Love has different faces – love between parents and children, between her and him, love for animals and even love for art and music. The word for love and affection has a Latin origin in all Latin-based languages: amore (Italian), amor (Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian), amour (French). The Spaniards and Italians have two expressions for “I love you” and probably it applies to other Romance languages as well but I am not really aware of that. So, the Spaniards often say “Yo te quiero mas” which is the Italian for “Ti voglio bene”, as far as I know. The Spanish strong and hot-blooded love is expressed with “Te amo” which is the Italian equivalent of “Ti amo”.
Going back to the Latin origin of love, the etymology of A-mó-re is a little bit false but too poetic at the same time. Believe me or not it comes from “a-mors” which means “immortality” (mors means death and the letter a in the beginning turns death into immortality). Or if I have to insert my comment here, I would say this immortality is, actually, that affection which is this constant and strong, deep-rooted feeling for someone, which expresses extreme tenderness and devotion, and all this is based on trust and friendship. I hope you agree with me. 🙂
But is that easy for us to say “I Love you” to our near-and-dears, parents and beloved ones as a whole? It depends …… It depends on the family culture and where we were brought up. For example, English-speaking nations have only “I love you” as an expression of affectionate feelings for parents, children, partners and lovers and that’s why they show their love for someone so easily. People from some certain Italian regions easily say “ti amo”as well but however, the Italians, in general, use another expression – “ti voglio bene”.
“Volere bene a qualcuno” is the less strong form of “ti amo” in Italian and if we have to find out its English equivalent, it is: ”I care for you” or “I feel for you”. That is the reason why the Italians use that expression so often, i.e. to express the affection for their parents or friends. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they don’t love them or love them less. No. That is just their way to show their love which doesn’t have any physical and passionate implications.
And yes, when love is mixed up with a passion and physical attraction, then the story is a little bit different. It is more than love. It has connotations of passion and intimacy and that’s why the Italians aren’t so easily reluctant to say “ti amo”. No, actually, they are but it has other different implications for them. And that’s why they say they love somebody, using the verb “amare”, when that person is their partner.
In the end, I would only add last thing. It doesn’t matter what affectionate feelings you have for someone, love is love and it is always nice to hear the magic words in any language: Обичам те (Obicham te – Bulgarian), Ti amo (Italian), Je t’aime (French), Σ’ αγαπώ (Sagapo – Greek), Ich liebe dich (German), Te amo (Spanish), Kocham Cię (Polish), Я тебя люблю (Ja tebjá ljubljú -Russian) and so on and so on.