Love is one of those words that has many different meanings based on the person. When one person says "I love you" to maybe a family member or a partner, they could also say "I love you" to a close friend or even a pet and not mean the same. People show love by different actions that they take. Maybe a kiss on the cheek, a hug, or even just an act of kindness. No matter who you say I love you to or how you show your love, not everybody believes it to be said or shown the same way. In the Raymond Carver's short story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love," two married couples, all four being previously married to other people, are together drinking and talking about life and what "love" really means to them. Mel and Terri are one couple while Nick and Laura are the other couple. Throughout the story, the characters that talk the most are Mel and Terri, talking about past events in their lives: As the couples tell their story, they both disagree on what they truly think love is and give their reasons on why they are right while Nick and Laura do not really say much: "He was dangerous. If you call that love, you can have it"(Carver 358). This quotes comes after Mel was telling about Terri's ex husband and the events that occurred during and after Terri and her ex husband's marriage.The memories that Mel and Terri converse about and how they explain what "love" really is, composes Carver's short story.
From Terri's point of view, she believes that one way love can be shown is through the violence that she had endured from her ex husband, Ed. From the story that she tells, she says that Ed had "beat me up one night. He dragged me around the living room by my ankles. He kept saying 'I love you. I love you, you bitch.' He kept dragging me around the living room. My head kept knocking on things. What do you do with love like that?"(356).