I love you. What does this mean?
We use this expression very carelessly.
LOVE has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give—which is everything.
What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. Yo give because you love and you cannot help giving. If you are very lucky, you may be loved back. That is delicious but it does not necessarily happen.
It really implies total devotion. and total is all-encompassing—the good of you, the bad of you. I am aware that I must include the bad.
I loved Spencer Tracy.
-Katharine Hepburn, in her autobiography Me