“We get together and talk, and say we think and feel and believe in such a way, and yet what we really think and feel and believe we never say at all” – Thomas Wolfe
Over the years as a therapist I have counselled many people who have lived lives of what I call, ‘faking it.’
It doesn’t mean they are not going through the motions of living; some of them quite successfully, and to them, happily. What they do not do is take the time to be introspective and contemplate their state of being. They live BUT they are not ALIVE!
Many couples tell each other they love one another but in reality they are not intimately connected. Is that a lie? Well, not really because they believe it and ‘make do’ with what they have. Tragically some do not believe they are worthy of being loved.
For many the thought of change or the giving up what one has is better than the scary unknown. It takes a lot of self-control to allow reason to guide feelings. As a result, people hide their real true feelings, even from themselves. You can understand things logically but when it comes to judgement that’s a different story and many fear their own judgement about a situation as important as love.
Not just in counselling, but in my personal life I talk to people about their relationships. I hear many say they are not happy, or they use words like ‘respect’ or ‘habit’ to describe their lives. My question is always about what they FEEL for the partner.
Now it is true feelings can get in the way of good judgment and we have numerous examples of partnerships that are high on emotion, where some better judgment might have been helpful for all that life dishes out. However, without that drive to be connected totally, nothing will substitute.
You cannot force love, and you certainly cannot fool yourself forever; although some do.
When two people are connected there is no need to deceive oneself.
It is sort of like faking an orgasm. Remember that scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally?”
It was terrific. She made the right moves and sounds but it was NOT an orgasm. A real orgasm has proof. Men certainly display it and so do women.
They not only make the right sounds but there is also a warm liquid released that the partner can feel. It cannot be faked!
We usually do it slowly with steps back and forth. Only mentally ill people are without boundaries and leave themselves totally bare without testing the water.
Being cautious is fine, especially if you have been burned, but too cautious makes you constrained in ways that do not benefit your happiness.
How you FEEL about someone after a glass of wine, for example may tell the true story.
Those people who profess to love, and really don’t pay a big price emotionally in the end. If they avoid the issue and defend themselves from that honesty they are wasting their precious life.
Sometimes people ‘manufacture’ love for specific reasons. They may feel no one else will be there. They have children and don’t want to upset the apple cart. They need the income. They don’t want to be alone. They…. fill in the blank.
All legitimate practical reasons. Fine. BUT, the heart and body, (sex drive), will be hampered in significant ways. Maybe they numb themselves to it all. Maybe they believe the lie. And maybe they run from it.
When you look into someone’s eyes and say,” I love you,” do you really mean it?
How do you know they mean it when they say it to you?
You just know. Time and experience will make sure you know.
Yes, you can have great sex without love but you cannot have love without that element. It can be friendship, companionship, or something else BUT it ain’t the love I’m talking about.
Many people are not capable of it. Many people have not been taught what it’s all about. Many are just too damn scared. My advice is to try. Try again. And again. It is worth the hurt, effort, fear, disappointments, and whatever else comes with it. Because if you get ‘there’ you will NEVER want to live any other way again, and in fact you won’t be able to. So, go to it!!
“True love cannot be found where it does not exist, nor can it be hidden where it truly does.” – Anonymous