UNITED STATES—Three little words, there are three words that are supposed to have a ton of meaning behind them, that some people say, but a lot of people don’t say at all. Any guesses as to what I am referring to? If you still haven’t figured it out, it is the words, “I Love You.” With Valentine’s Day this month and February being coined by many as the month of love, why do some of us go so out of our way to express our love to our significant other with lavish gifts, nights on the town, jewelry and gifts, flowers and candies and they don’t even matter.

Why? You don’t always have to go over the top with gifts to express your love for someone whether it is family or your lover. For those who have already spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on items, it may be a bit late, but perhaps this is some wisdom you can use for the following year. Anytime you have a holiday that is aimed for spending money, why don’t we take a second to truly think; hmm, who actually benefits from this? Is it my loved one or the business that just got hundreds of dollars if not more from my wallet?

The answer is simple, the businesses benefits. As we get older, we do truly believe the more you buy and the more you spend that means you love someone in abundance. That is not always true. I hate to say it, but for women that may be the case, but for guys not so much. We are just as affectionate and sometimes TIME is the thing that matters most, not a gift or what people suspect men want. We are not as complicated creatures as women attempt to make us.

The problem is you don’t have many women asking men precisely what they want. Sit down and actually have a conversation with us and see what matters to us. Those simple words, “I Love You” mean more to men than women and society is willing to acknowledge. Men are actually more emotional than women; it is because of societal norms we hide those emotions out of fear of being deemed less masculine or not manly enough. Trust me, it is indeed a conversation we need to have, but that is for another time and day because this column is about unconditional love and emotion.

I cannot recall a relationship I was last in where I didn’t have to prove my love without constant showering of gifts to my girlfriend at the time of how much she meant to me. In return, I never received that same sentiment, and it begs the question, why? Guys have to do it, but women don’t. Explain that dichotomy because I don’t understand it.

If you do utter those three words that mean so much at times, they aren’t always reciprocated back. And listen to me for a minute, as this is not only in reference to your significant other, but also in reference to your loved ones (family and friends). I’ll be honest, I cannot recall the last time my parents uttered the words “I Love You” to me. I think I was perhaps as a kid I can recall hearing those words. As for my siblings, I cannot recall the last time we uttered those words, even as recent as a funeral we attended less than two months ago. It is almost like an unspoken thing ‘we know we love one another,’ but we don’t actually utter the words.

However, my nieces, I hear it from them all the time. That is the thing about kids they are so precocious and full of questions, and they are authentic. They say what they mean, and they mean when they say it. My youngest niece says those words to me all the time and it just melts my heart when she says it because I know she means it from the heart; she’s not asking for anything in return. Will that change as she gets older, likely.

That is the thing about kids they tend to wear their emotions on their sleeve, and I respect that so much because you wish adults in the world would do so without wanting something in return. However, our brains work a bit differently, there tends to be a hidden meaning behind “I Love You,” and in reality, there should NOT be one.

Written By Jason Jones