How often have you thought you were truly in love, only to lose those in-love feelings after a few months? Have you believed you were in love but discovered that you were 'in need' instead?
- Are you making up the person you think you are in love with?
- Have you discovered from past relationships that you have a tendency to idealize people?
- Do you project onto them how you want them to be, rather than how they are?
- Are you primarily focused on how your partner treats you, rather than who he or she really is inside?
- Are you overly impressed by how this person makes you feel special?
- Have you made your partner responsible for your happiness, worth and safety?
- Do you feel anxious or panicked when you are not with your partner, or when he or she doesn't call when you expected?
- Do you have a list of expectations that your partner has to meet for you to feel loved and safe?
- Do you feel that you can't live without this person?
- Are you terrified of losing this person?
- Do you feel empty and alone inside unless your partner is with you, giving you the attention and approval that you are not giving to yourself?
- Do you feel jealous and possessive of your partner?
- Do you try to have control over getting your partner to do what you want him or her to do?
"Love" that comes from fear isn't love — it's neediness. Emotional dependency comes from the inner emptiness that is created when you abandon yourself — and you then expect your partner to fill your emptiness and make you feel loved and safe.
Once you make your partner responsible for your happiness, safety and worth, then you need to try to have control over getting him or her to love you the way you want to be loved.
There is nothing controlling about love. Love is that which supports your own and your partner's highest good — which means that you would never try to control or possess the other person.
Love is about giving and sharing — not about getting. Love is not needy. When you love someone, you deeply value their essential qualities — the qualities that don't go away with time. It's not about the more superficial qualities of looks, money and power, but about the deeper, enduring qualities of the heart and soul.
The challenge of real love is that you cannot desire to get love and to be loving at the some time. Your focus on getting love will always lead to a closed heart and controlling behavior, which shuts out love. Your focus on being loving, and on learning what is loving to yourself and your partner in any given moment, is what opens the heart. When you consistently choose to be loving with yourself and others, you will experience real love.
If you do not love yourself — your own beautiful, wonderful essence — then you cannot see or love the essence of another. When you don't see and value yourself, you become emotionally dependent in your desire to get love.
When you love yourself, you will be far less vulnerable to someone coming on strong with their attention and approval. When you give yourself the attention and approval you need, then it's far easier to discern when someone is trying to score with you, or when they are genuinely caring about who you are in your essence.
The key to falling in love and staying in love is to first learn to love yourself!