Love Shouldn’t Be Flexible

Most people have a rather flexible definition of love, which renders the word meaningless. For example, they say they love their respectful and honest partner while at the same time loving their disrespectful and abusive parents. Or maybe they say they love their child while treating them like he's less than human by beating them, lying to them, or being emotionally abusive. 

From my perspective, love necessarily includes respect. It involves a commitment to being as honest and understanding as possible. You can have your own definition of love, but whatever it is, I suggest you define it well. And stick to it.

If you love someone who treats you badly and at the same time you love someone who treats you with respect, then I think you have a problem. You either have to define one as a different kind of love or stop saying that you love one of those people.

But why fix this contradiction, you may ask.

For one, it is insulting to the person who treats you one way to say that you love them in the same way that you love a person that treats you the opposite. If that person is smart enough, they will notice that you have a screwed up view of love, and will not give too much weight to your words. If they're even smarter, they would avoid being in a relationship with you in the first place. 

If the person is completely okay with your loose definition of love, then watch out. It may mean that they are looking to take advantage of you since they know that you will still love them anyway.

If your definition of love is loose enough to include disrespect and abuse, you will run the danger of inviting disrespectful and abusive people into your life and repelling good people out of it.  

Alternatively, you may end up inviting your own disrespect and abuse towards the people who you claim to love. 

About

Hello, I'm Erick Muller. I like to write about many things including philosophy, self-improvement, running, unschooling, podcasts, productivity tools and digital marketing.