All people ever say is: thank you (a celebration of life) and please (an opportunity to make life more wonderful). Marshall Rosenberg
I have said "I love you" many times in my life, and many times I have failed to say it, because, for me, it is not an easy thing to say.
It is not easy when I have no idea what the other person will make of it: will they be frightened? Will they feel awkward around me afterwards? Will they disappear from my life?
But do I know what I myself mean when I say it?
I have said "I love you" because I thought you somehow expected it of me. "please, consider me worth of you".
I have said "I love you" to beg for affection. "please, love me back".
I have said "I love you" because I was grateful to you for existing in my life. "thank you".
I now understand why it has not been easy for me to say "I love you" when I was feeling, or imagining, that I had to say it.
I now understand why I have sometimes made myself awkward, as I was begging.
I now understand why, when I said "I love you" out of gratitude, when I said it to celebrate that you exist in my life, that's when I felt no trouble, no fear, and when I felt that my words really were fitting with what I was feeling and what I was wanting to say.