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Dads2Dads: ‘Luv ya’ or ‘I love you’

Dads2Dads: ‘Luv ya’ or ‘I love you’

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013 8:00 pm
By: By Tom Tozer and Bill Black

Why is it that we can throw out a quick “Luv ya” at the end of a phone call, but enunciating “I love you” makes many of us feel self-conscious? This may not be true of everyone, but we’re betting that most people feel less awkward with “Luv ya.”
It’s short, quick, kind of obligatory and detached all at the same time. It’s a sleight-of-mouth, a fast way to say it and get it over with. Some of us are like that because our parents were not very direct about their feelings.  
More difficult for dad
Are dads guiltier of this than moms? We would say yes. Dads are expected to be tough. Dad is the cool consoler, the shoulder upon which all others may lean. He is stronger than dirt, thick-skinned, a rock in the storm.
We think dad should soften up.
“Luv ya” is a throw-away line. Sure, it’s better than nothing but just a notch above. “I love you” is firmer, more resolute — those three words pack a wallop. You can’t say them in the same tone as “Luv ya.” Try it. “I love you” isn’t a quip or an aside. You’re practically forced to speak each word clearly and with feeling.
Mom, we need
your help
We know that with our column appearing in the “Lifestyles” section of most newspapers, many women read us. It’s logical, therefore, to assume that most of the dads who read us have probably been prompted by their better half. “Here, honey, you need to read this” or “Dear, these words were written just for you.” So, mom, help us get into the hands of the big guy in your house who pulls out the “Sports” section and may not know “Lifestyles” even exists.
Dad, you’re on notice
Dad, now that we have your attention, we want you to try the following. The next time you head toward the door with a half-eaten bagel in your hands and start to make your morning announcement, “Gotta run, honey — luv ya!” — apply the brakes, go find your honey, give her a hug, look her in the eye and say, “Honey, I love you.” The next time your kids open the car door of your family “taxi,” blow their mind with a “Hey, I want you to know that I love you very much.” This sentiment, by the way, can be just as effective when you’re saying hello. Punctuate the conversation around the dinner table with a nourishing “I love you all.” Catch your teenager off guard in the hallway. Crack open your teen’s bedroom door and spit it out before you get yelled at for invading hallowed ground.
Oh, and one more thing, dad — no fair texting your message. You must let it roll off your tongue with feeling. Yes indeed, we know, we’re asking almost too much. But, dad, we luv ya for trying.
Editor’s note: Tom Tozer of Nashville and Bill Black of Murfreesboro may be contacted at For more information, visit

Published in The Messenger 6.6.13

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