Love isn’t about becoming what another person wants us to be. That’s high-school level love. That’s Make Mommy Happy love. We learned this for our own survival, yes, but now we have to learn how to grow out of it, as painful as that is. As every rom-com can attest, this kind of love never works out, for three good reasons:
One, we presume that we know what makes the other person happy. We don’t, and all our strivings to make them happy are not only ineffective, but more often than not… highly unappreciated.
Two, this search for approval means that we try to be What We Think They Love. And we can be sure that when they discover that we’ve been putting on an act, it will be a total disaster.
And three, we never feel loved for who we really are, which is why we got into the relationship in the first place. So neither of us finds out who We Really Are… until one of us gives up the approval game.
No, Real Love is something completely different. It’s about becoming the person We ourselves want to become. Loving all of ourselves, including even the “bad” parts, the parts we don’t know how to love… yet.
This leads to what looks like an “I don’t care what you others do” stance, but don’t be fooled: it’s actually much higher than that.
Real Love requires a level of faith that means we make the break, and trust that others will eventually make the same upgrade… after they’ve learned first-hand that early, high-school conditional love never works.
We give it to ourselves first, and by doing so, we finally start “giving it” to others as well.
By allowing others the time and space to find that out for themselves, to stumble and fall, to fight their way out of the paper bag… with you, all the time, believing in them, loving them… that, my friends, is what I think Real Love is.