Is there such a thing as too much love? The short answer is, “yes.”
Why is this and how does this happen? Read on and perhaps you can discover how (or if) you are sabotaging yourself in love by giving too much of it.
Self-sabotage is a nasty hyphenated word isn’t it? Especially when it is connected to the word “love.” Unfortunately, men and women around the world get themselves into a jam because of ingrained behaviors from childhood or alternatively, mental or physical trauma as they proceed through adulthood. The trauma can range from abandonment, sexual abuse, mental abuse and even religious beliefs.
Giving too much love can and does stem from instances where one has been conditioned to give more love than they receive. This programming makes it acceptable to give until you cannot give anymore. This is where a badge of honor has been bestowed upon an individual for giving until it hurts, giving in the name of unconditional love and if you really love someone, sacrificing your happiness for theirs.
So, what is the catch? Love is all powerful and love can heal! Yes, this is very true. However, giving too much love, especially to an individual that physically, mentally or spiritually abuses another is a behavior that has been programmed. Giving love to someone who could take you or leave you is not a healthy love. It does not serve anyone’s highest good to give more love than is received in return. Love is not a bad thing, and as Oscar Wilde said, “To love one’s self is a life-long romance.” So here begins the secret to your own love story…love one’s self.
Below are three scenarios where you can choose answer “a” or “b” and at the end of this survey you can see where you fit on the scale of self-love….. be honest with your answers, because there is nothing more powerful than being honest with yourself.
Your boyfriend/girlfriend really wants to see you and you really want to see him/her. He/She calls at 10:00pm and you have an 8:00 am meeting in the morning. You are exhausted, but really, really want to see him/her. He/She suggests you come over. You say “I would love to but I have an 8:00 am meeting and to be honest I am getting ready for bed, but I really would love to see you. Perhaps we can set some other time aside this week?” His/Her response is, “I thought you loved me and people who love each other make sacrifices sometimes. Are you going to come over or not?”
What do you do?
- You understand that they want to see you and the fact that they are insistent about it means they love you a lot. Even though it takes 40 minutes to drive over there, and even though you are already exhausted you decide that in the “name of love” you will go over there.
- You understand that they want to see you. You have also expressed that you want to see them as well. You reiterate to them that you need your sleep, that you love them and just because you are not coming over does not mean you are not willing to make compromises with them in the future, it just means that you cannot make compromises for them tonight.
You just started dating a woman/man. You find out about their favorite wine, favorite food (Indian… your favorite too!) and also who their favorite band is, and that band is playing in LA in two weeks, but the person you are interested in is a bit strapped for cash. You start to go through visions in your mind about how you can spend time with them. They are really into rock-n-roll and if they could go to this concert it would make them so happy and you just know it! Even though you do not care for rock-n-roll and prefer country you want to win them over.
What do you do?
- The only way you can possibly win them over is to buy them airline and concert tickets to where their favorite band is playing. You buy two sets of tickets one for you and one for them. You do not care for flying but you live in New York and the band is playing in LA. Since you are a country music lover, you need to update your wardrobe so go shopping to get killer rock-n-roll gear!
- You recognize that you like country and they like rock-n-roll. You let them know that you feel “bummed” for them that they can’t go to the concert because of their financial constraints. In addition, you would love to go but rock-n-roll isn’t your thing right now. How about some Indian food at that killer restaurant that just opened up down town?!?
You have been introduced to your new boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s friends. You are all out drinking and having a good time. At dinner, you are quite impressed with the menu and the food is delicious, but you are getting full. Your date asks you if you want to try some of their entrée, and you say, “Sure I will have a bite.” You take a bite and it is really delicious. Your date looks at you and says, “There is more here.” You say, “No thank you I am stuffed.” Your date then cuts a huge portion for you puts it on your plate then cuts it for you and starts feeding you.
What do you do?
- You think that this person is so kind and thoughtful! How nice to share! You further observe that they want to take care of you and ensure you are healthy and get your fill. Cutting your dinner for you is so chivalrous and cute. Even though you are stuffed, you eat the food they gave you with a smile on your face!
- You really appreciate this person thinking of your needs, but you let them know that putting the food in front of you on your plate does not mean you will eat it. You make a request that you get a doggy bag or perhaps your date can ask if another friend at the table would like to try it. After all it is really yummy!
How did you do?
If you answered all A’s you likely do things against your own will to win the affection of others. By doing so, you cut yourself off from your own self-love. Over time you will resent the other person and in the worst case, resent yourself. Generally, the need to win the affection of others stems from fear of loss, abandonment or abuse. What needs to be realized however, is that when you give of yourself, your time, your money, your love or to people or things that do not feed your own soul, you deplete yourself and condition the other person to always take from you and not give to you. Has someone ever eaten all of the good chocolates out of your valentine heart and left a mess for you to clean up? Characteristics of “giving too much” reveal themselves when the following has likely occurred in one’s life:
- When you were a little girl, your father worked all the time and did not have time to support you with emotional maturity or alternatively, your father abandoned you and your mother.
- When you were a little boy, your mother was the dominant and your father was the submissive
- You were considered an “outcast” or “weird” by your peers in high school or even grade school
- You were teased growing up
- You were raped, molested or mentally/physically abused by sociopaths or narcissists
If you answered all B’s you likely take your own needs into consideration to ensure harmony within yourself and the promotion of healthy relationship dynamics. You do this in order to create and give energy to relationships that are harmonious, unique, supportive, fair and loving. These characteristics reveal themselves when the following has likely occurred:
- You were brought up in a family where emotionally mature relationships were rewarded
- You were brought up to be yourself while respecting the needs of others
- You were raped, molested or mentally abused by sociopaths or narcissists and had an “awakening.” This awakening made you aware of your self-sabotaging behaviors and you vowed to cease the cycle.
- You have studied and been made aware of your own behaviors as well as others and only surround yourself with supportive relationships
- You have seen how others have suffered through “giving too much” and have decided to invest more time in your personal happiness
If you answered A’s as well as B’s the following has likely occurred or is occurring:
- You are in a situation that you have created by your past choices which now inflict you with a sense of, “Is there more out there?”
- You are in the process of awareness and see where you have been misled by yourself and/or others
- You are indecisive and do not know what you want
- You do what you need to do to “get by” or you live a dual “life.”
- You are currently going through a transition phase where you are asking yourself if you are really happy
What do you think? How did you do? Comments welcome!