‘Have I Told You Lately’ – A Tale of True Love!

By Graham Lee

Author’s program note. I know the perfect music to accompany today’s article. The lyrics are the words you hope your special someone is asking themselves right now as you read this article. The lyrics are the words you know you should also be asking yourself right now, as you read this article

The music is “Have I Told You Lately” written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and recorded in 1989. The version I prefer was recorded in 1993 by Rod Stewart. The words and the way his voice sounds when he sings them ask just the right question, ‘Have I told you lately that I love you. Have I Told you there’s no one else above you.’ Search for it in any search engine and make sure you listen to it a few times to get the words in your head before reading this article.

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You

When was the last time you told that special someone in your life ‘I Love You’?

Did you say it today, maybe before you or they left for work?

The fact of the matter is that those three little words, ‘I Love You’, are the three hardest words to say in the English language and all too often they are said without any real feeling. Unfortunately, these three words have been over-used and over-exposed in popular culture and have lost much of their true meaning.

Nowadays, when a guy says it, he is asking in a roundabout fashion, if the lady in question wants to have sex. When a girl says it, she is saying that she likes the way he makes her feel. It’s a way for her to say she appreciates him being with her. Neither he nor she is actually saying ‘I Love You’.

A Tale of True Love

Let me take you back to 1956. To an RAF station in the Herefordshire countryside, in the west of England.  A handsome young RAF Officer meets a beautiful young WRAF Aircraft Woman.  They start dating and go out a couple of times. Always the perfect gentleman, he knows the art of courtship. He treats her with kindness and affection, showing her he cares about her but only to the right degree, never pushing, never forcing his affections on her and certainly never saying ‘I Love You’ with any other meaning than to show he really does love her.

But as always in any true love story, distance and separation join forces in an attempt to thwart loves young dream. After only a matter of weeks, the young Officer is transferred and stationed some miles away in Aylesbury.

But a man in love will never be denied the woman he knows he wants to spend the rest of his days with, and our young officer has a plan, a plan so simple and yet so effective that he will eventually marry his fair maiden and will live a long and happy life. He know’s his plan will work because he knows the true meaning of Love.

What is Love?

Love is an emotion linked with strong affection and personal attachment. It represents the virtue of human kindness, compassion and affection. It usually means a stronger affection to someone or something, than simply liking that person or object.

It is not ‘Lust’, although Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, which can eventually lead to Love, given time. But Lust is a short lived effect, which is brought about by the release of chemicals such as testosterone and oestrogen.

Recent studies have shown that as people fall in love, the brain releases other chemicals, such as pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, which stimulate the pleasure centres of the brain. This can last for typically between one and a half and three years.

The release of these particular chemicals into the brain causes side effects, many who have fallen in love will be very familiar with; increased heart rate, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and the intense feeling of excitement, at the sight of or thoughts of the person in question.

In human society, the final stage of bonding or attachment can lead to couples staying together for many years, and in many instances for life, although modern relationships rarely last this long.

Love in History and Culture

The ancient Greeks had a number of different words for love, all with different meanings; ‘agape’ is the modern word for love, ‘s’agape’ means I Love You; ‘eros’ is passionate love, desire, longing and is where the modern word erotic comes from; ‘philia’ is dispassionate love, such as the loyalty one feels for family; ‘storge’ is the love felt between parents and children; and finally ‘xenia’ is friendship or hospitality.

In ancient Rome ‘amo’ means I Love, ‘amare’ or ‘amore’ is still used by Italians today to mean ‘to love’. The romans used it in both a romantic and a sexual sense.

In Japanese culture, ‘ai’ is used to mean passionate love and desire in Buddhism and leads towards enlightenment. ‘Amae’ means ‘indulgent dependence’ and is used to demonstrated the care and indulgence between mother and child.

In contemporary Chinese, the phrase ‘ Wo ai ni’ means I Love You and conveys a sense of responsibility, commitment and loyalty. Oddly enough the Chinese are more likely to use the English phrase I Love You than they are to use their own mother tongue.

But what of our young lovers?

Our RAF Officer was never going to let distance and separation work their evil plan to keep him apart from his true love. He had a plan to express his love and affection to his fair lady, in ways he knew would show his true feelings.

But how?

You must remember, 1956 was before mobile phones and text messaging, not a very romantic form of communication anyway! It was long before the internet and email, again not a very romantic medium for love and it was also before normal telephones were that common. He could not simply pick up a telephone and call her, like you and I used to when we were courting.

He had to go back to the most basic form of communication used for centuries before, words, written words to be precise. He would write down his feelings in a letter and get the postman to deliver it.

But, you may say, the postal service could take days and it’s not very reliable.

Well his idea was part of a much bigger plan.

If he wrote a letter everyday and sent a letter everyday, then at least she would receive a letter everyday. And that is exactly what he did. Everyday he would write a letter… and everyday he would post a letter… and everyday she would receive a letter. A letter filled with the outpouring of his love and affection. Filled with romantic prose and words so full of true feelings of love, she could not fail to know how he felt. He wanted to make sure she knew and would never forget until they were back together again.

The Final Twist

Ah but there is a twist to our tale of true love…  isn’t there always?

That RAF Officer and his Lady were my parents. Sadly my father died in June last year and left my mother with a huge task of sorting through almost 60 years of accumulated paperwork.  How hard a task this was for my mother, is borne out by the fact that it has taken her more than 14 month’s to complete this enormous and very emotional task.

One of the last boxes she found, contained a box of letters… love letters, all tied up in a ribbon.  At the moment it is proving too emotional for her to read those letter once again, although she will eventually.  But in amongst those letters is a single sheet of paper. On it are typed these words:


My father had obviously been delayed and had not arrived at the local post office in time for the last post, but rather than miss sending his words of love for even just a single day, that was not in his plan, he decided to send a telegram. No doubt my mother received two letters the next day, but at least there would be no gap!

I know that in the 54 years that my mother and father were together, he would say to her ‘I Love You’ every day, and she to him, and they would both mean it with the same degree of love, affection, care and true feeling, as when they both said it for the very first time in 1956.

Have I Told You Lately

Listen again to words of Van Morrison, ‘Have I told you lately that I love you. Have I Told you there’s no one else above you. You fill my heart with gladness, Take away all my sadness’ and think about the words and when you last told that special someone I Love You and really meant it.

If you haven’t said those words today, why not say it now and if you are not able to say it to them directly, why not send a telegram? You know a text message or an email just will not do.


About The Author

Graham Lee is CEO of The Income Zone, where you will find online ebusiness tools for web entrepreneurs. Graham is also the owner of a number of other websites offering tools and information about internet marketing and working online.

Republished with author’s permission by Graham Lee – The Income Zone

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