my older sister is currently halfway across the country so I wanted to post Aishiteru on her myspace only I wasent sure if it was only said to a guy/girl you.... ummmm want to see in the bedroom? or if you can say it to family or friends.
I hesitant to answer this question because it seems to be more of a cultural question than a linguistic one. So I was waiting to hear from a native Japanese. Perhaps Sinbadx81 can ask his wife and tell us.
I know that saying aishiteiru is considered exceedingly bold and mostly appears in songs and on television only. Between lovers, it's usual to use daisuki instead.
I can't say more for Japanese. But I see a similar situation in Chinese; you say "I like you" to lovers because saying "I love you" is just too bold.
And yet in Chinese, you cannot say "I like you" to family members because it has taken on romantic implications. So you can only say "I love you" to family, if at all.
I wonder if it would be the same in Japanese. If daisuki is not appropriate, perhaps suki can be used?
You can't say aishiteru to your sister, brother, father, mother or any member of your family; otherwise it's very strange and unusual.
You could at best say "daisuki," but then again it is very limited.
We Japanese don't use this word often as others. Especially to families, friends, we never use this word. It'd be a bit weird if someone says Aishiteru to father, mother...etc! But we'd understand if they aren't real Japanese, we'd accept it.
But better use this lovely word only to whom you love such as boyfriend/girlfriend or wife, husband.
If you want to tell "I love you" in Japanese to your relatives, friends... you can say "Daisuki" instead.
Even if it is need to show my love to my family members, I don't use the word '愛している'.
Because the word '愛' is so meaningful, it seems to have heavy meaning, it is not fit to our daily life. ( this might be only my case, however, I expect most people feel so, don't you? )
If there is some need to express my love to my children ( in fact no children for me, however) , normally I may use '大事に思っている'.
But! I now think that we Japansese not so often express such feelings.
The word '大好き' is also hesitantly used, which is mainly used by young girls, not by male adults.
We use '好き', when we decide to express our love to our lovers.
But this is not so often, of couse it depends on person.
I, a little bit senior group people, have been educated to be a good Japanese.
Good Japanese at that time means a honest and sincere people, to do what people want with or without saying that, to think other peoples request before your need, ---.
These cultures are changing, of cause, but some of the old days memorys are remaining to me yet.
So, something that becomes heavy duty to me later, I hesitates to say.
Also, when I say something to other people, I am accustomed to ask or say their situation rather than my feeling. Not to say 'I love you', but 'How is your health?'.
This seems to be a cultural problem more than a linguistic one. English speakers, at the end of a phone conversation with a close friend (usually between female-female or male-female) or family member who, for example, is living in another country, might often say something like:
"I love you, David."
"Love you too, Mum."
However, "I love you" is also used between lovers, because "love" is viewed as a pure emotion which is not to be confused with being "in love". This is the same in French, German and, I would say, most European languages.
It seems to me, from my limited experience, that Japanese people do not often express such feelings as explicitly as many Western people, except perhaps to lovers. But maybe this is different for younger generations?
Handreds of years ago, when Christianity was introduced to the Japanese for the first time, they encountered the concept of LOVE for the first time too. People at that time, through their unbiased minds, figured out the essence of the meaning of LOVE, and translated into Japanese as "お大切."
You could use the Japanese expression and say to your sisiter "とても大切に思ってる."