Some of the most insane things imaginable are done in the name of Love.
You know as well as we do that people "in Love" are sometimes crazy. The things we do because we Love someone have almost no boundaries. We even hurt the people we Love claiming we do it because we Love them.
You know this doesn't make sense but for some reason, you still accept it as "the way it is":
When people Love each other, they fight. It's just the way it is.
When people Love each other, they say mean things to each other. It's just the way it is.
When people Love each other, they disregard each other's feelings, they blame and criticize each other. It's just the way it is.
And if you Love someone, you put up with all of that because you should never walk out on someone you Love--what kind of person would do that?
If you Love someone, you should sacrifice your happiness for them because Love is sacrifice. And who are you to stand up for yourself?
Who are you to require that someone treat you a certain way and speak to you a certain way if they want a relationship? If you do that you'll drive people away and end up alone, so you should really be realistic and not ask too much of someone.
If you're human you've heard all this bunk and to some degree (some more than others) you've lived it.
We've been doing this work long enough to know that while most relationships are a battlefield, they don't have to be that way. We know that fighting is not a necessary part of Love. In fact, in a truly Loving relationship, kindness is most important and fighting rarely happens, if ever. We've been blessed enough to create that in our relationship and to witness it in many of our friends and clients.
We know that there is a greater possibility of Love than most people will allow themselves to imagine. We see it every day. And we know from our coaching that for most people, it begins with knowing what Love is not.
In this post, we want to talk about the things that Love is not so that you can easily identify what is not Love when you see it. Only when you no longer tolerate unloving behavior in any way do you really have the chance to become truly happy in a relationship. Here we're going to look at some of the most common unloving behaviors so you can begin to see them for what they truly are.
They make you overwork, retaliate, and compete for their Love.
It is very sad to see how often people deny giving the most basic aspects of a Loving relationship to each other. We have said many times that you are usually not asking too much from someone--you're asking too little.
We go through insane games in our relationships just because we are attempting to be heard and recognized. We want to be seen by our partner. We want them to listen to us and pay attention to us. We want them to care about what we are saying and offer valuable feedback about it.
We want to feel important to them. That is a very reasonable request.
Often one partner withholds attention and affection forcing the other to try and work harder for it, and this begins the common power struggle in most relationships. Some people even pride themselves on the fact that they force their partners to overwork for their attention.
The other partner then retaliates against this, trying to hurt their partner to tip the balance of power back in their favor. This creates a self-perpetuating cycle of competition in the relationship, continuing on for any length of time, sometimes years, but it always ends the same--one or both partners feel defeated, resentful, and hurt.
Not only do you lose your hope in the relationship, but you lose your faith in Love as a whole and you assume that all relationships are like this.
Someone who Loves you doesn't force you to work unnecessarily for their Love. They'll want you to make an effort but they don't want to defeat you. Someone who Loves you wants you to feel safe and secure, they want you to know that you are important. They want you to know that you are Loved and when you aren't feeling it, they make the extra effort to show you that you are.
When someone wants to make you work too hard, the proper response is not to gain the upper hand by working harder or attempting to tear them down. The proper response is to simply ask for what you want and see if they care to give it to you. If they don't, if they continue to withhold attention, affection, kindness, they don't get to have the relationship with you. It's really that simple.
A Loving relationship is not a game that you win. It's a partnership that you both contribute to. If someone is not making an equal contribution, they don't deserve you. When you value yourself enough to know that, you won't allow yourself to settle for less.
They withhold commitment and string you along.
The game of someone who doesn't understand their own worth is always to make other people feel unworthy. The idea is that I feel useless and powerless but if I can have power over someone in a situation, I will feel better about myself.
One of the most common ways this happens in relationships is in withholding commitment. It sends the message that you are good enough to be used but not good enough to build a life with. When someone does this, they manipulate your low self-esteem to boost their own wounded self-esteem, falsely believing that having someone want them will make them feel better about themselves.
They say things like, "I'm not ready for a relationship right now but let's see where this goes," or "Why do we have to put a label on it? Can't we just have a good time together?"
When you know what the other person wants and you know that you have no real desire to give that to them but you keep them around anyway, you are being intentionally manipulative.
If you allow someone to do this to you hoping that one day you'll change their mind, you are being manipulated. There's no way around it.
