“Love is a trap. When it appears, we see only its light, not its shadows.” – Paulo Coelho
Every single time I´ve been in love, I´ve seen love´s light first; then its shadows, or should I say its darkness. I´ve been with Angels, that turned out to be Devils… Love has given life to me; but it also has given trouble.
I am currently re-married, and I´ve been in and out of relationships all my life, since I was thirteen. I have been married for 6 years now. I love my wife, but sometimes I hate her. Love and hate goes hand in hand, and sometimes we mix them together. I´m sure she loves me, but sometimes she hates me too. We humans like to complicate simple things. Love should be simple… but usually we complicate it.
I´ve seen people being in love for various years, sometimes even 10 years, then get married and divorce during the first year of marriage. My parents at the other hand, met and during that first month of meeting got married, and have been married ever since, 38 years now. Do they fight? Yes, every day… Do they love each other? Yes, always.
So what determines if people will continue to stay in-love? Well I guess that I really don´t know… I´m re-married remember? So you probably need to take this info with a pinch of salt, and probably let go of it as soon as you read it.
According to Carl Jung, “Everyone carries a shadow…and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” The shadow is the unconscious. People don´t have a clue as to what they have in their shadow, in their unconscious.
People often say “I love you”, but do they really? What do they have in their shadow? Do they have the capacity to love… are they feeling true love?
I´ve seen love´s shadow… and these are its traps (I could be wrong, and although I am a psychotherapist, this is what I´ve seen in myself, and in different people.
1. We’re Both Popular
I remember when I was in Highschool, and the Senior´s most popular guy would usually date the most popular girl.
This would be a Love trap. Do they love each other, or are they in for it because they must be into it, just because they are the most popular couple? and everyone expects it… Are you with someone because people expected you to be with them? If you are, you´re in a Love Trap. You might think that you love him/her, but do you really? What does your heart says to you? Listen to your heart!
2. My Better Than Nothing
Sometimes people stay with each other because they fear being alone. When I was a teenager I feared being “alone”, I feared that I was unlovable, or that I might be a creep, that no one would care to love me. Sometimes we fear breaking up, even if we would need to, because we have a “Better Than Nothing”…Being with him/her is better than nothing.
If you fear being alone, then you must be alone! Take a time to be alone, and get to know yourself. You must start by loving yourself, before you start a relationship with someone else. You need to be full of love inside your heart, in order to give love to someone else. If not, you will expect and need someone else´s love to feel loved. The thing is that you cannot have a healthy relationship, if you don´t have love inside you. When you love, you need to give…and not take!
3. One nail drives out another
Sometimes we manage to break up, and get out of a negative relationship. A few days later, and we meet someone else, or sometimes you already have the future replacement. You could be starting a new relationship because it is a rebound. Rebound love, affects a lot of people. They get out of a relationship, and end having another relationship. Sometimes this is done thinking that if you get someone else, and start a new relationship, that you will not think on the latter. “One nail drives out another”, is a common saying. But does it really?
4. Inertia love
This trap has to do with time. Maybe you have been in a relationship for a few years now, and you don´t feel in-love anymore. Will you stay in the relationship just because you have invested a lot of time into the relationship? People do stay in relationships because of inertia. They have been in the relationship for a long time, and they might think that if they end it, they would lose everything, or everything would lose its meaning.
Others, like my parents, have just met… They might be having trouble to acknowledge that they really might LOVE that person, and viceversa. That is a problem of too little time. Not enough inertia force into the relationship. You might be thinking, “How can it be possible to love someone that fast?!” Well it is possible… for LOVE; TIME, is not a constant in the equation.
5. My provider
This is a very popular Love trap. People stay with others because they are “good providers”.
While this is a good economic factor to think before marriage…Both people in the relationship need to become providers, not just one. Also, this must not be the only factor making you stay in the relationship.
6. Attraction is love
I used to be confused about Love and Attraction. I would usually fall in love with the attractive girl. If the girl would be beautiful, then my love would be GREATER. This happens to a lot of people, not just myself. What I learned is that you need to be attracted by your couple, but only attraction does not make up love. Love has other factors, and attraction is just the start.
Be wise on who you choose… Don´t choose only based on his/her looks. Look for the beautiful INSIDE, never just the outside.
7. Knight in Shining Armor love
I call this type of Trap, the Knight in Shining Armor love trap. This trap happens when you find a person (Damsel) in distress. It is an Archetype, you have it deep in your unconscious. It is a pattern that makes you be that person´s Knight in Shining Armor, and save them from… Dragons, Alcoholism, Drugs, Anything you might save them for… or just help them and do their work, do their life easier. In therapy I usually hear phrases like “You´ll see that I will change him/her when we get married…”
If you are living this trap, get out of it… You will never change someone else…They need to CHANGE themselves…they need to WANT to change in the first place, and change for them! Not for you.
8. Unrequited love
I think that Unrequited love is the biggest trap. I´ve been into it various times in my life. You think you truly love someone, and you devote to them in mind and heart…but they don´t correspond to you in the same way. This usually happens when you have the “Best friend” spot. Unrequited love is not corresponded love. You love them, but they don´t love you back… that is really tuff. It hurts… If you are in Unrequited Love, MOVE on… Life will find a way to help you find a love, and be loved by another person. For LOVE to work, there must be a two way LOVE LINK, between you, and the other person. You love that person; and she loves you back!
Photo by Nicu Buculei