What is so special about love that makes it the most talked about of all human emotional desire and the most sought-after abstract possession?
If love were a commodity product, a marketable item that can be stocked up on supermarket shelves, convenient local shops, pubs’ snacks counters, ready to be sold and bought, returnable, refundable, a luxury good or a disposable item, what would love look like on the shelves?
The question is, how cheap or expensive will your love be? What aisle will best fit your love? Disposable or luxury? What value do you place on your love, and what aisle will you visit if you are looking?
Indeed, LOVE IS NOT CHEAP. It comes with hefty price tags – a price we pay through CHOICE, COMPROMISE and SACRIFICE.
According to pricing theory, the more scarce the commodity, the higher the price. Therefore, so is the cost of ‘TRUE LOVE’. True love is rare and thus its price tag high.
We should imagine that all loves are valuable, but experience has shown that some loves are just as easily disposable and not worth the price.
It is my opinion that it is human dynamics that make loving very difficult and sometimes almost impossible. I have narrowed it down to three different categories of people who make loving a tedious task.
Three categories of people that we meet that make loving difficult, and how to get past the hurdles they present:
The reciprocators are the people that you show love to, the ones that you love that return the love. They love you back. These people are good people, and this kind of love is most welcomed and enjoyable.
However, it becomes risky when they reciprocate your love, you become excited and put all your hope in their love.
It becomes a problem with these categories of people because when you depend on their love to make you feel loved, on a day they do not appear so loving, you may doubt or reconsider your position, value or worth. If care is not taken, you may lose your peace, which sets up a downward spiral.
Crossing the hurdles of a reciprocator
In dealing with this category of people, it is crucial for us to remember that our love and happiness is not based on what they do or do not do. The love we give is independent of the depth to which they respond or the lesser that they do not.
We must remember that human beings are not perfect; we have good days and bad days. But if my happiness is dependent on how well you treat me today or not as well the following day against my expectation or what I am accustomed to, and it gets to my heart, then I am in for a life filled with many emotional rollercoaster rides.
These categories of people are those that we show love to, but for one reason or the other, they can’t seem to believe it or accept it that they could be loved. So these people are surprised at our love, and because they are amazed, they tend not to give us a “positive” reaction, we only get ‘I don’t believe it’, ‘I don’t buy it’.
Some of these people, we may hang out with them, but they are continually weighing our motives and intentions. It doesn’t matter what we do for these types of people, no matter the extent we go to demonstrate love to them, they never see beyond their viewpoint, their way of thinking, whatever the thing that has shaped their mindset.
They are just those that refuse to trust us beyond the remit at which they can throw us.
Due to their behaviour, attitude, speech or just general demeanour, that we cannot comprehend or do not understand, we begin to consider perhaps we were not doing enough?
We begin to assess the quality of our love and assess its authenticity due to their unbelief. It makes us start to doubt our love, and when these doubts set in, loving becomes difficult because we conclude that we cannot love correctly.
In some cases, our energies become depleted trying to go the extra mile to make these categories of people see just how much we love and care about them.
Crossing the hurdles of a doubter
In handling doubters, we need to remember that we are only human, and we cannot love anyone ‘perfectly’ the exact way they want to be loved. To demand that of anyone would be for the person to become a god who can only but be superhuman and utterly perfect.
When we have given all we can, all we can do after that is submit to whatever else will come.
Sometimes we have to allow people to find themselves. We have to let them work through their issues, most especially when we have done all we can to be supportive.
We do not have to strive to meet a standard they consider as appropriate to their love. Love is a gift, and if a person is unwilling to receive it, we cannot force it on them.
Sometimes, a decision to walk away from a doubter is not a bad one, and we shouldn’t feel guilty if that is the best next action to take, particularly after your energy is zapped – it is part of self-care.
These categories of people are the ones that can make loving the most difficult. If you are not careful, their negative response can even cause you to change the way you love for the worse.
How do they do this?
Haters are people that no matter how much you love and or whether you show the love or not, they hate. They are the ones that have made up their minds that hatred is their preoccupation and as far as they can spread it they would.
