The Variables in Love

It is amazing how when we meet someone new that we feel an attraction to, we immediately begin to act in a certain way. When we see someone just as a potential friend, we usually just let go and be ourselves. That is why we are so comfortable with our true friends. With them we can be ourselves, in woundedness and in health, and we know that they will not judge us.

When we feel an attraction to someone new we do not act the same way. We immediately move in upon ourselves in doubt. We do not let go and be ourselves. We hold on and guard what we say and how we act in front of our new attraction until we are able to determine their wounds. When we feel attracted to someone we immediately begin to fear losing them. Since romantic relationships are so rare and difficult to create, when we see a potential lover we are very careful not to blow it.

So we wait. We let them talk. We try to answer in ways that they will want to hear. We evaluate how they would like their potential lover to look, and then we copy that. We look for signs of their past wounds so that we can be empathetic towards it. Sometimes we look for their past wounds so that we can manipulate them. If we know that our potential lover does not like being treated in a certain way, we will tell them that we also do not like that. We mould our personality to something we think they will approve of and then we make our move.

But what has happened here? We have entered the relationship expecting for there to be many variables. We know that most people are wounded, so we have waited for the wounds to appear and then we have adapted ourselves to show that we are the solution to these wounds. But eventually, for a relationship to work, you have to become friends. Friends are not afraid to be themselves. They let go and are comfortable just being who they are.

If we started the relationship by adapting our personality to one which we felt would be most accepted by our lover, then how can we now begin to act like ourselves? How do we become friends? If we start to just act like ourself, our lover will begin to notice that we have changed. This usually is not a good thing, because our lover has trusted us to be exactly as we presented ourselves. So instead we continue to adapt our personality in order to keep our lover around. But this is usually not a good thing either, because now we are no longer free to be ourselves.

In the end, the relationship will fail, because we have introduced so many variables right from the start. By assuming everyone loves differently, we have come into the relationship looking for the variables and adapting ourselves to them. But this strategy cannot be maintained for long. Because sooner or later our true self must be exposed.

Love has no variables. That is why it is so easy. We attach variables through our expectations of loss. Because we see so little success in love, we guard our true selves when engaging in it, in the hopes that we will convince someone to love us. It is this act that creates so many variables in love. Because we are rarely that good at figuring out other peoples wounds. Wounds are very personal. When we try to adapt ourselves to what we think our lover wants, we are rarely doing that good of a job at it. Add to that the fact that it is not how we truly feel, despite our intentions we will not succeed.

Photo by: Oshinn Reid

Love is easy because it has no variables. It comes in a variety of forms, but it emanates from one source. What is love, really? Love is simply being there. But what does “being there” really mean. It means truly being there, in the moment, with your lover. Whatever your lover requires, you are there for them. But you are always presenting your true self. You have opinions and wounds of your own. You will not be taken advantage of, but you will not take advantage of their trust either. You are honest and sincere and present in the moment. You are listening and engaging and making them think. You are asking questions and reaching out and touching their hearts. You are stroking their back and holding their hand and helping them jump over a puddle. You are there when they call, and willing to give them space. We all need space. In love there are no variables. In woundedness there are many variables. It is our wounds which make love so hard. Love itself is easy. So incredibly easy. Love is simply being there.