I was reflecting, the other day, on how difficult it is to say the words “I love you.”

There’s an implicit rule for when you’re supposed to say those words when you first start seeing someone. Say them too soon and it’s a “red flag.” You must be “crazy or projecting”, because “you can’t possibly know you love them that quickly.”

Even when you say it at “the right time,” it comes with a certain implicit expectation for the other person to say it back. “What if they don’t?” “What does that mean?”

Further still, “I love you” can be used to insinuate certain expectations about the relationship. “I love you” becomes diluted to also mean “I want to possess you in some way” or “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

But what if “I love you” was just simple? What if it’s just as plain as describing the color of the sky?

“The sky is blue.”

“I love you.”

What if it’s not some grand statement about the other person, the relationship, and that “I love you” does not have to mean “I think we’re perfect for each other”, or that “I love you forever”?

What if there’s no expectation for the other person to say it back and “I love you” is just a natural expression of how I feel when I’m with you?

“I’m hungry.”

“I love you.”

What an easy place the world could be.