Keep your love to yourself


Something my mother said tonight further clarified my family’s views on the verbal expression of love. I don’t recall the second saying which my mother retorted to my brother with when he asked why people didn’t simply verbally express love while my family were watching a movie, however the first part is more than clear. (Please let me know if you have any idea about the second one.)

愛在心裏

‘Love is within the heart’ is a literal translation, however the extension of it is that it is also kept within the heart, i.e. keep your mouth shut. My mother went on to say that anyone who expresses their love aloud is just tricking/cheating you, and is insincere.

Cindy from Journey of Beginnings has three interesting perspectives, and I can imagine that my family’s views are under the second of these to an extent. Saying it doesn’t mean anything, it is your actions that count.

However this isn’t necessarily the case for me where I may take more of the third point of view, wondering why my family never seems to tell me ‘I love you’ when I see so much of the first POV everywhere (of course, without understanding their family situation). What people do in the name of love is different as well — what my parents see as love when they remind me constantly and nag me to finish homework and assignments I can see as plain nagging and an annoyance, and furthermore prying into my life.

To be honest, I think the Chinese/Asian notion of love is simply too difficult to understand. But after looking into some of these things, I realise it in myself to an extent too. I buy things I know people will like and give it to them almost immediately regardless of whether there is a birthday or Christmas coming up, I help out with tasks because it satisfies me to be able to lend a helping hand to someone I care about.

Perhaps we all do both to an extent, and what’s wrong with that in that case? I say what I feel and my actions back up my words. Isn’t that better?