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Image / Editorial

Survey shows over a quarter of Irish people have never told their parents they love them


by Edaein OConnell
31st Oct 2018
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When was the last time you told your mother or father that you loved them? It seems that on top of everything else that has been repressed in Ireland over the years, the vocalisation of love has joined the ‘things-we-don’t-talk-about-or-do-in-Ireland’ club.

New research carried out by the online flower delivery service Interflora, discovered that over a quarter of Irish people (28%) have never told their fathers that they love them. 15% have never uttered the words to their mother, and over a third have never said it to their best friends.

The study indicated that Irish people fall short of our own expectations when it comes to voicing love and appreciation to those closest to us by a whopping 52%. This equates to, on average, six occasions each month where we think we should be articulating our feelings but we are not. The study also showed that men are 15% less inclined to say “I love you” than women.

Why is this?

So why are we so incapable of expressing how we feel? Over 30% of respondents said that embarrassment was the main reason, with 21% saying that they felt the other person would become embarrassed if they were to do so. Furthermore, 29% presume that the person already knows how they feel, 22% tend to wait for big occasions such as birthdays, 22% said that their family doesn’t talk about that sort of thing and 21% are no good with words.

Nevertheless, we still yearn to hear that someone cares. Over a third of people surveyed (34%) say that hearing a heartfelt expression of love from a friend or family member would make them feel special and 19% said that they would reciprocate the gesture.

 

Why we should say it

Love is universal. There are songs, paintings, books and benches all expressing adoration, so maybe words aren’t needed.  And how one person wants to show their love can be different from another. But words are weighted, and none more so than those little three. On the occasions we hear them, most hearts will soar.

Giving and receiving love makes us feel better. The survey also showed that upon hearing a declaration of love from someone dear 56% of people said they felt happier, 54% said they had increased self-esteem and 48% said it had deepened their relationship with the other person.

Actions do speak louder, but what joy there is in the enate ability we have to express it in words. Tell your mother, your father and your best friend you love them, and if that comes with a bouquet of flowers or a gift, then all the better for it. Forget the embarrassment, the awkward notions and the old ways. Tomorrow may never come, and the chance you have at your fingertips each day may pass. All you have to do is say it.

Say it, mean it and cherish it.