Reddit poster says recent 'struggles' prompted Dad to say 'love you' more — it 'means so much'

Redditor asks community if telling Dad how much certain words mean will 'embarrass' him or not — here's what they said

One Reddit user asked that social media community for advice on a sensitive and heartwarming family issue.

Reddit user "theproposal22" turned to the subreddit "MomForaMinute" on Jan. 18 in a post titled, "My dad has started saying ‘love you’ more often at the end of phone calls with me. Should I tell him or will it embarrass him?"

The poster — whose gender is unclear — wrote, "My dad is very much a hugs-and-actions type [of] man when it comes to showing his kids he loves them."

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The poster continued, "We’ve always kind of clashed over this because I value words, too — [and] I’ve learned to accept and identify when his actions are showing love, but hearing it is really nice sometimes."

The Redditor added, "He’s been saying it more lately because he and Mom know I’ve been struggling a bit, so now he’s started ending phone calls that way. I’m not sure if I should tell him that it means so much to have those couple [of] words [said] once in a while."

A poster on Reddit (not pictured) wrote that hearing words of affection from a parent is "really nice sometimes."

A poster on Reddit (not pictured) wrote that hearing words of affection from a parent is "really nice sometimes." (iStock)

The poster then asked, "Will telling him embarrass him?"

Fox News Digital reached out to the original Reddit poster for comment.

One Pennsylvania psychologist told Fox News Digital that many of us "do not communicate our feelings" to others "unless they are negative — or we want something to change."

"Oftentimes, this act of ‘fortune-telling’ is inaccurate."

Said Dr. Natalie Bernstein, a psychologist in Pittsburgh, "By telling others when they do or say something we like, we are gaining two benefits — making them feel good, while at the same time increasing the chance that this positive behavior will continue."

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She also said, "People aren't mind readers, so they won't know what is important to us if we don't share."

Said Dr. Bernstein as well, "People like to hear when they are being helpful or doing something that makes us feel good, so why not share?" 

"He’s been saying it more lately," wrote the Redditor (not pictured), "because he and Mom know I’ve been struggling a bit." 

"He’s been saying it more lately," wrote the Redditor (not pictured), "because he and Mom know I’ve been struggling a bit."  (iStock)

The Redditor’s concern about the dad feeling embarrassed may reflect the fact that "many times, we tend to anticipate or guess how the other people will respond," noted Bernstein.

"We may even shape our behavior around that prediction," she also said. 

While parents can be "suffocating" at times, their support is a "game changer," said one college student.

She noted that while the Redditor in this post does not know that his or her dad will be embarrassed, "he or she is already changing their behavior in advance, because of how he or she thinks Dad will feel." 

"Oftentimes, this act of ‘fortune-telling’ is inaccurate," Bernstein said.

She noted that "it's mostly done as a protection method by trying to avoid uncomfortable feelings or anxiety."

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In terms of whether the Redditor should tell Dad that he or she enjoys hearing the words, "love you," Bernstein’s answer is, "Absolutely."

She said, "The dad will enjoy knowing that his words are appreciated, and it could increase the ability to have more meaningful conversations in the future."

Sending a text expressing the thoughts, "It means a lot to me when you say you love me," is a way to show appreciation for words of love, said one Pennsylvania psychologist.

Sending a text expressing the thoughts, "It means a lot to me when you say you love me," is a way to show appreciation for words of love, said one Pennsylvania psychologist. (Neil Godwin/Future via Getty Images)

She also said, "Even sending a text, writing, ‘Hey, I just wanted you to know that I really appreciate you telling me you love and support me,’ or, ‘It means a lot to me when you say you love me,’ can be enough," Bernstein added.

One North Carolina college student told Fox News Digital that while a parent's love can be "suffocating" at times, that support is also a "game changer."

"Letting him know how much you appreciate it only encourages that to continue! Tell him — he will probably be so happy to know."

He added, "We all struggle at times. When someone who loves you and knows you better than anyone changes the way they operate to let you know they see your struggle, that can change the tide and allow you to start making changes of your own."

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As for the Reddit community, several people were touched by the post and offered feedback.

"We all struggle at times," said one North Carolina college student (not pictured). When those who love you change "the way they operate to let you know they see your struggle, that can change the tide and allow you to start making changes of your own."

"We all struggle at times," said one North Carolina college student (not pictured). When those who love you change "the way they operate to let you know they see your struggle, that can change the tide and allow you to start making changes of your own." (iStock)

"Aww, this is so nice," posted Pugsy0202. 

"People communicate love language in many different ways — looks like Dad just [learned] a new one in order to connect with you."

The poster added, "That's so special. Tell him you love it, or just say it back".

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Said another Redditor with the user name Taragirl22, "It sounds like he’s really trying to communicate with you in ways you value." 

This user added, "Letting him know how much you appreciate it only encourages that to continue! Tell him — he will probably be so happy to know."

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The original poster later added an edit to the first post, writing, "I always tell him that I love him back."