Being in Love is a Disturbed Ideal

[Written around 2006.]

Although society and most people – and of course popular music – hold being “in love” as the ideal state of human existence, they are all deluding themselves, literally.  Being in love is little more than the state of transferring onto some new person – your “love object” – all your repressed childhood hopes that your parents will finally come to rescue you.  This hope, which is the root of all addictions, is so intense that if you actually believe that it can be fulfilled it sends you into the deepest emotional orbit, more intense even than heroin.  No wonder most people desperately strive for it.

You might ask, though, what about the eighty year old married couples who are still “in love” after fifty-five years of marriage?  My reply:  What about mild addicts – functional alcoholics, let’s say – who manage to stay pickled on their four daily martinis up through ninety years old – and even credit their booze with keeping them alive for so long?  (And they’re probably right – the booze probably did prolong their “life,” if you could call that a life.)

My second reply:  Do those couples really love each other so much, or are they more just attracted to a fantasy of whom their partners are?  From what I’ve observed, when you scratch below the surface of such couples you find that they really DON’T know each other that well, and are just interacting – and being “in love” – with a fraction of their personalities.  And they want it that way!  If they knew each other too well it would shatter their illusion.  No surprise that as the increase in expectation of marriage partners being “best friends” – that is, more emotionally intimate – has gone hand-in-hand with the skyrocketing of the divorce rate.

As I close, let me differentiate between being “in love” and actually loving someone.  In many ways the two are polar opposites, even if sometimes people who are “in love” can behave lovingly toward one another.  Allow me to make a list:

  1. Being in love is projecting that someone will rescue you; loving someone is nurturing and caring for the best in them

Being in love comes from the false self, that still damaged side of us, and wants a false image of another to rescue us; loving someone comes from the true self, and nurtures the true self of another

Being in love is generally full of disrespect, both of one’s own and another’s self.  It doesn’t honor the true boundaries of another’s truth.  The extreme of this happens when really troubled people fall in love with complete strangers and go so far as to believe these strangers have returned this “love.”  Loving someone, on the other hand, is inherently respectful.  It respects the boundaries of who they really are.
  4. Really loving someone truly grows over time.  Being in love gets weaker over time – and when it grows it tends to be a sign that the “in love” person has a penchant for more extreme forms of delusion.
  5. Being in love brings only a limited sense of fulfillment, and often leaves people feeling crushed and rejected.  Really loving someone brings deep fulfillment – to both involved.
  6. Being in love gets all mixed up with romance (and often sex).  Loving someone deflates romance – and opens the door to something so much more rewarding.

11 thoughts on “Being in Love is a Disturbed Ideal

  1. But what if these two people healed and have worked and/or keep working on their traumas? Wouldn’t the mature and not delusional version of romantic love be possible for them? Maybe we just haven’t invented such version or romance, sex etc as humanity yet? Because it would be so boring to only have planotic kind of love with multiple people.

  2. Damn, I’ve taken over your comment section with my long ass rants on the insanity of being romantically objectified aka ‘inlove’…. nothing screams egotistic like a long ass comment or two for good measure eh lol
    I do think this it’s an important subject you have addressed and you have illustrated that the model of romantic love which is being advertised to children is just so damaging and furthest model from real healthy love.
    But hey what would I know, obviously the media ‘program’ makers and Hollywood big wigs know what they are talking about when it comes to true love and romance….two strangers, a bar and some alcohol and they “live happily ever after”, yeah course they do, or the very popular one which I regularly see in films and tv programs and which is force fed to our young and impressionable innocents is the story of two strangers who meet randomly and instantly “connect” and cutting out all the usual formalities just jump straight into each other’s loving arms to share a night of passion where the man is spell bound by the woman’s magical love making ofcourse and this night of passion (or drunken sex) is the start of the beautiful bond which obviously equals true and lasting love – that story never gets old but i find it so insulting to people’s intelligence and yet it sells and is bought by millions and millions of women everywhere…

    Young women learn this is what they have to do in order for a man to truely “love” and respect them – they can get to know each other after they have exchanged bodily fluids – and if you don’t agree with this concept of romance then you’re obviously a backward prude who knows nothing of true love and romance so what would i know eh….
    Us women buy this bullshit by the truck load we soak it up and live for that shit like true mind controlled sheep even when we are drawing our pensions, (i am usually the person who screams “as if that would happen” “as if” “as if” in the cinema…,can’t be taken anywhere sadly lol) …
    we watch these films like delusional fools where they sell this ‘dream’ to us all the time, and that’s what it is a ‘dream’ – totally detached from all aspects of reality.

