DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm looking for the right thing to say in signing a card to a man I do love; however, I don't want to write the word "love."
I've come up with "your loving friend," but I need some other ways to express admiration without sending "I love you" or "With admiration and love ..."
What would you say? I don't want to push him away, but would love to express myself lovingly without actually saying it. Does this make sense?
GENTLE READER: It doesn't have to. It's love. Hesitant love, but love.
But Miss Manners supposes that the gentleman might try to make sense of it, in which case "Your loving friend" might be interpreted as the current, rather chilling use of "friend" in a possibly romantic situation, meaning, "I'd rather just be friends."
How about "Affectionately yours" or "Fondly yours"? Now that the "yours" is improperly so often dropped from "Sincerely" and "Very truly" (for those who have not yet succumbed to a mere "Best"), it might seem promising.