essays

Why we sometimes reject apparent love

Why is it that we tend to reject lovers who come on too strongly? Have you ever thought about this?

At first glance, immediate attraction would seem to be a compliment: if the person can so quickly surmise that they like us, then we must be really great. Wouldn’t that bode well for our security in a potential relationship?

In fact, a quick test will generally prove the opposite: put on the breaks. If it’s really you that the person likes, then they’ll have no problem waiting for you. However, if it’s something else—a projection, a fantasy; a basic need not to be alone—then you’ll usually find that they move on, find a more available candidate. That is, the attraction wasn’t really about you at all. 

In truth, what we all of us want is to be known and loved for who we really are, but the paradox is that who we are at core is not that different from any other person. Not only that, it is not that different from any other animal, any other plant, even inanimate rock or steel: who we are at core is a presence, an energy, a stillness; it is the source of love itself.

And yet it takes a lifetime with another person to see that, at the end of the day, they are nothing but a unique expression of this cosmic energy. Each of us carries and diverts this energy in particular ways, a set of contours and behaviors that we define as a personality. For the person who truly loves you, it will be no problem to wait around for your fundamental sameness to reveal itself. In fact, this process will be a site of enjoyment!

To those who reject the advances of the comers-on-too-quick, I say: do not doubt yourself. It is not because you have a confidence problem that you buck these advances, not because for some reason you doubt you hold the greatness the other person claims: it is because deep down you know you are great, but that the source of this greatness is something that lies in the other person as well. For that reason, if they were really serious about love itself and not some mirage thereof, they would love themselves in exactly the same way as they purport to love you.

The love that lasts is that which reveals itself subtly, effervescently, alive and radiating through all things. 

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