Felicity has repeatedly brought up her various reasons for falling in love with Oliver. She's done it at least twice since they broke up even. She knows why she loves him and she's not afraid to tell him. Meanwhile, Oliver has never really said what he loves about her, apart from his vows which were at a desperate time. And she knows he doesn't really trust her. It's all so sad. Her love for Oliver has caused Felicity so much pain. It shouldn't be like that.
Loving someone is painful, Nonnie. Loving someone gives them a huge capacity to hurt you. People you love always hurt you, hopefully not intentionally, but it just happens by the nature of love. It doesn’t necessarily mean that love isn’t right. Children hurt their parents so many times over, but the love is still very real. Children cause pain to their parents because they are underdeveloped and don’t understand the power of their words and actions yet. Olicity were a lot like that. When they first got together there was a juvenile undercurrent to their relationship where neither side really understood themselves or each other.
And that’s why we’ve gone through all of this. Adversity introduces a person to themselves. Oliver has been introduced to his true self, or at least who he believes he is, and now that can be worked on. Felicity is going through the same. All this pain and suffering will give them more empathy for each other and make them better at loving one another. They will be better people and partners because of all of this.
As for Oliver not saying ILY enough, well, here’s the thing, we all have different love languages. There are 5 of them in actual fact.
* Words of affirmation (I love yous, you mean so much to me, you look beautiful today)
* Acts of service (cooking a nice meal, doing work around the house, planning a surprise vacation)
* Quality time (singling out special time for just one on one time together, no distractions, going on dates, doing activities that have significance to you both - like going hiking or boating)
* Gift giving (enjoying surprising people with thoughtful gifts like flowers or breakfast in bed)
* Physical touch (holding hands, back rubs, touching shoulders, sitting close)
One of the big challenges for any couple or relationship is identifying not only your love language but your partners/friend/relation. Your love language is what you will equate to being loved, and it can get tricky if the other person doesn’t share the same love language. For instance, if your love language is quality time, and your partners is gift giving, then him getting up to make you breakfast in bed could come across as slightly annoying to you, even if you appreciate the effort, because it’d meant so much more to you to just lie in bed and snuggle and talk about your plans for that day or what you were thinking about. Both have different love languages and aren’t recognising what the other person needs.
Here’s another example, my Dad and me. My Dad is a gift giver. I don’t recall him ever telling me he loves me, but I know he does because I have gift giving as my love language too. So, to say I love you, my Dad will do things like go out and buy me a 3 pounds of cheese, because he knows I love cheese. lol Interestingly enough, my mother is all about acts of service, so she tries to be appreciative when he brings her back chocolates and various gifts, but honestly, she’d prefer if he just mowed the lawn. That feels like an expression of love to her, not chocolates. But, you know, 49 years of marriage, they’ve worked it all out and accept and recognise how the other person shows love and devotion.
From your comment, I’m thinking that one of your love languages is words of affirmation, Nonnie. It’s important for you to hear the words, have the reason for loving someone out there, spoken for them and all the world to hear. So, when looking at other couples, you look for that love language to feel like it’s real or equal. BTW, there is no wrong or lesser love language. They’re all valid and equal. It’s just that we don’t tend to have them all. One or two is usually the limit for most people.
Oliver’s love language is not words of affirmation. That’s not how he expresses his love for people. How many ILY’s has Thea gotten? Or Diggle? But do you doubt his love for them? Both Oliver and Felicity share physical touch as a love language, and I would say that Oliver’s other LL is acts of service. He protects. He serves. He shields. It’s how he shouts out his love to other people. Him not saying ILY as often as Felicity doesn’t mean he’s lagging in the love race. It means he’s showing it in a different way. I definitely think Felicity’s other LL is words of affirmation.
And that’s one of the reasons Olicity is in a bit of a pickle.
Felicity needs words of affirmation from Oliver - I trust you, I see us as equals, I have your back - that’s how she shows and understands love.
Oliver is showing his love by acts of service - don’t do this, let me shield you, let me protect you from pain and all of the same mistakes I’ve made in my life.
It’s not about trust or lack thereof. It’s about different love languages working at cross purposes. Felicity understood Oliver’s love languages for a long time, that’s why they got together and she didn’t run screaming from the room from the tangled mass of man pain. But her own pain has clouded her understanding of Oliver’s ways of expressing love these days, and that’s a good thing, because it means Oliver is having to ask more of himself and really examine and understand for himself what went wrong between them. You can’t fix what you don’t understand.
So, no, for me, Oliver doesn’t need to say ILY or the reasons why he loves Felicity. To me, the reasons are self-evident and don’t need expression. But then, my love language isn’t words of affirmation. Our family is lucky to say the words ILY once a year, but we all know we love each other deeply. ILY’s don’t mean a huge amount to me, but I appreciate and understand they mean a lot to others. It just depends on the writers and what love languages they want to give to Olicity. But just remember, just because it might not be one of your LL’s, doesn’t mean the love isn’t real and equal. :)