"How can you love me when you don't even know me?"
If you have ever had (or tried to have) a romantic relationship with someone who suffers from low self-esteem, you may well have heard the phrase above (or something similar to it) before. You may also have been driven forehead against the wall crazy, oops, I mean slightly irritated by the question 'why do you love me?'
The precocious geniuses amongst you may have guessed by reading the first paragraph that I do not have a lot of time for such foolish questioning. Why is this?
Firstly, it is impossible to ever 'know' another person. Personalities are not fixed at all, but fluid. Each of us portrays a different personality in different situations. At work, with friends, with a lover, talking to a stranger on the bus, after a few drinks, with close family, in a formal setting such as a business meeting, church or court room, etc. etc. We also portray a different personality in the same setting from one week to the next. Personality is no more than the arbitrary collection of dominant thought patterns which are flowing through the mind at any particular point in time. On this level, it is impossible to even 'know' ourselves. So how can we possibly expect someone else to ever 'know' us?
Secondly, love is unconditional. If love is for a reason, then it isn't love, but desire. You cannot love someone because of x, y and z. If one requires these certain conditions to be fulfilled before 'loving', then it is not unconditional and therefore not love. Love loves regardless of circumstances, regardless of characteristics and regardless of changes in these things.
"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds."
So the question 'why do you love me?' shows that the questioner is both unfamiliar with the nature of love and is also reaching out for someone to prop up their self-esteem by telling them of all their 'special' qualities. This is often referred to as fishing for compliments.
If you find yourself being asked or perhaps asking these kinds of questions, it may help to be aware of the underlying dynamic that they betray. And if someone is eager to often tell you the reasons for their 'love', it may help to be aware that they are probably suffering from a heady dose of infatuation.
Of course, if you are both happy to have a relationship based on desire rather than love, the choice is yours.
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