By Steven Bancarz| We have all seen fake relationships before. Whether on television or in real life, we all know the basic characteristics of a fake relationship. They come and go like the wind. We can almost smell it in the air when we are around one as if we have a sixth sense. Maybe we have even been in some before. The guy buys the girl flowers, they compliment each other an excessive amount of times, they make sure that they are seen in public and on social media together, and then within a year or even less they break up. What happened here? And why is this such a recurring theme?
In a society that encourages a shallow materialistic lifestyle, the relationships we build with others often take on these same qualities unfortunately. Divorce rates in America are over 50%, and Canada is not to far off from that with a divorce rate just under 50%. Why is it that about half of all Western marriages end in divorce? Why is it that relationships seem to come and go like a gust of wind, and what ever happened to the kind of relationships people used to search their entire lives for?
Here is what happened. We have stopped reflecting on what love is. We chase around new forms and new energies without stopping ourselves to see what it is we are actually seeking. We have forgotten what “love” really means, and have confused it with a kind of weird pseudo-love. Have you ever heard of pseudoscience? Pseudoscience is essentially something that pretends to be scientific in nature but fails to meet the criterion of science and can’t be validated using the scientific method. In the same way, our culture breeds a sort of pseudo-love that pretends to be real love but collapses in the face of real adversity. Pseudo-love is the current disease of humanity and is what constitutes fake relationships. We will get into this more as we go over 3 ways we can end fake relationships forever:
1) Make Sure Your Love Is Self-Less
Real love does not want anything. Real love does not look at another person in terms of how they can add meaning or enhancement to their lives. To do so would be to treat that person as a means to an end, and thus as a kind of object in the goals of your personal agenda. Real love is not grounded in how two individuals can emotionally benefit from one another in areas they may lack.
Love is about appreciating the soul of another person and desiring to share that close magical space with someone, as opposed to treating them as means to satisfy the desires of a needy heart. That individual is their own person, and need to be recognized as such. They are not an accessory, a stress ball, or a comfort pillow. They may add comfort to your life, which is great, and they may even be everything you thought you had ever wanted from a partner. But here is the ultimate test to see if you actually love them, or if you only love what they offer to you:
Go inside yourself quietly in a meditative state, and contemplate your relationship with your partner. Visualize them in your mind, right now even, and say these words in your head: “I love you and want what’s best for you, even if it doesn’t involve me“. I personally say within myself “I want God’s will for your life, even if it means I can’t be a part of it”. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be apart of it. But if you can honestly say this within yourself, then you are loving them from a space of appreciation and sincerity. To tell someone this in person is the greatest form of love you could express to them.
This means that if going to another country to take a job opportunity would be best for them, you would accept this and support them with this, even if it makes you uncomfortable inside thinking about being lonely. If being with another person would best serve them, you would support them with this also. We get into a habit of looking at people through the eyes of our own personal needs and lackings, and then bring them into our lives to fill a void within us. Love is not about how a person can personally serve your needs or enhance your social image. We all know how celebrities get together and break up shortly after. This is because they interact with the person as a sort of fashion accessory to complete their sense of self.
Love is about leaving yourself, your needs, your desires, and your wants completely out the equation and appreciating the shared space of intimacy with an individual. Love is about them, and the space you share. It’s not about you. Get in touch with their soul. If you saw their soul, you would see that the only thing true love wants is for them to be happy.
2) Knowing The Difference Between Love And Comfort
There is not a single human being that has ever existed who has had 100% of all his egoic needs and wants satisfied at any given point in his life. Yet we expect relationships (which are all bound to pass in time) to do this for us. It’s really important to get clear with yourself as to what you are actually seeking. Why do we desire (x) in our lives? What do we really want out of life, and why? What are we searching for? What do we lack, and what are we doing in our daily lives to either transcend or remedy these lackings? And most importantly, why do we want to be in a relationship? It’s important to be super honest with ourselves when we answer these questions.
We often carry around holes within us, and look to others to fill those holes for us. When we encounter someone who seems to fulfill those holes in us, it gives us a sort of emotional comfort. Perhaps we are scared of being alone. We are frightened by the thought of not having someone super close to us in our life. We are terrified by the thought of laying down to sleep each night without resting on the emotional cushion of being in a relationship. We thus often times confuse love with that which comforts our fear.
We look for love from the outside as a substitute for the self-love we lack for ourselves. We desperately seek for temporary relationships to give us a sort of an emotional high for a while. When we achieve what appears to be love, we later realize down the road that we only really wanted to be in a relationship with them because we lacked (x) at a certain time in our lives. Maybe we lacked confidence in ourselves, and the idea of having a partner made us more confident. Maybe we lacked excitement in our lives due to spiritual stagnancy, and were looking to a partner to preoccupy our bored minds. On top of the fact that what we had with that person was really just comfort and not love, we only stuck around for so long because we were scared of the thought of being alone or of having to start all over from the ground up.
