“He loves me. He won’t intentionally hurt me.”

“I love nature!”

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“I love wildlife!”

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Yes, they will hurt you. Their saying they love you doesn’t even mean they love you. Look at those photos! All inflicted by people who say they love the thing they are hurting. “Well, I didn’t do it on purpose,” they’d say. But, well, you and I both know they knew the impact of what they were doing.

It’s not like they don’t really care. It’s also not like they are having to make the tough choice between their quality of life and the nature stewardship. They just… it’s like they just roll on completely unaware of the expectation that you are supposed to care about things and people you claim to love.

It is easy to say they love you. It is also very possible they believe they love you. And, most importantly, you believe it too maybe because you have this incredibly intense passion to believe that you are truly loved in that deep, genuine, fairy-tale love. Because being loved that way makes you feel worthy. You never have to show up to weddings alone. Your rent will be cut in half, and you can stop stressing about what happens if you suddenly lose your job. And, if a moment of courage allows you to realize that this person’s love isn’t as perfect and whole as you want to believe, you have to give up this ignorant bliss and go back to the foxhole for the pursuit of love.

It doesn’t mean you love each other.

WAIT!

It doesn’t mean you don’t love each other either.

The hurt they cause, the mess they create inside you, the way you feel destroyed by their words or actions may be an indication they simply don’t love you like they say they do, but it may also an indication that they have yet to learn how to care.

It is easy to say they love you, but they possibly actually love you. Here is the thing. We are all work in progress when it comes to avoiding hurting those we love. None of us can claim to know how to avoid every single last little way in which we could hurt another person. Maybe some of us have less practice in it, and maybe some of us have a ton of experience in areas other than the ones you’re particularly sensitive about. It does not mean this person is a sociopath or someone too immature to know how to love someone.

The point I’m trying to make here is that the fact they’ve said they love you isn’t indicative of anything really, but if you have to use “But s/he said s/he loves me!” to defend your choices, you need to think hard about the lack of other facts that should have come to your defense.

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