April 14, 2011

Entry #4: Is Love Selfish?

by Richard Lee Nieto (author's profile)


Entry #4

Is Love Selfish?

What is it that we look for in relationships? Well, that's a loaded question and one that there's no single answer for. I think it depends on what the individual wants or needs.

This may be a controversial statement but one that I'll stick by, and that is this: when it comes to relationships, we are SELFISH. We want what WE want. Over the years, I've had discussions about this very subject. The romantics say that it's "love" and that's all that matters. But let's examine that. What is "love"? What causes one to love? And if you're in a relationship that's based on love is this selfish or not?

Okay, there may be study after study that applies neurotransmitters that measure which areas of the brain light up to indicate how a person feels about an object or person. I give that some credence; I'm sure that's accurate. But it doesn't answer what the "cause" is.

So my opinion is that it depends what's important to you—the individual. Love isn't the same for everyone. In fact, some people don't even consider love to be the number one priority in a relationship. Some people want financial security; others want compatibility or companionship. Maybe physical attraction means more to you, or great sex. It can be any number of things that create this feeling of love.

Have you ever known someone who ends up in a relationship with someone who's not their type or someone who they knew, they just never "looked' at that person in that way? Maybe they didn't find the person attractive or looked at him/her in another way. But a lot of times (not every time), when the person is persistent and is around to be there—the so-called "shoulder to cry on"—or you "show" how good a friend you are, etc., etc. Sooner or later, the other person starts seeing him/her in a different light. But WHY? The answer is that you DO things for them. You "show" you care. And these are things that are important to most people.

Having said that and adding the reality of someone being with someone 'cause they're rich or hot or a good person, etc., isn't it true that these are things that fulfill our selfish needs and desires?

If I'm with someone because of love and I know that the person is wrong or bad for me, that she doesn't respect me and continues to do me any kind of way, yet I won't let go, what is that? If I say, "But I love her..." doesn't that mean that I'm willing to accept the treatment because selfishly I don't want to let go of this "love"? By not wanting to go through the pain and facing the reality—isn't that selfish motivation? Isn't that the same as me wanting a woman because she has money and that supplies my selfish needs, yet I don't want to let go of her because I don't want to give up the benefits I receive?

I'm not saying that's good or bad. Personally, I don't care. I think whatever YOUR decision as to why you love someone or why you're with someone is your individual choice. I'm real enough with myself though to acknowledge the fact that i'm selfish. Everyone is to some extent. We do things we like, things that make us feel good.

So if love makes you feel good and you don't want to lose that feeling and you're willing to do anything to keep it, does that make you selfish?

I welcome your comments and opinions on this subject, as it's one that has been and will continue to be at the heart of our relationships.


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