Not sure if my understanding of love is too weird

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Deinonychus
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28 Mar 2012, 9:26 pm

Hello
Well it looks like I just made this account which I did but only because I can't find my way back into my old account.
Anyway
I am in crisis
There are many things wrong with me. I am depressive to a level that is not fun for anybody. I have body dysmophia and negative feedback just about does me in. It stays with me for a long time. My life is severely limited by it most of the time. I avoid being around people because I don't feel fit for human eyes most days. I either cover up mirrors with something or if I am during a period of self-restraint make sure my back is to them if I'm in a room with any.
I do not understand the concept of unrequited love. I don't understand how it's possible for one person to appreciate another person so much and the other person just be indifferent or worse. It does not add up to me, it does not make sense, the only conclusion I can draw is that I must be defective. When this idea id reinforced by others it is just about death for me.
I do not understand the concept of loving more than one person in a romantic kind of way in a whole lifetime. It seems very disloyal to me. That means you have to stop loving the first person in that way first and that seems like breaking something sacred.
I do not understand the concept of the person you are in love with not being your best friend. It also seems disloyal for it to be otherwise.
I do not understand how someone can have a kid and a significant other at the same time. Again it seems disloyal to split your love like that. This one doesn't apply to me but still.
I don't know why I have such weird ideas about this kind of thing. They are first and foremost feelings put into personal behavioral/moral code. I understand that in most cases love does not look like this, and also that most people do not feel things must be this way for them, and I don't think that's bad, it just makes it so the way I go about things has no place in this world.
I have not met or talked to many people who understand why I cannot get over someone. Even when they see how much pain it causes me I think the general experience is to get over someone if they haven't talked to them in a certain amount of time, or didn't know them for years on end or whatever. I don't understand the style of dating where you think, yeah, this person's pretty neat, I'll date this person for the time being, oh wait, this person looks neat, maybe I should stop seeing person A... etc. I do not understand where people put their worried or sad emotions while they are playing this game. It's a game as long as nothing is guaranteed. How do they get any sense of care or security from the other person in a case like that. When people say "I have been dating so-and-so for four and a half years..." Why do they still call it dating? These are all basic things I've been trying to go along with at least in the sense of understanding and accepting it but it doesn't make sense to me. Why is the word used still the same word used for when you've never met the person and are scheduled to meet them for the first time at a restaurant at nine, for people who have been together four years and share an apartment and sleep in the same bed and tell each other they love each other? That seem so fragile and moment-by-moment, like it's an unspoken acknowledgment that it could all change the next day and no one should be too surprised by it. Where do people invest their need for unconditional acceptance and love by another human being in the meantime? Is this what most people use their families for? For some reason familial love does not satisfy that for me. I mean romantic love should be familial also, that is unconditional, for it to be any good, as I see it, but familial love enough is not enough to make me want to get out of bed in the morning.
Where am I going wrong with all of this, please feel free to tell me if you made it this far.



sacrip
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28 Mar 2012, 9:51 pm

A lesson I had to learn the hard way is that love is, quite simply, not enough to sustain a relationship. You can't make someone love you as much as you love her, you can't make that person WORTHY of your love, and you cannot change the practical needs of life that, all too often, are more important than love.

You talk about loyalty a lot, and that is an admirable trait. But your loyalty, I suspect, is more to the concept of love than the girl you feel you're in love with. "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." In other words, don't give your love to someone who won't accept it.


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Deinonychus
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28 Mar 2012, 11:01 pm

Thank you sacrip. What you say makes a lot of sense. I was thinking a few days ago that the concept might be the thing that I'm loyal to... which was not something I wanted to consider, so I pushed it out of my mind again. I do not want to think that the person I feel this way toward was just someone random I was doing a thought exercise about love on. They were not random. Then again it was also a thought exercise and I messed it up so badly by doing what you say. Allowing it to go to an absolute extreme immediately just based on the fact of being pleased by the person's existence. How do other people avoid setting such a low bar. If I have a feeling I have to immediately analyze it so it makes logical sense, I think that is an issue, and if something falls in the love category, well love is not love without trust and trust is something that needs to be absolute for it to mean anything. Anything that's not absolute trust is worthless and there's not even any word for it in my mind. Now that I think about it that's really idealistic and I imagine it happens for nobody being as nobody is perfect. Oh dear.

I wonder how people are able to move on to caring about someone else that much. That seems like trying to forget your mom and replacing her with another one. It seems like any first thing there was is so close to your heart and you'd then have to put away those feelings somehow in order to care about someone else in the same way. And anything the second time around just seems fake by its nature and like an imitation. It seems like creating patterns based on a template created on interactions with other people rather than the actual person. And it makes it so the first person just becomes "the first" in a line. The idea makes me nauseous honestly. Everything about the idea makes me sad and unconvinced.

(I am a person of the female variety by the way. Not that it affected your advice, I see what you're saying and believe you.)



sacrip
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29 Mar 2012, 10:03 am

I think part of your problem is seeing love as a strictly linear thing, as though you can only love one person at a time and there's only one kind of love and it must be 100%. The difficulty is in the definition, of course. The love I have for my girlfriend is not the same as the love for my mother, or my love for God (which is an abstract love, to say the least), so that using one word for three different concepts just doesn't cut it, but this is what we have to work with. Then when you throw in the idea of, "I love her, but I'm not IN love with her," now you really have a monkey wrench in the working definition of love.
Also, there's a word in Russian that means, "The way you feel towards someone you once loved, but no longer do." Without this being a known concept in English, you have couples who previously broke up getting back together again because they mistook the feeling they had, something like wistfulness, for a rekindling of their previous love, which may have never been true love in the first place, but simply a combination of lust and camaraderie. OK, got all that? It's no wonder songs, movies and books are always about love: It's a very complicated subject.


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29 Mar 2012, 2:03 pm

Yes that's true. I do separate it into familial love and romantic love but to me there cannot be romantic love without there also being familial. Why would you want to be physically close to someone on a continuing basis if you don't trust them. I honestly don't get it. I am wondering if this is where the safety of objects and materialism come in. If you can't trust in people you need something to trust in do you not. So you trust in the things attached to the people like status symbols or whatnot, saying I want to date a person with a good job and a nice apartment or whatnot. Even if the things get taken away if what you're attached to is the things if you find another person with those things you're set. I am trying to understand that "I've been dating them for years," thing, every time I hear it it just sounds insane yet it is the default phrase I hear. Not just the phrase but the mentality of temporariness and no loyalty promised beyond the present. "My current boyfriend," there's another phrase. I understand there needs to be a way to differentiate between people but I think I would be somewhat heartbroken if someone referred to me as their "current girlfriend." This is turning into a nice rant. I just don't like how things are set up in society, it seems foreign to me.



sacrip
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29 Mar 2012, 4:23 pm

Well keep in mind, romantic love is still a relatively new thing in our species history. Marriage is nearly as old as humanity, and who you got married to was usually not a choice. Can you imagine 'dating' in a fishing village of 100 people? You're right about the terms 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend'; they give off a sense of immaturity and/or flightiness. It's almost embarrassing as an adult to refer to your significant other that way, but there aren't any better words for it, and it's the price we pay for the freedom to be with who we want, on our terms.


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29 Mar 2012, 6:33 pm

It's the "current" part that bothers me. Like the next girlfriend/boyfriend is already being planned or there's a parade of replaceable people filling a temporary position and no one should be sad about that.