, thing is needed in the messenger’s life.

I watched a movie the other day, and it delivered an important message.  The line quoted:  If you feel like you can not live without that person in your life, you have to let them go and move on.

To me, that line is a good way of looking at the terms in which people define love when it comes to your significant other.  I know I have  said those words to several people at various stages in my life.  And some people I have fallen out of love with.  Old boyfriends, former friends, etc.  It just depends on the stage you are at in life and the importance factor of the person you are saying it to.

Love is different for everyone, but if you can feel some sort of connection that makes you feel like they can not live without you, then you should take it for it’s face value and know that while they may not be able to formulate those words, perhaps they have their own way of telling you.  This is something you two really need to talk about because it’s clearly on your mind.  If these are terms you want from someone you’re seeing, you’re going to have to be very clear about it.  And if they can’t offer you those words you long for, perhaps it’s time to move on or find a way to coin your own term that holds the same meaning.  I wish you the best of luck!