My friend that I hadn't talked to in a while called, so I decided to answer it. We spent about 10 minutes catching up and he ended the call the same way he does every time we part; he said, "I love you."
Most often I've shared those words with my parents, when parting in person or on the phone, and also some family. I also share those words with my boyfriend and a few close friends. Only recently have I started to cherish it more and more each time.
It seems like more of my friends have initiated "I love you"s within the past few years. Maybe its that I'm older and have known more people longer, or we are all more mature and know that "I love you" doesn't = "I want to have sex with you," or I'm surrounding myself with more loving people. Maybe, shmaybe, I don't really care what it is, I just want to say I love it.
Recently I initiated "I love you" with someone I feel close with but had never spoke the words in person. It felt amazing. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. <3