    If you want to teach your poor impressionable children about love and self love especially young girls and what healthy love looks like then stop lying to them with the propaganda of fairytales and chick flicks and fake news from celebrities and teach them about reality and sorry to burst the romantic bubble of bullshit but in the real world a guy who gets to sleep with stranger after a night usually 9 times out of 10, doesn’t feel the need to get to know her or make that kind of effort to chase her after that. Anyone who tells you otherwise kids is lying through their back teeth.
    What the brainwashed woman who believed the hollywood version of true love (where sex is the way to start off a blossoming romance) has done is destroyed any chance of true intimacy and true romance and love which will be healthy and built on trust and solid foundations and made the guy feel cheated out of this, because a lot of guys now are the ones who enjoy the romance, the thrill of the chase, the mystery and the suspense and excitement of truely getting to know a person. What most women, (and i say women because that is the majority of the audience who romantic idealised love is sold to) need to realise is friends with benefits do not tend to turn into wedding bells and happy ever after like it did for Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunus characters in the aptly named hollywood blockbuster “friends with benefits”, no where in most versions of reality does that happen….ever!
    where i live the closest thing to a romantic courtship would be called ‘friends ON benefits’ I’m sure Hollywood will get round to making that version of romance in due course…

    There is a reason why most guys aren’t into chick flicks, cause men are more realistic when it comes to matters of the heart, and i am beginning to think that men are even more romantic than we are led to believe by society. Emotional connections and forming a true bond which is comes from friendship and true love over time is what a lot of men want but are being cheated out of it and it all becomes boring very quickly when there is no mystery, no build up, no intrigue and no mental stimulation. Also males weren’t brainwashed into all that bollox that us girls had the pleasure of from as early as we can remember. None of the boys in my family were told stories of cinderella, snow white, sleeping beauty and some other mindless princess who brought nothing to the story but her good looks and subservient personality traits….

    Women need to stop kidding themselves and learn to see love takes time to grow and the fairytale they were sold is just propaganda used to ensalve them under the fallacy that fairytales really do come true – they don’t. That’s why they are called fairytales. End of condescending rant.

  3. Have you ever known people to tell you after finding out the person they were “inlove” with was not the person who they thought at all and they will explain how they felt so “familiar” with them straight away and they took that as evidence that that stranger was infact their ‘soul mate’ or ‘true love’…. then after the idealism of the initial insanity has worn off and the cognitive dissonance has eventually sunsided they start to acknowledge that this stranger isn’t a stranger at they are infact of their parents psychological twins, in disguise ofcourse…. the interesting part is the word “familiar” comes from the word “family” and the word “family” comes from the Latin word famulus, “servant”. Whenever we feel instantly familiar with someone I believe it is because our subconscious or sixth sense picks up the energy or even spiritual vibration of the person on a soul level which is similar to one of our family members usually one of our primary caregivers that we need to heal from and that “familiar” feeling of ‘home’ people often misplace as a feeling of being inlove. “Home is where the heart is”.

    That high people experience from being “inlove” i believe comes from that instant adrenaline, oxytocin that babies and new mothers also naturally produce when bonding being sent to our brains and our young inner self who never got their needs met to tell the brain and emotions – finally dear one you will get that love you were deprived of – that oxytocin that was supplied to us in infancy when we managed to get some bonding gets fired up again and for most people who were truely deprived of love and starved of it in an emotionally abusive or damaging way and who have not addressed that trauma will be craving for it like a true desperate addict. Oxytocin is that feel good hormone that stimulates feelings of euphoria and happiness. We all experienced whenever we were picked up as babies and cuddled or fed etc. Is it any wonder that children who were severely neglected by their mothers go on to be addicted to opiates in adulthood or addicted to sex or intense relationships aka “love addiction”.

    So when a person who is suffering from a gaping wound created from childhood trauma where the wound was because of an unmet need from their parent when that person gets a sense of that familiarity where by their subconscious recognises that they are their mother or fathers spiritual twin but this twin is offering them the illusion of true love which is going to be unconditional and is going to finally heal all the hurt and trauma they have been suffering from that feels like a rush of heroin given to an addict who’s been waiting for their next fix for a very long time….that hit of familiarity and “closeness” is intoxicating in the same way any drug is, thats why people get trauma bonded and why survivors of abusers will keep on falling in love with abusers again and again until they finally look inward to heal the initial trauma and emotional pain that they never dealt with…. anyways, i am sure there are exceptions to the rule and soul mates obviously exist etc, and people are ofcourse all unique and have their own stories but I just noticed a lot of people who i have known to come from abusive homes tend to replicate that dynamic again and again in their romantic relationships and they tend to use concepts like “kindred spirit” “soul mate” etc etc to people who they only jus met. The classic line is always “i just felt like I knew them all my life as soon as I met them” the thing is they did, they truely knew them and their intuition was right.That sense of familiarity should act as an alarm signal to adult survivors of child abuse.

  4. Well, if all else fails, you definitely could have a promising career in stand up comedy.

    “You might ask, though, what about the eighty year old married couples who are still “in love” after fifty-five years of marriage? My reply: What about mild addicts – functional alcoholics, let’s say – who manage to stay pickled on their four daily martinis up through ninety years old – and even credit their booze with keeping them alive for so long?”

