So, you want to know if that guy you fancy, that guy you are madly in love with, and who tells you that he loves you, will love you forever?
Well, if he is the man that raised you: yes, probably.
(Sorry for those that had an absent dad: I am sure he loves you in his own way)
How can you expect any other guy to be able to tell you if he will love you forever?!
Love is a feeling. If you are expecting a guy to make a promise about a feeling, you are expecting him to promise something even he doesn’t know and cannot possibly predict.
Feelings are things that happen to us, not something we decide on. This holds true for both women and men. You cannot just feel whatever you want to feel.
3 Days of happiness
For example, say you tell set yourself a goal to be happy the next 3 days no matter what happens.
The first day you are doing fine: you feel you are going to make this happiness goal work, and to start off, you purposely tell yourself everything you are grateful for. Generally, you succeed in feeling satisfied that first day, sometimes you lose your attention, but at no point did you feel unhappy, so you have the impression you did a good job at being happy for a whole day.
The next day you go to work, you open your email and see an email titled “URGENT!” and the date and hour show it was sent was yesterday five minutes before you went home. You open the email, and see it is personally addressed to you. After reading through it you realize you missed an important meeting that has a lot of impact on whether you will be able to continue working your job and whether you will have a continued income. You are thrown off track, but thinking back of your happiness goal, you tell yourself: I am not going to be thrown off track by this. Yu tell yourself, “I know I did not create the best impression, and I am going to apologize for that, but it is no use playing out doom scenarios in my head”. With this attitude you go to apologize, and you get to know the outcome of the decision made during the meeting was favorable to you. You feel you did a pretty good job, and you have the impression that staying composed rather than becoming panicky has contributed a lot to your superior being so calm, understanding and forgiving. This creates a sense of pride in yourself, and renewed motivation to stick to your happiness goal. You walk around with a sense of gratitude as well as a big smile the rest of the day.
Third day, final day: just stay happy till midnight and you are going to prove that it is possible to control your emotions. There is really nothing that can go wrong anymore: you managed to control your mood the first two days, this is going to be easy. Except, you get a phone call: a person you hold very dear to your heart has just been in a car accident and died on the spot. Now I ask you, in that scenario, would you continue to be happy NO MATTER WHAT, as you had promised yourself? Remember, your promise was only for three days, NOT a lifetime.
But you still want him to promise you eternal love…
If you want a man to promise you to love you forever, first ask yourself: can you make that same promise to him with 100% certainty? And if you are 100% certain, ask yourself: is that a statistical chance calculation of all the factors that will contribute to a lifelong loving relationship as identified in academic peer-reviewed papers describing observational studies on long term relationships? Or is that ‘certainty’ just a feeling too? And did you feel that way before with an ex as well?
If you promise each other eternal love, in the best case scenario, maybe you both will indeed end up loving each other till your own death. But even in that scenario, at the moment you make that promise to each other, you cannot possibly be sure about the outcome. And that is because it is impossible to control and predict the feelings you are going to feel the rest of your life.
When you want someone to promise eternal love, why not also promise never to feel upset, never to feel angry, never to feel insecure, never to feel sad, and always to feel happy, NO MATTER WHAT? Oh right, because you cannot promise what emotions you will feel…
When you try too hard…
Sometimes, the more we try to forcefully hold on to a feeling, the more easily it slips out of our grip.
I remember with my first girlfriend, she had just broken up with a guy that was never around and didn’t care much for her, except for sex. When it was over between them, and she and I finally got together, I really loved her, and she knew it. But due to the uncertainty she had because of her previous failed relationship, due to her and my own naivety in relationships, and due to her cultural upbringing, she felt my love for her at that moment was not enough.
She wanted more than just my love. She wanted my eternal love. She brought up the topic of marriage and the idea of being together forever, and growing old together, in the same month she still had no natural inclination to please me sexually in a way she had done for her ex without him asking. That she had hesitations doing something pleasant for me what she had instinctively done for her ex, made me feel not loved as much as I felt I loved her, and made me feel she loved me less than him. Regardless of how much you truly love your man, if he doesn’t feel loved by you to the same extent as he loves you, bringing up your desire for his eternal love is going to make him feel awkward at best.
