Can’t Buy Me Love
Guest Blogger: Luce
I spent five years of my life in romantic relationships just giving and giving some more. While that’s what love is about, it’s not quite love anymore when you give in order to feel worthy of love from another. Today, I understand that love, real love (the way God describes in 1 Corinthians 13), is not earned. Love is a decision to give freely. For a long time I subconsciously I believed that in order to get the love I wanted from a partner I needed to prove that I deserved it.
First, let me start by saying that you should most definitely embody characteristics that you want in a partner. Meaning, if you want respect you should be respectful and not tolerate disrespect so people know that this is serious to you. If you find yourself feeling like the relationship you’re in is burdensome in the sense that you question if you’re loved and you feel like you’re working for the minimum of just being tolerated, then you likely shouldn’t be in that relationship (unless you’re married—I’m not talking to already married folks here. That is not my specialty).
How to keep a man:
Culturally, some of us are taught that you have to know how to cook and clean to keep a man. Social media teaches us that we have to do certain tricks or look a certain way to keep a man. Friends or family may teach you that you have to tolerate “minimal” disrespect to keep a man. Somewhere down the line, I subconsciously adopted this ideology. But this ideology is false because first of all a woman/man will only be kept when he/she wants to be kept.
This doesn’t mean (ladies & gents) that you shouldn’t work on that nasty attitude, your lack of communication skills and other short-comings you may have. I think you should always strive to be a better person and partner if you wish to have lasting and healthy relationships. I’m not referring to this. I am referring to going all out on buying gifts, cooking nice meals, making sure you always look like an Instagram model, changing your looks and values and in some cases trying to become someone you’re not all for the sake of receiving love. Don’t believe this. A man/woman will leave, cheat, disrespect you all on his/her own and this will always have to do with who they are not who you are.
I’ve done that and I became resentful at the things I accepted from my partners just to keep them happy. I end up harboring anger towards them for things I pretended to accept while, all along, all I had to do was be honest with myself and muster up the courage to leave the relationships if I was unhappy.
God had to show me my heart and tell me that this wasn’t proper love-this was the world’s idea and definition of love. My whole heart was wrecked and I finally understood that the same love that God teaches in his word is true love and the same way we should love. If this is the way we should love then that means we love others for free and not because they “earned” it and inversely, we shouldn’t try and “earn” our partners’ love via superficial means.
If you earned someone’s love because you cook great meals, look good, keep your body tight, take the person on lavish trips, and spoil them, they will likely lose that “love” for you once you no longer have those things to offer. On the other hand, if you love someone, truly, then you do nice things for them because you enjoy seeing them happy and not with the ulterior motive of convincing him/her you’ll make a great spouse and are the best thing that’ll ever happened to them. Truth is, even if you’d make a great partner/spouse, this doesn’t mean that particular person wants you as their spouse and in some cases we should be thankful for this.
Love Shouldn’t Produce Bitterness
God is the best example of love because he gifts us something we don’t deserve-salvation. When I was able to appreciate that God loves me for free, it makes me want to live for Him even more. My relationship with God taught me that love inspires you to want to serve another and make them happy.
It’s so important to check our motives and make sure that our heart and intentions are in the right place, otherwise we’ll end up bitter. Bitter that they don’t love you back, that they didn’t make you their spouse, and that they didn’t appreciate all that you did. I was bitter for months after one of my relationships ended because I felt that after all of the things I had done, our relationship should’ve resulted in him wanting to marry me. The joke was on me. You don’t do things to win a person’s love. Sometimes, people just aren’t meant to be and that’s okay. I promise you. I look back and while I regret the sin I indulged in, I’m free of feeling bitter that those relationships happened because (a) I chose them for myself and (b) they helped me further understand the distinction between God’s love and our own false ideas of love. My experience is that love is a sweeter and beautiful experience when you give it freely and without feeling like you’re in a competition to earn in.
Do you perform certain acts, speak a certain way, change what you believe in, change who you are, or tolerate disrespect with the intention of persuading someone to love you? If so, someone lied to you about how love works.
Free yourself of that burden of trying to people-please all for the sake of obtaining love and marriage. Have a relationship with God and he’ll heal your heart while teaching you about love. Love is less likely to leave a bitter after taste once you’ve fully appreciated what it is/means.
Love is not earned, it’s given freely. Don’t try to “earn” your partner’s love
Love that is earned is conditional and temporary
Check your intentions and heart. Love has no ulterior motives.
Let God teach you what love is by His example and through His word. See 1 Corinthians 13
Love is less burdensome when you give because you love and not because you are trying to earn something.
Free yourself of people pleasing for love and acceptance.
Check out more articles by Luce @ Exposing Luce.