What is the difference between true love and false love in intimate relationships? More precisely, what is it like to be authentically in love with another person?
I feel true love as something of the nature of destiny, something that unites two people, something that transcends them to accomplish themselves and for one another to accomplish; as a piece of art and celebration of life, a relationship where we give without waiting to receive and where we accept what is given through the other. Its duration is indefinite because love is a free bird that cannot be held against its will, it comes and goes whenever it wants. When we are in false love, it seems to me that we feel it (see the section: “expectations, fears, needs to fill a void in us, etc.”) Being authentically “in love” with another person, for me it is a pure feeling without any personal interest.
For me, true love is love without attachment, without dependence, without expectation. Being in love can be defined as being connected; connected to the value of being of the other.
For me, true love is about leaving the other person free to be what (s)he is. False love is to want to “create the other in your image,” to want to make him(her) a clone of yourself, or of what you think is good for you. True love is sometimes hidden under a great apparent hardness, a hardness that liberates. To be authentically “in love” with the other, you must first be authentically “in love” with yourself.
True love is free of any attachment, any requirement, any expectation; it allows the other to live according to what he feels as his intimate, ultimate destiny; he does not seek personal satisfaction: he is rather benevolence, attention given to the other without negating his truth. I am thinking of Jonathan Livingstone the gull (Richard Bach) whose destiny was not to unfold his wings and fly to dive and fish and feed, but to fly to break his chains, to be fulfilled: true love is also the love we agree to be fulfilled. Jonathan’s parents were worried because, beyond the learning essential to the education of any gull, he betrayed the laws of the gulls, the outline of the conventions. Authentically in love with another person, I don’t really know what that means; a balanced and fulfilling relationship for both of them, yes. I think that false love is felt as oppressive.
True love is impersonal, pointless. From nothing it flows like a fountain, inexhaustible, without expectations. In conscious sharing with another human being, and depending on the affinity of our sexual bodies, the connection will be more or less described as “intimate,” but always full of love. “To love” another human being is an abuse of language.
True love in an intimate relationship is a profound recognition of the person to whom it is expressed. Without understanding anything about it. Without wanting to own it or change it. It means accepting to live this relationship in the context of the unknown, the living, the moving, the ephemeral. While perceiving and feeling eternity in the background of this ephemeral, which connects us to each other. It is a moving, gentle or moving “yes” to life through it. In practice, it means taking care of the other, but not necessarily in comfort. It is to celebrate the living through him(her) and to give him(her) thanks for incarnating it, for the time given to it. True love in an intimate relationship is the recognition of freedom, in me, in the other. False love is a search for security. Or pleasure. Or domination, or recognition, or… It’s the celebration of the “me!”, “me!”, “me!” practiced on the altar of the “other”.
True love does not allow any compromise, the heart is the compass to follow, regardless of whether it is comfortable or not. True love makes no promise or guarantee, and yet it is a rock on which an authentic relationship can be built. True love is celebration, and this celebration takes on very different expressions depending on the context in which it is expressed. Emerging from nothingness, the flames of his fire burn the stinking imaginations of self-interest.
It is this vibration that remains when idealization, expectations, demands, personal interest, etc., have been removed. And the astonishment of being able to feel both so intimately close and so strange to each other.
True love in intimate relationships is the essence that creates the world. An example of false love would be to try to be always kind, or worse, to let the other take control of our own actions. True love is like children’s play. False love is like the game of adults, that is, with meanings and intentions behind every action and reaction. No attachment versus attached. Innocent versus pretending innocence.
I will use a metaphor. In sport (golf, tennis, karate, etc…), many people contract because they feel like they are feeling strong. In reality, maximum power is reached when you are in total relaxation. But then, we no longer feel the strength, it is the opponent who will feel it. For me, it’s the same with love. Many people are looking for a strong emotion and confuse “falling in love” and being in love (having love makes no sense). In reality, when we let love pass through us, there is not necessarily an associated feeling. Finally, I would add that it is the same thing to “live love with the great whole” or to live love with a particular person, except that in the latter case, there may be an affinity, a dance of essential values that takes shape in a common project.
Authentic love is undoubtedly lived, it crosses us with what we are and what the other is. There is no strategy to put in place to be authentically in love with another person, it is lived beyond any personal will.
According to Dr. Stephen Wolinsky, there are different kinds of compatibility: external, intellectual, emotional, biological, essential, spiritual. The more levels in common, the greater the chances of success in the relationship. Love is found at the essential, emotional and biological level. Biologically, it refers to chemistry and physical passion in the couple. Wolinsky says we are looking for a “fusion” with a partner, and it is at the biological level.
Emotionally, warmth and feelings of intimacy will occur following biological compatibility. However, accumulated emotional crap can create resentments that will widen a biological connection and create a divide.
At the essential level, love is felt as a resonance of hearts.
For me, this means that authentic love in an intimate relationship is found when there is (at least) biological, emotional and essential compatibility. AND when the relationship is naturally oriented around the expression of the essential value.
If the essential value is not present, then it is only two identities that support each other (false love).
True love is that which is lived in the moment, by pre-sensory concordances (hormones, “aura”…,), outside expectations, desires and projections, in the expression of humility. I asked a friend the question during a discussion and she gave me this wonderful answer: “False love would be to want to achieve an ideal: to look at the other only what comes close to our ideal and reject what goes away from it. True love: rejoicing that the other is who he is no matter what happens afterwards.”