So ladies: if a man wants to do everything to make you happy, more so than you are prepared to do for him, and he treats you good, that is way more than enough. It is greedy to desire more than his love, it is too greedy to desire or require him to promise you eternal love. Especially when you don’t even know yet how to make your guy feel loved at the moment you already want more than just his love.
The point of bringing up my personal history is: although at the time I felt I loved her, I also felt very much pressured into promising her eternal love. Although I wanted to promise her, this made me feel very uncomfortable, because I most of all just wanted to make her happy. Knowing she could only be happy if I made a promise of which I could not possibly foresee the outcome made me feel very uncomfortable, because it meant I could not make her happy. That, as well as the impression she did not have an instinctive urge to make me happy on an area that I value a lot in the start of a relationship (sex) and which apparently she previously had a natural inclination to do for another, made my initially pure feelings of love for her, very much muddied up with feelings of discomfort. It made me feel like a victim of my feelings for her. I am sure that was not her intention, and I know that she loved me in her own way. She definitely grew to love me a lot more over a short time, but at that time in the start of our relationship, I did feel very bad for loving her, because of the pressure to make an empty promise, and because I felt the intensity of her love for me was less than mine for her, or hers for her ex when they were still together.
Girls: if you have something precious, if you have a guy’s love, it is perfectly okay to cherish it, to appreciate it, to revel in the good feeling of falling asleep in his arms and enjoy the ways in which he is trying to make you feel loved.
But if you try to do more than that, if you get greedy or insecure, and if you try to get a strong grip on his feelings, you might end up creating something you don’t want, and most of all: you may ruin something which you already have. For me the pressure didn’t kill my love; it just added in a mixture of bad feelings that could have easily been prevented, and without which the relationship would have been more enjoyable for both of us.
So the tip here is: if you think a guy loves you, and he makes you feel loved, don’t ask for more. Just be sure to check with yourself if you are doing your best to make him feel loved too.
If he wants to stay with you, it will come naturally to his mind over time. If it takes a long time for him before ever verbalizing he wants to stay with you, then realize: you have in fact already gotten from him what you want, because you have been enjoying his love for a year, two, three, many… In that case, even though he never promised he would be there forever, he is there loving you from his heart for all that time, and he is being there for you throughout all your time together. What more do you want? What use is it to make him promise something he cannot possibly know?
As a guy, I can only ever promise a girl I won’t forget our laughs, our jokes, our smiles, our talks, our plans, our tears, our memories, our experiences and our friendship.
(Unless I become demented or somehow lose my memory)
When you are trying to let go…
In reverse, sometimes you break up for a good reason, and you want to stop loving the person you break up with. Yet, sometimes you just cannot get that person out of your head, and you cannot get him or her out of your heart. You keep having these strong feelings for your ex, you keep having the urge to be together again, nostalgically longing to the good times of the recent past. You have these feelings while you really don’t want to have them, knowing you would suffer a lot less if you were just able to let go. But sometimes you just can’t let go. sometimes you can’t let go no matter how badly you want to let go. There are countless of cases of people who for a lifetime did not have a new relationship anymore, because they couldn’t stop loving a person that either died, or had left them.
Our feelings dictate our life:we do not dictate our feelings. We can only rationalize them post-hoc, and we can live them as they occur. To have a bit of sense of control over our feelings, surely we can try to identify which factors elicit which feelings. We can figure out what is likely to make us angry, sad, upset, and if we’re lucky we can even figure out what makes us fall in love (although almost all people lack that level of self-insight, because they do not want to take away the magic of feeling in love). But as in everything relating to the human mind and human feelings: none of these factors which may elicit certain emotions will cause 100% predictable reactions. Especially not from our own perspective.
Moral of the story?
Just don’t ask for eternal love: it is greedy, naive, and unrealistic as well as very demanding to request for something nobody can possibly predict about themselves.
Just accept that if love is going to be till death, then you will notice it over time. And if is not going to last that long, then still, that doesn’t have to mean that the love that is there right now is not real, or that it is a waste of time. It is a privilege to be able to feel love, not a waste.
The beauty of life is that it ends: each time that we are reminded it will not be there forever, we appreciate it all the more.
So too it goes with love: even if we can love someone for a lifetime, we know that one day death will come. Cherish the love while it is there, mourn the love when it dies, but whatever you do: let it be.