Someone who Loves you doesn't want to watch you suffer and anyone who has an ounce of empathy can see that keeping you around in this situation will destroy you. If someone is doing this to you, you have to stop convincing yourself that they "care in their own way."
Someone who wants to keep you around indefinitely with no commitment simply has nothing better going on and once they feel like they do, they will trade you in for a better offer.
Please understand, this isn't about you not being good enough for them. This is about their own lack of confidence and their need to have power over someone else. You are too good for that. And that's the point.
They make you try to fix them.
This perhaps is the most confusing and challenging one to overcome and is often what is happening in a case of narcissistic abuse.
In looking at this point, you have to remember one thing:
Love doesn't come from a broken person. Ever. Love comes from a healed and whole person. Someone who is broken can never Love you the way you want to be Loved.
We understand the challenge here because it activates so much of our guilt and empathy. When we get to know someone, we care for them, and we see that they are suffering, we think, "What kind of person would I be to not be there for them?"
You may even pride yourself on being kind, understanding, and empathetic. Many of us are so able to see the good in people and know that even if they are tormented, they have a good heart. We Love that we can be the one that they share it with, it makes us feel special, useful, needed, wanted.
Plus so many of us have watched this dynamic play out in our families' and friends' relationships that we just accept it as the way it is.
If you think that you are meant to suffer for someone you Love then your relationships will always be full of suffering.
We can't say it any more plainly than that. You get what you allow into your life and what you accept in relationships will determine the quality of your relationships. There is nothing wrong with deciding for yourself that it's not your job to rescue or fix anyone.
If someone is tormented, you can wish them well, pray for them, send them love and light, and still decide not to be in a relationship. Not because you don't care about them, but because you care about yourself.
Being a good person doesn't mean that you should subject yourself to toxic people. In fact, it means that you deserve a relationship with another good person. And more than anything, what we want for you is that you Love yourself enough to never accept toxic behavior in any form ever again.
Love is uplifting, it makes you better and brings out the best in you. Someone who is forcing you to deal with their problems to such a degree that it is hurting you doesn't Love you. They might want you, but that's not the same thing as loving you and caring about you.
A simple guideline you can take with you is that Love doesn't hurt. Someone who Loves you doesn't hurt you. Relationships are not meant to be about fighting and suffering, they are meant to be about sharing Love with each other, enhancing and uplifting each other so that you can have an amazing life and Love together.
Yes, in a Loving relationship there will be challenges, there will be painful times, but the nature of the relationship will be Loving, kind, understanding. You will know you are important to them, that you are Loved, and even when you encounter challenges, you will come together to work through the challenges in a Loving way.
You don't cut each other down, pit yourselves against each other, make threats, attempt to dominate or "win" over the other person, and you don't turn outside the relationship to "just deal with it." There's a recognition and a mutual respect that you're in this together, and if you want to continue to move forward in the relationship and in creating a life together, you turn to each other. You listen, you seek to understand, and you both work to give each other what you need to feel safe, secure, and Loved in the relationship.
We've often said that if you're wondering, "Is this Love?" or "Do they Love me?" that's all the answer you need. Someone who Loves you doesn't want you to have to ask. They don't want you to be defeated by their Love, they don't want you to not feel good enough for it, and they won't dump all of their issues on you to deal with them.
They want you to be happy. Your life will be better because of them, not worse. Your relationship will not be perfect, but it will be safe, Loving, and kind. And that is how you measure a successful relationship.
We're hosting a free 1-hour webinar called Creating a Conscious Relationship in which we will be discussing the basic challenges that you are confronting in dating and why finding Love feels so difficult. We are talking about the principles of a Conscious Relationship and how you create one. We'd Love to have you join us for it. :)
Space is limited so don't wait. Sign up now for free!
And thanks for reading. Lots of Love <3
Thank you so much for enjoying our content! Our greatest joy comes from knowing that people like you are using it to transform their lives and relationships and that the world is becoming a better place because of it.
We know the feeling of being alone, of struggling through what seems like an endless series of dead-end relationships, of waiting for the phone to ring, of being rejected and let down again.
We know what it's like to go to bed alone each night wondering if that will ever change and fearing that it might not.
We know these experiences all too well and that is why we do the work we do. We want you to know that you can find Love, that just the application of these simple tools and practices can make a complete difference in every aspect of your Love life and ultimately lead you to the lifetime partnership you so deeply crave.
You're not in this alone. We're here for you <3
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