You know what? Many of us have difficulty telling our friends how much they mean to us. In fact, we’re on the verge of taking them for granted, either by not calling them, seeing them, or otherwise spending time with them as often as we should. (And, yes, I’m especially talking to the “I ALWAYS call them first” folks, because friendship isn’t about keeping score.)

Granted, this was a lesson hard learned. I once had a case of “loving someone from afar”, you know the deal where you have feelings for someone but never quite muster up the testicular fortitude to say anything about it. A year later, she married someone other than me. When I asked her what drew her to him, she said that she was looking for was a guy who was just like me. So I vowed to never let anyone out of my life without letting them know how I felt about them.

Of course, now I’ve swung so completely in that direction that if I have extra time to kill (read: stuck in traffic), I play cell phone lottery. I’ll randomly punch through my address book and whoever I land on gets a phone call and “I love you” message. (Rules modified if I land on my work number).

It boils down to the fact that many of us are afraid to put ourselves “out there.” To risk possible rejection, to be vulnerable, to open ourselves up. Love, even love among friends, is a risky proposition, but one that is well worth it. We are wired for relationships and that includes cultivating our circle of friends. I also get that I risk losing my guy card by advocating something as radical as expressing how you feel, even if it’s to one of your boys.

So, never take your people for granted. Tell them how much they mean to you and have a random “I love you” day. Sure, they’ll make fun of you for it (believe me, they’ll make fun of you for it), but they’ll also appreciate it (on some level. I hope).