I love you are three little words which are frequently placed together to express a feeling. Nothing more. All too often when people say "I love you", the receiver of the words forgets it means nothing more. "I love you" is thought to mean "I want to spend the rest of my life with you", "Let's get married", and "I love only you". It doesn't. It expresses a feeling.

I love you doesn't mean that you'll be compatible together in a relationship. You could love someone very dearly, but it doesn't mean you're 'right' for one another. You could have very different views on politics/ the way to live life/ where to live/ music, and still love each other. People seem have forgotten that it's possible and more likely to love someone you won't get along with all the time.

It doesn't mean they love only you. It's possible, and very easy, to love quite a few people at once, although none will be in quite the same way. What is it about "I love you" which causes people to think it excludes the possibility of loving others? To find out if they do or not, you need to ask them, not take it for granted.

Of course, some people aren't in touch with the feeling "I love you" expresses either, and yet still say it. Even worse is when one person says it and means it, and the other says it merely to return the compliment. Returning the compliment immediately reduces any respect for the words "I love you", and doesn't leave much space for the feeling of love to grow later. It introduces what is usually the first big lie in the relationship, and what is a joining built on lies? Worthwhile? In this case, I love you doesn't even mean "I love you". Instead it means "You're nice, I don't want to hurt you" (which they are by lying), or "I want to have sex with you, so I'm pretending to love you".

The words "I love you" have long ago become more than the sum of their parts, and this is part of the reason why so many relationships end up on the rocks. People are no longer either saying what they mean, or hearing what is meant.
Please, when next you go to say the three words, remember what "I love you" doesn't mean.