I was in this position for a series of relationships, so I know what it looks to search for self-completion in a relationship and confuse the holes it filled with being love. If you are going into a relationship for the purpose of receiving personal comfort, or stick around for the purpose of maintaining comfort, it’s not really love. Of course, being in love will offer you comfort, but comfort is not itself love.
3) Knowing The Difference Between Feeling Love, And The Thought Of Feeling Loved
I myself believe in God. As a Deist, I believe in God on the basis of philosophical argumentation grounded in empirical data, and personal revelation. There is a huge distinction that needs to be made between actually sensing God’s presence, and the thought of sensing God’s presence. A lot of non-believers and atheists say “So you look to the sky, think about the idea of a God who loves you, get a warm feeling from thinking this, and then attribute it to divine revelation. That’s ridiculous.” And they are right to say this. Most people only believe in God or in their experience of God because of emotional reasons. It feels good to believe in a God who loves us, but is the feeling we get from thinking about God the same as actually sensing God? Now lets tie this into relationships. This is a key point.
Most people aren’t actually in love. They are in love with the idea of being loved.
In past relationships, I used to rehearse instances in my mind involving my relationship that made me feel as though I was loved. I would repeat phrases in my mind, or visualize past occurrences, and then would get that warm feeling inside. One of these past relationships lasted for a few months, and was not actually grounded in anything substantial (unless you think texting, Facebook, and Skype is substantial). I was confusing the thought of being loved with the actual experience of love. I think this is what often happens in a lot of divorce and break-up situations. People hang on to the relationship because the idea of not being loved by them is too painful to bear, or the idea of being loved feels good inside.
When someone tells you “I love you”, oxytocin and seratonin get released in the body immediately. If you keep revisiting this phrase in your mind over and over, these chemicals will be released continuously which is why you still get that same feeling days, hours, or years after the initial event. Literally, the thought-feeling of being loved is the same biochemically as actually hearing someone say it in real life. So, often times we don’t even interact with the raw boundless essence of true love, we only interact with the personal idea of being loved and the chemicals it produces. Below is image showing us what parts of the brain are deactivated by love.
We see “I love you so much!! <3” on our phone, or typed out in an email with a smiley face, and we feel good inside. We get those warm butterflies when we reflect upon it, and our brains adjust to a new state which is less fearful and more blissful. We may even think “Wow this person really loves me. I love them so much oh my gosh, finally someone who truly loves me.” This creates a superficial sensation in our energy field, a shift in our chemistry, and a sort of mood, which we attribute to the works of the true love that everybody talks about.
As a test, we could all sit here, close our eyes, and imagine what the most perfect love in the world would be and feel like. If we believed we would one day achieve this, or if we believe in our minds that we already have achieved this, our chemistry will shift immediately. We can create that experience biochemically right now without it actually existing in reality. So is love just a change of emotion? Or is it more than that?
Our egos like the thought of being in a passionate romance like we see in the movies, or in a mysterious intricate kind of love that we read about in poetry. And it’s fine to seek this and desire this. But in the same way that thinking about God isn’t the same as personally knowing God, thinking about being in love isn’t the same as actually knowing love.
This is the essence of pseudo-love: It is a combination of the desire to be loved, mixed with the desire to love, and these two ingredients create an experience inside of us that we believe to be love itself. In reality, this pseudo-love is just a desire-based mood created by the mind as opposed to being an experience shared between two people from heart to heart.
The experience of true love is that of the supernatural. The experience of love is what people used to search their entire lives for, and would even risk their lives for. Real love would be kissing your woman goodbye and telling her to marry a good man right before you rode off into battle. Real love is wanting what is best for that individual, even if it means never talking with them again. Real love looks at the person through the eyes of God, not through the eyes of personal desires and emotional gaps.
What has happened in our society is that we look at others as means to our ends. We see them as they relate to our level of comfort, our social image, our desires, our fears, and our thoughts about ourselves. We have confused real intimate love with personal gap-filling and lust. We have confused love with comfort. We have confused love with the idea of being loved.
There is a saying that two incomplete people cannot complete one another. Only you can complete yourself. This may sound a bit odd, but you only need yourself to be content. You don’t need someone else to rectify your existence. Relationships should only be something that you chose to partake in freely, not something that you need to partake in out of emotional necessity.
Work on you, and find out who and what you really are. Upon doing this, you will find that you, yourself, are Love. So is your partner. So love them, as Love, and not as an object or an idea. The day we start loving self-lessly, loving without fear, and loving from our hearts instead of from our minds is the day we will put an end to the era of fake relationships forever. Love is real. Let’s remember when it really means.