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15 People Discuss the Awkward Ways Family Members Said “I Love You” Without Actually Saying It

Relationships sure are funny, aren’t they?

And I’m talking about ones with our families and our friends. Because most of us have friends that we love just like we love our parents, siblings, nephews, nieces, etc.

But actually saying the words “I love you” sure can be tough for some people, for one reason or another. So a lot of times people end up showing that love in totally weird and awkward ways.

Does this sound familiar?

Let’s dig in to these stories from folks on AskReddit.

1. That’s nice.

“I was straight out of high school and having to pay for all of my own expenses due to some weird family drama, and I was having a little trouble paying for my phone bill. I decided i was going to get a different plan to make it a little easier.

My sister goes out and buys me an android phone on her family plan without telling me, and gives it to me. Every month after that, I would call her and ask her how much my bill was to send it to her, and she would always make up some excuse like ” there was an error, so I don’t know yet” or “it hasn’t seem to come in the mail yet”, so that I wouldn’t have to pay for it.

She really loves me, and is one of the most selfless people I know.”

2. Thanks, Dad!

“My dad bought me a guitar for Christmas from Costco when I was younger, but he didn’t know about guitar picks until I informed him later that day.

He cut a bunch of pick out of 1.5″ floppy disks.”

3. Get in the car.

“I tried to run away from home once.

I got halfway up the street, and then my dad was there in the car beside me. It was raining. I was crying. I said to him, “I’m not a good son.” He said, “if you weren’t, Oliver, would I be here?”

That was enough to convince my sad, rain-sodden, 10-year-old self. I’ll never forget the feeling of warmth and love I had upon getting into the car with him and driving home.”

4. Worried about you.

“My mom works for the fire department and sometimes gets called out to really bad car accidents, which usually happen at night.

Every once in a while, after one of these accidents, she’ll come into my room at 1-2 am to wake me up and verify that I always wear my seatbelt.”

5. Out of the way.

“I’m in my first year of grad school and I started classes over the summer – immediately after graduation.

My parents and I didn’t get much time together during the madness of commencement. Two weeks ago, I called my dad up and asked him to mail me a textbook that I’d accidentally told them to take home. Last week, when they were on vacation with family in New Jersey, they decided to go to Hershey to see Chocolate World and “swing by” my school to drop off the book instead.

My school is in Pittsburgh. They drove 4 hours out of their way – past their destination – to deliver a textbook to me.”

6. Eating good.

“I lived in the dorm for 3 years and did not have a thanksgiving dinner the whole time I was in the dorm. I mentioned in passing to my mother that I missed home cooked thanksgiving.

She showed up at my dorm with like 10 gallon sized ziplocks. My mother is a professional chef. She cooked a whole thanksgiving meal, cut it up, packaged it and drove the 2.5 hours just to bring it to me.

We ate well, my friends.”

7. Hero.

“Due to space issues, lack of resources and adolescent wanderlust, I moved out of my dad’s place when I was a freshman in high school. My little sister was 9 then and we weren’t that close, mostly because she lived with my mother in another state half the time.

I made efforts to try and share with her my interests but my lifestyle then seemed to freak her out. She was very shy and withdrawn. She spent her childhood caught in between my parents hate for each other and subsequent emotional manipulation of her.

This made her really suspect of peoples motives, especially when they were being kind to her. So even though she didn’t respond much, I would swell with pride when I’d see she had downloaded an album or movie I’d reccomended. The short visits I had with them over the years stopped when I moved to Brooklyn.

I was 19 and didn’t keep in touch much with the family. One day I decided to add my sister on myspace and in her “heroes” section she had a picture of me. I know it seems so stupid but I felt so much pride from that. She couldn’t say it to my face, she’s too awkward for that.

I called her right away and bought her a plane ticket to come visit. We are much closer now. I love you Izzy!

8. Tour guide.

“When I was little both of my parents were working a lot.

My dad in particular frequently worked double shifts (the phrase “double shift” quickly became a dreaded one for me because I heard it so often) at a restaurant where he worked as the manager/sommelier. When he was home, though, he’d take me on these incredibly long walking tours of all the historic places in Manhattan, which is where we lived at the time.

I’d sit on his shoulders as he took me to places like the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center (which was, at the time, still standing), the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, etc. I can’t remember a time when he complained about being too tired after putting in so many hours at the restaurant, or when he put off our time exploring NYC so that he could do the stuff he liked.

Back then it was just sort of expected, but looking back it really means a lot that he was willing to spend so much time effectively carrying me around the city and showing off so much of its history.”

9. Grandpa.

“My grandfather NEVER says I love you to anyone.

When I was little I got upset b/c my mom and dad would always say ‘I love You’ to me, and so I thought saying it to him, he would say it back. He only said, Thank You. This upset 7 year old me and he knew it.

The next day I got a package with all the little things like a makeup kit, and stuffed animals. He is an old fashioned guy, and can’t say it, but he showed it in the best way he could.

