Te Quiero vs. Te Amo

I have been experiencing so much this past month. Everything from a second degree burn to riding a motorcycle for over 7 hours. I want to write about something that I am learning about the Spanish and English languages.

There are many things that I do not like about the Spanish language compared to English. I find that some words I love to use in English do not translate in a way that I would like it too. However, there are words in English that I am finding are not well defined as it is in Spanish.

One of those Phrases is “I love you”. In English, we use I love you when talking about many things. We use it when talking about our cell phones, our family and friends, our significant others. It is used in many ways.

In Spanish, you have “te quiero” and “te amo”, both translate into “I love you”. Since I have been dating, I have had a few men say “te quiero” to me. This freaked me out because I don’t need a guy “loving” me after a few days of going out with them. I asked a few people to explain the difference to me. No one has explained it to me in a way that made sense to me until recently. Jonathan explained it to me like this…

“Te quiero” is like I love my phone. It’s like “I want you”, more than “I love you”. You can always upgrade your phone when you don’t want it any more. It is also said when you are boyfriend and girlfriend because you could always upgrade them to someone better. “Te quiero” has no commitment or no responsibility, it is just a feeling “Te amo” is used when it is final, there is no upgrade. You really “love” them. You use this with your spouse or family. With your family, you love them no matter what. This doesn’t change. When you marry, it is supposed to be final. With “Te amo”, you don’t give up on that person. It means you know the flaws and all and you chose to still love them.

Once I figured this out, I didn’t freak out as much. I am able to see the difference. I would love for there to be a difference in the “I love you” phrase in the English language. I like you a lot and I love you are different. I feel that “te quiero” is in between the two.

I like having the difference in meaning behind the words “I love you” because there are different types of love. There are many other words used for this is Spanish. “me encanta”, is another one that relates to love. This is used more with objects and places rather than people. Google translates this as “I adore”.

I had questions about what love really was before I moved here. Being immersed in a different culture with a different language has opened my eyes to many things related to love and relationships. It is pretty amazing!

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