How not to say ‘I love you’

There are certain things you should never do when saying ‘I love you’ – and using a live dog as notepaper is one of them, says Richard Holt.
By Richard Holt
The Telegraph (UK)
01 Oct 2014
A Polish veterinary student has landed himself in a bit of trouble after stitching the words “I love you” into the skin of a dog and posting a picture of his needlework on Facebook in an attempt to impress his girlfriend.

Job done, apparently. While some Facebook users reported the student for “grotesque” and “unethical” behaviour, his girlfriend wrote: “What’s so unethical about it? He’s learned to sew in order to help, and is just showing his skill.” The university where he is studying is less impressed, launching an investigation and saying that his actions “seemed” to be immoral.

The internet offers many ways to say “I love you”, ranging from Star Wars figures delivering the line: “You are the Obi-Wan for me”, to sparklers saying it with the use time-lapse photography, to almost any foodstuff you can imagine cut into a heart shape.

Other options push the boundaries of taste, spelling out the three magic words variously with: a knife, a pig’s heart and a horseshoe; several dozen dead cockroaches; and, finally, an arrangement of fur occurring (I hope) naturally around a cat’s rear exit.

While many are on the uber-uncool side, (I love you written in plastic dog turds, anyone?), they are mostly concerned with visual representations aimed at the world of social media. When delivering the lines in person, it is easy to forget that three words is all you need and get a bit carried away. There are four things you should definitely never, ever do when declaring your love …

1. Add the word “but”

‘I love you, but I need some space’; ‘I love you, but I’m going to live in Nepal’; ‘I love you, but I prefer your sister’ – anything you add after the “but” will make the person you’re saying it to wish you really hadn’t bothered. Unless, of course, they want you to go to Nepal.

2. Start the sentence with: “It’s because”

This generally means that you are about to use the love as an excuse for something bad: ‘It’s because I love you that I’m leaving you’; ‘It’s because I love you that I’m looking through all your texts and emails’; ‘It’s because I love you that I’m locking you in the cellar’.

3. Use song lyrics

Her love really might be lifting you higher with the wind beneath the eternal wings of a dove, but by telling her this you are making it clear you have no original thought whatsoever and that your love is about as valuable as a free download.

4. Make a sacrifice

Modern interpretations of sacrifice are fine, such as stopping going out every night in order to spend more time with the person you love. But an actual sacrifice involving slaughter is best avoided. No sensible human will appreciate it and hopefully even God has now grown up to the point where he doesn’t need us to kill beasts and firstborn children to prove that we love him.

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