Later as I grew up, and he realized I really loved animals, and science he got all the brochures and books on Marine and Animal Biology to send to me.”

10. Checking in.

“My mom never wanted to be one of those intrusive, overbearing parents. I had no rules or chores growing up. I could come and go from the house as I pleased.

She would never let me know that she was worried about me, but I could tell because she would routinely call my cell when I was out with friends under the guise of asking dumb little questions about nothing or telling me something random about the dog or whatever.

I knew though that it was her way of checking to see if I was still alive.”

11. This is awesome

“When I was 10 I was really into motorcycles, so my dad took me to this huge biker rally near our house. Keep in mind this wasn’t some veterans or charity event – I saw plenty of Pagans and Hell’s Angels patches there.

But my dad, the short indian immigrant that he is, held my hand and walked through the rows of bikes with me, completely fearless.

Funny thing is I never recalled anyone giving us a second look.”

12. A great Dad.

“My dad is big, burly, bearded man.

He enjoys doing manly things, like working in construction, watching football, and working on cars. But, when I was a little girl, he became a Girl Scout with me.

He came on camping trips, helped me with my badges, and even sold a bunch of cookies for me. I will never forget how special and loved he made me feel — the other girls had their mothers, but I was the only girl whose father made an effort to participate.

I was, and still am, so proud of him.”

13. Best Christmas ever.

“My dad never expresses his feelings, to any of us – iI have 3 brothers.

His brother died a few summers ago of a long, painful illness, and when we were talking after his death, Dad mentioned to me that he was somewhat upset at himself that he had never got around to discussing with his brother the disposition of several of his Dad’s possessions, which his brother held onto.

Dad told me his brother’s wife didn’t like him, and that when he’d asked her about his father’s hunting items, she pretended not to know anything about them (some of them quite valuable, eg antique shotguns).

Long story short, i was able to negotiate with this woman as she lived quite close to me, and I showed up at Christmas with a special gift for Dad. I wrapped up one of the several old wooden duck hunting decoys, and tagged it from me and his brother.

When he opened it, he just stared at the basket in his lap and was very quiet – i could tell he immediately knew the decoy, and that his mind was racing through where i got it and how.

After an increasingly awkward silence and some nervous/excited laughs from other family members, i asked if he knew what it was – he responded by leaping to his feet and trotting from the room.

We all waited – i felt terrible for a few minutes, like perhaps i had shocked him unnecessarily. Mom started to cry quietly and said thank you to me – i didn’t say anything, just stared at my girlfriend, bewildered.

Dad came back into the living room, his face was flushed and his glasses were on his head now. He dropped something into my lap. “That’s my Dad’s knife”, he said in a quiet voice. “It’s yours”.

Best Christmas ever.”

14. Oh, Mom…

“When I was a freshman or sophomore in HS my mom was giving me a ride to a movie theater where I was going to meet some friends.

En route, our conversation had revealed two things to my mom that I hadn’t considered a big issue but evidently left my mom very concerned: 1) I hadn’t had lunch. “don’t worry mom, we’re going to get food after the movie.” 2) I didn’t have any cash on me. “don’t worry mom, I’ll borrow a couple of bucks from a friend and pay them back later.”

So a friend buys my ticket and about 8 of us are in the theater and the movie is just getting started. We’re sitting way up front. Out of nowhere, my mom enters the theater, strolls down the aisle looking for me, finds me, and delivers a wad of cash and a bag of cookies.

Apparently the attendants had just let her in (I bet they thought it was hilarious). She “worried very much.”

This was one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to me. A decade later my friends still won’t let it go.”

15. Don’t mess with him.

“My dad doesn’t say “I love you.” It’s just not his nature.

He doesn’t say much at all, although as a kid I knew that he would yell at me in a voice that could rattle ceiling tiles if I pressed for a toy I wanted or didn’t listen to what he was telling me to do.

But I know he cares; he expresses it differently. I married a woman that was divorced and her ex-husband isn’t the kind of guy that knows the meaning of “it’s over.” He stalked us, threatened me, threatened her, tried to run us off the road once. Left a death threat with my boss. He was all talk, thankfully, but still it was wearing on both of us.

Then one day it all stopped. Like the Ex had a sudden epiphany. We stopped getting the threats, he stopped trying to show up where we were going out.

My wife and I were married and her father told my wife of a conversation he had with my father during the reception; apparently this explained the sudden disappearance of her idiot ex husband from our lives. Without telling any of us my father took an old baseball bat and drove to the place her ex- was staying at the time.

He stood on the porch, bat in hand, and calmly explained that (the ex) was to stop threatening (my father’s) family members and my fiancé was included as family now. He then told him that (my father) had lived his life and if anything happened to his son or future daughter in law, there would be another visit and he didn’t care if he rotted in jail. He turned and walked away.

To this day he hasn’t said one word to us about this but it shows how much he is made of awesome. I love my Dad.”

Do you have relationships with people but you just can’t come out and say “I love you”?

If so, talk to us about it in the comments.

We’d love to hear from you!