The More Love You Give The More “In Love” You Will Feel
Dear Neil: I have gone through a series of relationships with women where I just don’t feel the emotions I’d like to feel about them. Either the chemistry is wrong (and therefore I am not much into it), or she has children (I don’t want children), isn’t educated enough, or something else is wrong that sours me. After awhile, I get dissatisfied, end the relationship, and then find another woman, only to repeat the same scenario all over again.
In the end, I wind up not having strong emotions about any woman. I was badly hurt when I was 20 years old, and I never want to get hurt like that ever again.
I like that women fall for me. I strive to be loved by a woman—it feels so validating and confirming. I want to love again, but I can’t figure out how to do it. Please help.
Lost In Ontario
Dear Lost: Ever been with a woman who loved you passionately, who gave you everything, who was wild about you—but you didn’t feel it back? That’s because the passionate emotions come from giving love, not from receiving it.
Many people—especially those that did not feel very loved or valued growing up—think that to be loved in a relationship in the ultimate prize they can attain. So they focus on how to be loved, or on how to get love. But they wind up feeling empty, disappointed and cynical, because the magic feelings come much more from loving than from being loved.
You’re being safe, but at a terribly high price. You’re holding your heart and your emotions back so you won’t get hurt again. But there is no satisfaction or joy in being so held back, and in the end you wind up being safe at the expense of being happy, passionate and in love.
The secret that’s eluding you is that you must give love in order to feel “in love.” If you don’t give yourself—your heart, soul, spirit, effort and energy—you just won’t feel very much, and then you’ll be missing out on the emotion that many would claim is the sweetest feeling life offers.
The more love I give, and the more I give of myself, the more “in love” I will feel. It’s what I give to a relationship that defines how wild, how passionate, how fulfilling the experience is, not what I receive from it. Of course, this is assuming I am not getting rejected by my partner, and where I am getting enough so that giving and receiving in the relationship are not too far out of balance.
Challenge this stance of yours. Examine the possibility that you’re being too safe—which is not at all satisfying, joyous, soulful, fun or exhilarating.
Learn this lesson above all others: the more love I give, the more loving I feel. The more passion I offer, the more passion I generate and experience. The more I hold myself and my heart back, the emptier and more superficial the experience will feel to me.