As a society, I mean.
We reserve it for romantic partners and family members, and yes, you want some way to show them they are special, they are above others-- but still. We don't say "I love you" enough.
Think about it. You're probably only in love with one person, tops, but you love others. The feeling we feel for our closest friends is love-- so why are we all so hesitant to express it? Why is there nearly a taboo against us telling the people that we love just that. I know I've only felt comfortable telling friends I love them they are very close, or if someone has died recently. When my friend Steve died two summers ago, I was hit by the fact that he mattered so much to so many people-- and so few of us, myself included, had actually let him know that. Even now, now that I've had peers die sudden unexpected deaths, now that I know I should let people know I love them-- I only tell a few people that I do.
I'd like to show my friends that I appreciate them, that I do love them-- or at least, show the ones that I feel deeper friendship than average. But outside the context of college and sororities and not being fully aware of social boundaries-- I just don't know how to, anymore, without feeling awkward.
Do you tell the people you love-- besides partners, parents, and siblings-- that you love? When do you tell them? How do you tell?