What does “tough love” mean? Learn how to use this word correctly.

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Hi, I’m Joel. In this video we’re going to talk about the idiom “tough love.”

What does “tough love” mean?

Well, “tough” can mean something similar to difficult or hard.

So, “tough love” is love where you are showing love to someone but you are doing it

in maybe a hard way or in an unpleasant way, to some extent.

So, what this means, “tough love” is when you are helping somebody to make a change or

correct something in an unpleasant way or maybe a severe way.

Let’s say that you are a parent and you gave your son one hundred dollars for the month,

like an allowance. And you said, “You need to use this money wisely. Remember, you need

money to go on your weekend trip for school. You need money to buy your snacks at school.

And the rest of the money is yours to spend on whatever you want, if you want to buy a new

toy or anything. So, here’s the money and I hope you do well.”

And let’s say that your son, unfortunately, does not do very well.

The first week he spends all the money on toys.

And so, at that point he has no more money for snacks at school, and

he has no money for his weekend trip with his classmates.

So he comes to you and he begs you, “Please Mom, Dad, give me…give me some more money please.

I’ll do better next time.” So, you could say, “Okay, honey it’s okay, here’s some more money.”

But that’s one way.

But if you want to show him tough love, “tough love” would be saying,

“Sorry, you have to learn how to use your money, even if it hurts this month.

We’re not going to give you any more money.

So that means you’re going to have to be a little bit hungry at snack time at

school or you’re not going to get to go on the weekend trip with your classmates.”

And by doing this you are trying to teach him a lesson.

You’re trying to teach him to be good with money.

So, it’s not a very pleasant way of teaching someone something or of learning something,

so it’s a difficult way of doing things. That’s why we call it “tough love.”

Now, whether you agree with using “tough love” as a way of treating other people or not,

that’s up to you. The video is just about the expression “tough love” and what it means.

So, I hope that this was helpful and that now you know what “tough love” means, and you

can start using it when you’re practicing your English.

Thanks you watching and have a great day.

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