The Most Important Three Words

My last relationship taught me that the most important three words are not: “I love you.”

“I love you” is too easy.

The most important three words are: “Tell me more.”

Oh, you feel this way? Tell me more. You believe this? Please, tell me more. You don’t agree with me? Do tell me more. Do you like this, or don’t like this? Are you afraid? Are you sad? Tell me more. Tell me more. Tell me more.

Curiosity expresses love. It makes and grows connection. But curiosity can be a great challenge in a culture brutalized by trauma. A conversation becomes competition — an instrument of control instead of an opportunity for presence. And elusiveness an easy escape when being curious risks an answer too painful to bear.

I’m a single man today because I could never say, “Tell me more,” and I could never respond either.

Mature intimacy explores the deepness of each other’s history, feelings, and values. It is sharing you and accepting the same in return — no matter how discomforting. It thirsts for knowledge. Is inspired by intense interest. Has the courage to ask meaningful questions.

The beginning of love can be thought of as stroking the depths of another’s isolation with your curiosity.

And how rare it is, that love begins.

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