“I don’t really know what love is.”
When she said it my heart sunk.
Here was a beautiful, intelligent, successful, strong girl who has achieved so much in life and is respected and loved for her accomplishments and contributions.
Yet as she purveyed her relationship history she had to conclude that whatever it was she had experienced with her previous partners, it wasn’t love.
She still knew she wanted it. But she had no idea what it was or how to get it.
And because of this failure to find true love in her life, she was now thinking maybe the problem was her.
So she was trying to change.
“Maybe I’m too strong and come off too intelligent.”
“Maybe I need to act more like an ‘air head’ or a ‘bimbo’ so I won’t scare off the good guys.”
I could see why she was thinking this way.
As we talked and I began to ask her questions I knew the answers she would give me.
“You likely attract weaker men,” I said.
“And they probably treat you like a…”
Before I could finish the sentence she said, “Sugar mamma.”
This is a common problem with strong girls.
A great number of relationship theorists today would say it is a classic case of masculine/feminine polarity.
A “normal” girl has what these theorists call feminine energy.
This conveys a sense of vulnerability and weakness that calls out to a masculine guy to be strong for her.
“Opposites attract,” as the saying goes.
But when a girl is strong, she’s coming off with more masculine energy, so she is going to attract guys with more feminine energy.
As I talked about in a previous blog post called How To Escape What Feminism Has Done To You, you girls today have been taught you have to be strong and independent.
In the case of this girl her life situation had required her early on to become this way when her partner abandoned her, leaving her with two babies to support.
She also had an upbringing that influenced it and attracted the weak guy she married.
So I get it.
And there is nothing wrong with this. You do what you have to do in life, or you act from what has been done to you.
But many strong girls are struggling today with the fact that despite the strength they have developed in themselves, something deep inside them still desires to be taken care of and kept safe too.
This isn’t always conscious, but it is lingering there under the surface nonetheless.
To be truly happy and fulfilled on a romantic level, strong women need to learn to return to their feminine energy.
Or so the theory goes…
I have a different theory.
I believe the masculine/feminine energy phenomenon is actually a sign of insecure attachment.
I will expand upon this whole subject of attachment theory in the future, but the main point I want to emphasize here is that a lot of us, guys and girls, suffer from insecure attachment.
If you are a love addict you want to be loved and tend to compromise what’s best for you in hopes of getting the love you crave.
It doesn’t matter if you’re strong or weak otherwise, you’ll still put up with bad relationships just like this strong girl was doing.
If you are a love avoidant you will tend to gravitate to partners who need “saving” emotionally, people who will crave your love.
But you will abandon them emotionally once you’re in a relationship with them.
It doesn’t matter if you’re strong or weak otherwise, you’ll still sweep your partner off their feet emotionally at the start, but fail to make good in the long run.
When you have insecure attachment challenges you don’t know what love is because you are under the illusion it is something else altogether.
In the case of the love addict, like this girl was, you crave attention and will do and put up with almost anything to receive it.
And when you’re not receiving it, you will see this to be a fault in yourself.
You will put up with even more things you shouldn’t put up with, trying to make yourself better so maybe then you’ll receive the “love” you crave.
As this strong girl was starting to recognize, what she had been experiencing as a result of this behavior wasn’t really love.
But like a good little love addict, rather than truly change her perspective on what love is, what she was trying to do instead was just change her method of seeking out what she craves.
She knew what she had been receiving wasn’t real love, but she wasn’t yet seeing that it was the thing she has been craving itself that is the problem.
Hey! When you don’t know what true love looks like, what else is a girl to do?
The subject of healing love addiction and love avoidance is way too big a topic to broach here. What I want to do though is point you in the right direction by telling you what true love is.
It may surprise you.
Because it is not as sexy or exciting as your love addictive or love avoidant tendencies want to tell you it is.
You see love isn’t about being swept of your feet or saving the damsel in distress.
It isn’t about finding your soul mate, or finding someone who you can personally grow with.
It isn’t about getting anything at all.
Of course I’ve defined romantic love in the past as “the desire to experience sexual fulfillment and emotional connection that is mutually shared and enjoyed.”
And that definition is important because it shows you the difference between romantic love and just being out for sex.
Or just having a platonic kind of emotional connection you could have with almost anyone.
Only when sexual and emotional desire combine do you have true romantic love.
But what that definition doesn’t explain is why.
Why do we have this desire to experience sexual fulfillment and emotional connection with our partner?
What brings us together and makes us want to share this with them?
This brings us to the core.
We experience romantic love, this desire to share ourselves, because we value our partner for who they are and they value us for who we are.
Valuing each other for who we really are. That’s what love is.
Nothing more and nothing less.
But I hope you can see, this really is everything.
And you can see why this girl’s strategy of seeking to change who she is to attract what she wants is destined to fail.
Because you can’t really change who you are.
Sure you can change your behaviors to look like you’re someone else. But eventually you’re going to be found out.
Because you’re not the person you’re pretending to be.
And by changing who you appear to be you cause that person to be attracted to someone else. Not to the real you.
Yes personal growth is real and we do change over time. And there is nothing wrong with a strong girl exploring her feminine side either. That’s not what I’m saying.
But the core of who we are doesn’t really change that much.
If you don’t find someone who values you for who you really are and whom you value for who they really are, you will never experience true romantic love.
As I listened to this girl talk I found myself so moved by what I felt.
As she spoke about needing to change to hide her true self I found myself saying in my mind, “No! You’re wonderful just the way you are. Don’t change a thing!”
I wished I could reach out, take her in my arms and hold her, and tell her how beautiful she was.
That’s what you need to do to find true love.
And wait until you find someone who loves you for who you really are.
Then love them back.
So how about you? Are you ready to find true love?