Love is an emotion that we all crave. Even the worst of humanity no matter how hardened or aloof they may be, desire to have a special connection to someone. We all want to love and be loved and will go to great lengths to ensure the object of our affection is aware of our love and that our love is reciprocated.
Recently, I have had cause to wonder what love is really all about and whether there is a right or wrong way to love and be loved. I say this especially in view of the many stories we hear daily about people being emotionally and physically abused, assaulted and even murdered by their supposed loved ones. Also intriguing are the various things people do to endear themselves to others or ensnare others all in the name of Love.
I watched the promotion on “special package” and wondered if these things do work at all. Is there really “jazz” that can make someone fall in love with another or that can make them do their bidding without question?
Why will someone want another (even if they are legally married) to love them at all cost and what are the shortfalls of these actions and are their effects irreversible?
I ask these questions because I have always wondered what I saw in whoever I had an amorous relationship with that made me stick to them. I have always questioned why I love someone and why the person loves me. I do this mainly because I have a consuming desire to be honest with myself. I do not like to tell myself lies neither do I want to be lied to. I am willing to be with someone for reasons other than love so far as I do not delude myself into believing that he loves me because of another reason
However, I have discovered that a lot of us tell ourselves lies about the true situation of our love life because we desperately want to believe that our partners love us despite their bad behavior or we can’t stand the truth that they don’t really love us or we’ve been conditioned to accept their bad behavior as an evidence of love. Eg believing that a man’s extreme possessiveness is an indication of how much he loves his woman.
In order to know whether we are loving our partners rightly or wrongly we must look at our motives for the emotion we define as “Love”. In looking at our motives things to consider include who is the focus of the action and who will be the greatest beneficiary.
Is it possible to love wrongly you may ask and the answer is yes and it is interesting to note that we can do so believing we are loving the right way. Most often emotions such as selfishness, control, obsession and possessiveness mask themselves as Love and it takes a knowing of one’s self to be able to call them out.
I have found the motive test to be quite effective in determining whether we love rightly or wrongly as there is a very thin line between doing something for ourselves and for another.
Loving someone wrongly mostly connotes a selfishness about the love. The attention is focused on us, it’s about what we want and it may be as subtle as buying things that we think the other should wear because that’s what we love to see them wear or how it reflects on us irrespective of whether or not it’s their style or preference.
It’s about being controlling and being possessive, about wanting to know every detail about your lover’s life. Wanting to ensure you are in control of what they think, do, hear or say. It’s about suffocating them with your presence that it becomes tiresome. It’s about threatening them with falling out of love with them except they change or insisting that they do something to prove their love to you with words like “If you love me you will….”. It’s also about satisfying your desires without consideration for your partners and not respecting boundaries in your relationship.
On the other hand, loving rightly is about allowing the other person to be themselves, by not restricting them in anyway and enjoying who they are. The one thing that endeared me to and kept me with Mr. Aisi was the fact that he allowed me to be myself. I can be quite a handful and it was quite common to hear people especially men wonder how he coped with me. But he never gave them mind and always allowed me to do my own thing in my own way.
Loving rightly is also about wanting your partner to be happy and recognizing that their “happy” is not the same as yours. For example, I have never understood the craze about football. In fact when we were dating Mr Aisi never followed football and I was glad he wasn’t passionate about it. So you can imagine my dismay when he became an ardent supporter of Arsenal and watched football religiously. Although I didn’t like it, I didn’t make him feel guilty about enjoying it neither did I become enthralled with it. We both understood our feelings about it and accepted them without insisting that we be on the same page about it.
Finally, it is not love if you force someone to be with you, if you do things that demean your person because you want to keep them, if they put all the burden for making the relationship work on your shoulders and if they suffocate you with their love. I am told that Jazz wears out and that one day the eyes of the bewitched will “clear” and the consuming love will turn into an impassioned hatred.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others and it is not self-seeking. ( NIV)