    Anyone who knows someone all of 5 minutes and says “i am inlove” or “i love this person” or worse “i want to spend the rest of my life with this person” is going through temporary insanity.
    True love does take time and to truely love someone you have to truely know them, all their flaws, all their eccentricities, all their insecurities (and everyone has them), their past, their pain, their joy, all that truely makes that person tick and the soul of the person, not their soul’s representive, not their soul’s sales person and middle man/woman who is selling an idea of the person.
    I know if a man tells me he loves me very quickly or claims to have feelings of that kind he has put a false image on me and he then is expecting me to live up to that idealised version of me and it makes me very uncomfortable as I know that is not real.
    Or as they say in the psychology world – it’s a red flag.
    Never trust anyone who claims to be inlove with you after not knowing you very long. What comes quickly will go just as quick.
    We can all love everyone who is in our lives and find the best in everyone but that state of romantic love and being ‘inlove’ is something that majority of us have been brainwashed by society, fairytales,media and movies to believe is what true love is and what true love looks like. But, how many of us actually really know what healthy love looks like? How many of us had healthy role models who showed us what healthy love is between a couple?
    We are drip fed this idea of love since the age of understanding language as being a thing of fairytales where a complete stranger looks upon another stranger and whisks them off their feet, declaring undying love and then “they both live happily ever after”. We brainwash and condition children as early as possible before the age of reason to see cinderella and sleeping beauty as relationship goals. Cinderella a maid who ultimately needed rescueing from someone who had money and status ofcourse, sleeping beauty who was abducted by a predator who sexually assaulted her while she laid in a coma – this we tell our young is normal, healthy and loving. Disney ofcourse is the sickness that endorses all these “princess” types even further. So it’s no wonder that the brainwashed convince themselves into believing that this stranger they have just met and know just limiting things about is the love of their life or “soul mate”.
    The New Age cult looks to encourage this further by telling everyone that they need to go out and find their “twin flame” and that in the “twin flame” dynamic there are runners and chasers… sounds like every stalkers idea of romance eh… “your my twin flame, it’s okay that you have requested a restraining order on me, this is usual as you are the runner, my twin flame”
    When we see the amount of people blame their failed relationships on the fact the person they were with being a “sociopath” or an emotional terrorist yet keep on attracting the same patterns of relationships and ending up with the same type of abusers who are “sociopaths” or “narcissists” etc then surely the lesson to be learnt is that we can not blame another on our misplaced ideas of love when we have not taken the time which i believe takes years to truely get to know someone. Most people have a false self and a veneer they live behind. Nobody who wants to be with you is going to tell you “look I’m essentially a cunt” because that’s not how it works. I grew up with a sociopath and I know from my experience that sociopaths and nasty manipulative people in general have always got great PR and have their acting skills honed down to a master art.
    People tell you what they want you to know. Getting to know someone takes time. Most of us learnt that the hard way but it’s the best lesson we learn in life….
    I’m no bible basher but as the saying goes “love is patient love is kind” we need to remember the patient part.

  5. I’ve noticed that the most disturbed people chose to stay single because they are bitter not because they are enlightened. Also, the most mature people are open to any possibility whether it be to stay single or fall in love. There is a problem in both extremes: someone closes themselves completely or yearning to find love. I completely disagree with your idea of love. There are few, albeit, rare couples who are functional and happy. Yes, certain priorities have to be rearranged and it’s not okay to be completely selfish. But that doesn’t mean that there true love doesn’t exist. I will admit that I have unresolved traumas which have a lot to do with my toxic relationships. I’ve found good men but I am unable to connect due to my traumas. One attracts those who are just as secure and enlightened as oneself.

  6. Oh my Goddess. I find myself in this situation. After breaking from my parents and having done self-therapy.and homework . Now this beautiful woman came into my life. On one hand experiencing the old feelings of being (extremely) in love. And on the other doing my homework every single day to remind myself that she cannot rescue me. And realizing the pain I had gone through when I was so young. It is so painful and at the same time enlightening.

  7. I have recently started to see through this illusion. The book “A Course In Miracles” talks extensively about the illusions of the “special relationship”. It says that we try to find in the other what we have discarded in ourselves. They become our replacement. And we become theirs. We are not really in love with them, but with our fantasy. We do not see them. We see only what we want them to be. It’s a fantasy. Every fantasy, through the belief that it is attainable, removes our own sense of completion. Fantasy deprives us of knowledge. The way out, is to value reality above fantasy. I would think this would play a large role in the unhealthiness of masturbation.

    • hmm, to some degree i agree with this idea, bart, even though i’m not a big fan of “a course in miracles.” i tried reading it some years back and found it pretty dissociated and kind of all over the place….. but i remember there being some good stuff in the book — though it took a while for me to wade through to find it. thanks for posting! daniel

      • hmm, ACIM is pretty straightforward. It just introduces the idea of “ego versus god” or “ego versus Holy Spirit” and then goes on introducing new aspects to better expand this juxtaposition. It just wants you to understand ‘what’s really going on here, exactly’. “This is what you believe, this is what is true.” One of the most valuable contributions to my understanding of trauma, is that it seems that trauma causes you to always want to “do” something. You are not at peace. I’m interested in discovering the nature of this doing. We seem to think that there is something we have to do in order to find peace, while this very thought causes us to lose it! Are we trying to “do” our way into peace?

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