These are people whose hearts fill with bitterness – which is not as a result of anything you have done – it is because they had chosen to be closed-minded way before you stepped into their lives and for them, it’s a lifestyle.
Whatever has shaped their experience in life, their view of humanity and companionship is warped and blemished.
You can categorise haters as those who take pleasure in other people’s misfortune. They could be mischievous and sometimes appear to be on a psychopathic spectrum, or they enjoy being miserable.
Crossing the hurdles of a hater
Remember that you do not love to gain love in return from others, or because you need them to believe you. Neither can our love override another human being’s will or choice – our love does not and cannot control them.
Most haters do not expect to be loved, do not respect love and will not acknowledge it. It does not mean they do not identify genuine love – It’s just that they prefer hatred.
It’s not in our power to change people, but our actions and sometimes inaction may cause people to rethink and change their behaviour for good. If you continue to show love even in the face of adversity and rejection, some haters may be persuaded that some loves are indeed genuine.
It could be that they became haters because it is easier than love.
A Word to Doubters
I believe most average people nowadays fall into the category of the doubters, and if that is the category you have identified yourself to be in, as one who has been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt, the mug, the posters and bumper stickers, I want to share a few words with you.
However, before I do, I want to establish that at some point in our lives, we could all have potentially operated under two or three of these categories at different stages in our lives.
Some of us start as reciprocators, but when the person that we returned love to one day stopped loving us, in one way or the other, or stopped showing love to us the way we have anticipated and or become accustomed to because we have put our hope on their love, we become injured.
We become disappointed because we think, ‘I thought he/she loved me, what happened?’ ‘They are supposed to be my parents; how can they do this to me?’ etc.
We forget that love is dynamic and can drift depending on what is going on around us. So, when we place an expectation on people to love us – always and in all circumstance, it is like we are saying to them, you are not allowed to be human.
Please do not misconstrue me; I do not make excuses for typically badly behaved people who take love for granted.
When love is not being given to us or when love seems to have stopped from the person whom we have looked up to for love, as a result of injury caused to us in that relationship, we automatically become doubters.
More so, if this seems to occur to us at different times, with varying types of people. The root cause of this at most time is ‘rejection’ when we feel or have felt over and over again rejected.
The feelings of rejection can make us becomes doubters because somehow we don’t believe this thing called love “anymore” and for some people, it’s like love does not necessarily exist.
It’s all a lie they say — no matter those who later comes into our life, whether a person who extends a hand of friendship, a man or woman who shows an interest in you, or just anybody who shows a sincere definite interest in our lives, we do not want to know. We will judge every single one of them based on what the last person did or based on what everyone else has done.
We can remain in doubter’s mode for as long as possible to protect ourselves from the feeling of rejection again because we don’t believe any longer that we can genuinely be loved.
Even beyond that, in this mode, some of us can become so hardened and become extremely defensive that we cannot even appropriately show love ourselves any longer. We cannot accept love and neither give it — what a difficult place to be. Some people can remain in this doubter’s mode all their lives.
A shift in our thinking may be needed to unlock the feeling of rejection.
What can make a doubter shift from his position as a doubter, is his decision, his choice.
A doubter can either change from this position to become a reciprocator again and hopefully this time, with the right understanding about love, lest he switches back or he can go to the extreme and becomes a hater.
What can make a doubter a hater, is the depth, how deep the source, the cause of what makes them a doubter. How deeply were they injured? Who injured them? What did or do they believe about the person that hurt them?
Some reasons why doubters are doubters:
- The root cause, ‘rejection.’
- Past hurt
- Violated trust
- Pride stemmed from insecurities
- A combination of all of the above
Overcoming the doubting state
For a doubter to move from a position where he or she can give and accept love, the doubter must be willing to admit and address the root cause of his or her problem.
Most doubters remain in their state of unbelief. Even when they are genuinely loved, they occasionally question and doubt, most especially when things are difficult in their lives. They always refer to the last failure, upset, disappointment etc. that occurred in their life.
A doubter must be willing first to admit the issues he or she has, seek counselling where appropriate, and come to a place of peace in their minds that love is a beautiful gift to give and to receive.
Thank you for reading!
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Have a brilliant day!