Loving for the wrong reasons
The desire to love is compelling. It is a force so strong that it is difficult to overcome. Relationships are a natural consequence of the fundamental need to love. It forms an integral part of the...
The desire to love is compelling. It is a force so strong that it is difficult to overcome.
Relationships are a natural consequence of the fundamental need to love. It forms an integral part of the process of growth and maturity. The yearning to be in a loving relationship is inescapable because of powerful hormonal drives, innate motivational forces and socio-cultural influences. It is a developmental necessity, and therefore an undeniable aspect of life itself.
However to be in a relationship, is still a matter of choice. And it is the exercise of this choice that sometimes causes us to commit mistakes. We make errors in judgment when we enter into a relationship for the wrong reasons.
One such reason is envy. When we see other people who are in relationships of their own, we become jealous. This envy that we experience drives us to feel self-pity. Comments by others questioning why we are still single cause us significant discomfort and embarrassment.
Another reason is vengeance. This happens when we are betrayed by a former lover. Because we feel hurt, pride moves us to show that person that we can find another. And in so doing, perhaps inflict pain back.
Still another reason is fear. We sometimes feel afraid that we may never find someone who will love us. Pressure builds up as though time is slipping away and the chance to be loved may never come.
Yet another reason is the desire to feel secure. When things go wrong -- when life’s difficulties overwhelm us, we look for someone who will give us stability and make us feel safe. Loneliness drives us to feel weak and this convinces us that the only way to cure our weakness is to find someone who will love us and give us strength.
Why are these reasons wrong?
Envy is a weakness found in those who have low self-esteem. Comparing oneself with others will constantly lead to frustration and discontent. Envy is always a terrible reason to do anything.
The desire for revenge is a product of immaturity. We fail to see that we can no longer hurt our former lover no matter what we do. By hurriedly entering into a new relationship because of a desire to hurt a former lover, we are only hurting ourselves.
Fear is consequence of a lack of a sense of control over one’s life. We are afraid only because we see ourselves as helpless and directionless. But if we feel confident in ourselves and in our ability to steer our destinies toward the proper priorities, then we will not be afraid. We will come to realize that this fear is illusory -- it is only in the mind.
Loving in order to feel secure reveals the weakness in our character. It is a sad admission that we are incomplete and empty. An empty life is one that is self-centered. It is devoid of purpose because it is a life not lived in the service of others.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick Fabella, PhD is a research director and a graduate and undergraduate professor in the Philippines. He is an editorial board member of the IRP international research journal and a Fellow of the Royal Institution Singapore. He is the author of Transcendence: Essays For Personal Reflection. His blog can be found at Meanings and Perceptions.