“I love you” in Russian
I'm wondering about the phrase "Я люблю тебя" (I love you).
Is that suitable for indicating that one cares about a friend -- in a genuine but casual sort of way? (Almost in the way two guys might say, "Love you, man," to a friend.) Is that the right phrase or is there something more appropriate? (I suppose the question may be as much cultural as it is about the language itself.)
Yes, you can use the word "любить" in Russian in this context, of course. However, I would change the phrase a little bit. Two guys might say, for example, Какой же ты крутой, как же я тебя люблю (You are so cute, how I love you!).
Я тебя люблю sounds more convenient to use with friends than Я люблю тебя, which sounds more convenient when used by lovers.