7 simple ways we love incorrectly
Written by: Seada
Love: a requirement for survival, a need for belonging, a feeling of nurturance and acceptance. While the process of falling in love is simple, it is also complicated. Falling in love with the wrong person or for the wrong reason can be detrimental to our psychological well-being.
There are articles all over the internet discussing matters like how to prevent losing yourself in love, but few articles mention the harm of falling out of love with yourself in order to fall in love with someone else. In a simple, 7-step guide, I will demonstrate how easy it can be to lose ourselves by falling in love for the wrong reasons.
- Sacrificing things you love to do to make someone else happy. This statement may come as a surprise, but experts believe that sacrificing things you love to make someone else happy can cause symptoms of depression, unhappiness, anxiety, and trouble concentrating, along with other physiological and psychological problems. Instead of sacrificing things you love to earn someone’s happiness, the best approach is to collaborate on activities with your partner so you are can both feel a sense of satisfaction. Love grows deeper with collaboration, while love without boundaries develops into resentment.
- Cutting ties with friends and family. That old quote is very true: “Be careful what you wish for.” Life is a test, and it will invite people in your path to test the truthfulness of your intentions. Implementing healthy boundaries is a wonderful measure to protect against damage to our mental well-being. However, cutting out friends and family who are good to you in order to feel accepted by your partner can actually create physiological distress and psychological problems.
- Believing that all your time should all be devoted to one person. Priorities are important, but so is balance. Pay attention: How often do you catch yourself waiting by your phone, hopeful he or she will send you a random text message filled with romantic dialogue? This waiting game is irrational and detrimental. If they are busy, then busy your mind with matters you enjoy. This method teaches your partner you have standards and dignity; it also teaches you to not develop co-dependency.
- Making adjustments in your schedule to meet their needs. Are they as flexible in their schedule as you are with yours? Is effort mutual and reciprocal? While in a supervisory session with my mentor, she advised me never to work harder than people who do not believe in the same goals, for you will only exhaust yourself on every psychological domain.
- Diminishing the importance of your own goals. Have you changed your goals to reflect your partner’s, or have your plans grown together to build a stronger foundation? Many people assume the best way to strengthen the relationship is to drop your own goals to take on your partner’s goals. However, diminishing the value of your own goals is a sign of losing yourself.
- Loving them more than you love yourself. It is an admirable quality to give love, but loving someone more than yourself can create neediness and emotional dysfunction. When we value others more than we value ourselves, we create the need for constant validation and reassurance. Loving others more than yourself is not an act of self-love; it is an act of compassionate martyrdom. Losing one’s self-respect and self-love makes it difficult to love and respect someone else.
- Respecting their values while forgetting your own. Team work is essential to conquer challenges. Being the sole effortful person on the team is a sign of disrespect. Being taken for granted can cause a multitude of insecurities. Consider how often the person you love respects your values. If the respect between you is semi-equivalent, kudos to you both; however, if respect is a one-way highway, then pay attention to your signs of resentment: anger, disappointment, nagging, complaints, unhappiness, negativity, and isolation. Consider revisiting your values and living up to them.
Love is a fundamental component of survival, but love can be detrimental if we lose ourselves trying to love someone else. “First comes love, then comes marriage,” is a mythological statement, because prior to falling in love, we must first feel that we are respected and have the ability to give respect.