“I want you to love me”

I was watching a movie just now called ‘Network’. It’s a brilliant early 90’s film about the vagaries of working in news broadcasting with an excellent script. But that is not what I am writing about. I’ve put the movie on ‘pause’ because one of the characters has just said something and its made me think.

The exasperated character (an elderly man) has just said to a woman, who he has been arguing with:

“I want you to love me. That is all. I want you to love me”

He say’s these words earnestly and with feeling as he looks deep into her eyes. “Just love me”

And that’s when I put the movie on ‘pause’ and started writing this!

Because I felt like saying to him that love is NOT a choice. You cannot force or make or reason someone into loving you. Love doesn’t work like that. Love just happens. Love is an automatic reaction. It is a switch that gets pulled and we have no control over it. We can’t make someone love us by telling them to love us, by pleading with them to love us, by begging them to love us.

Love is not logical nor rational. That is why millions of people suffer endless heartbreak – because they don’t understand its true nature. We wonder why someone we love doesn’t love us in return. Unrequited love is the bane of many a human heart. We wonder how could they not love us when we’ve taken them out to fancy restaurants, brought them expensive gifts and flowers, written them poetry, and told them how beautiful they are!

Can they not see?! Are they blind?!

But you can’t bribe someone into loving you. You cannot buy love with money or words.

Love must be created from within the other person. The switch is pulled automatically within the heart of the other. You can’t pull the switch yourself and they can’t pull it either. The switch is pulled by ingrained mechanisms hidden deep inside our and their subconscious selves.

Yes, there are rules, biological rules that govern these switches. These have evolved over millions of years and they form part of the discipline of ‘Evolutionary Psychology’. But not everything has an evolutionary basis. Many of the quirks of what makes us fall in love have no basis whatsoever! They are artefacts, or programming defects in the human brain. Wiring gone crazy! We all have this crazy wiring within us. We inherit it – hence why love rarely makes any sense!

I could tell you the secrets of love…but, that would be imparting explosive wisdom and who knows how many hearts you might end up breaking. So better to keep hidden these secrets…until perhaps another time.

But for now, remember never plead: “I want you to love me”.

It’ll never work.

Better to walk away.

And then they’ll come chasing…

…maybe

…if you’re lucky!

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