Tell me you love me: The dangerous hidden meanings behind common sweet nothings

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Psychologist Michael Litvak explains what some common declarations of love actually reveal about the people who say them. Which phrases are red flags, and which demonstrate genuinely deep feelings?

1. “I can’t live without you”

This phrase was a favorite of Soviet women and remains popular today. What Litvak has to say about it: “The overwhelming majority of Russian females have allowed us to express pedophilic inclinations because these are the words of a child, a little boy, not of a man. Our women want to be moms and to raise their husbands, to take the strongest position in the family. In my mind, this is a pathology. A couple is normal when the contribution of both to the relationship is equal.”

2. “When you are with me, I forget about alcohol and cigarettes”

Litvak: “You can easily distinguish a hog from a man, and you wouldn’t marry the first one. If you aren’t a zoophile anyway. An Alcoholic is the same animal as a pig—both of them grunt anyway. Only an addict can produce such a phrase, and only an ill—In psychological meaning of the word—female would choose this as her desired declaration of love.”

Still, many Russian woman like hearing this phrase.

3. “Without you, I’m not happy. You are pure happiness for me”

Sounds magnificent, doesn’t it? At first, everything looks good with this one, but upon further analysis this turns our to be misleading.

Litvak: “It is a sign of an addictive, unhealthy love. Usually, such feelings appear when we find character traits we don’t have in the object of desire. Imagine I’m a powerful, cool car, but I don’t have wheels. And a woman is a wheel. Certainly, I need this relationship, because I’m just useless without her. That means I’m defective. The best way out is to run away from her and develop myself and become ‘higher’ than this female, to grow wheels, but not to form an abnormal couple, as it’ll make both of us unhappy.”

4. “I’ll earn our living. My woman should stay at home”

Litvak is sure that the best definition of love is “a strong will to help your partner progress and reach success.” Accordingly, a loving man won’t lock his partner up at home, where she is certain to remain static or even move backwards.

Litvak’s recommendation: “Forget about a man who wants to stop your development or you’ll turn into a latent prostitute. Money isn’t the aim of work. Realization of a feeling of self-importance is. It’s better to be a hairdresser than a housewife. There is no love where there is dependence.”

5. “I’ll never hurt you”

If a woman is partial to this declaration of passion, it shows that in the back of her mind she expects pain and violence.

Litvak: “It’s a pity, but the main idea with which girls are still brought up in Russia is to get married by hook or by crook and then to bear her cross while shouting about how unhappy she is. They are taught to be masochists and get pleasure from aches of any kind.” 

Michael Litvak believes that a “healthy” relationship that will make for a happy family begins with this phrase: “Let’s share joy and sorrows and learn how to overcome all difficulties together.”

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