“Something is always missing,” Karla said. “In the beginning of the relationship, he always seems like the perfect one, finally. We’re happy, excited, deeply in love, and then – reality sets in. I start wondering who he really is, and the thrill of seeing him disappears. I look at him and wonder what I loved, I don’t feel beautiful anymore. The light has gone from my eyes.”
Of course the light can never leave Karla, but this experienced of disappointment has taken place because she was in the grip of counterfeit love. She didn’t love her boyfriend, but the illusion she had about him. Most likely she knew little about him. She certain was not in touch with the part of him that was perfect, his true self.
Upset, she talked about her disappointment to a friend. “I loved him so much,” she said. “I thought he was so beautiful, so perfect. Now my dreams are smashed.” The friend looked at her slowly. “You didn’t love him at all,” she said. “You loved your fantasies about him. If you can know the whole truth, and still love him, then that is really love.”
Falling In Love With Our Fantasies
Karla was in love with her fantasy and then wondered why the love went away. All fantasies fade, they have to – that is the nature of dreams. In the beginning, she felt wonderful, though, and the beauty of it reflected upon her. She felt she must also be perfect, if she could have someone like him. Then reality set in.
Daily life is an opponent of fantasy, it always forces us to be who we are and see what is before us, whether we like it or not. Karla did not like reality, and blamed it upon her boyfriend, not upon her own unwillingness to be with life as it is. She had not yet learned the art of being with life as it is. She hadn’t tasted the real thing. Karla was unable to see the real beauty surrounding her. When we are ready to wake up from fantasies, we find love and joy everywhere.
Throw Away Thoughts Of Imaginary Things
We have little idea how to throw away imaginary thoughts and false expectations. We go to relationships with many demands and expectations. When these expectations are not met, the so-called love we have been feeling turns to hate, resentment, or the feeling that we have been made a fool of. Living in this manner, it is difficult to encounter real lasting love.
When this pattern repeats too many times, some become unable to be in a relationship at all and live protecting themselves from failure and pain. These individuals may not be aware of the deeper problem – that, like Karla, they have been caught in the grip of counterfeit love, which always leaves a person emptier than before. .
Counterfeit love is so common in many ways that we often just take it for granted. In counterfeit love, when we have strong feelings towards someone, we immediately assume that we are in love. As all feelings change most people are convinced that love cannot last. They do not realize that it is the nature of feelings to change, and also the nature of counterfeit love.
Counterfeit love includes the idea that love is a feeling, not a way of life. It is confusion between excitement, dependence, attachment, and the real thing. Real love does not fluctuate. There is no rejection of another person if they do not meet our needs. The nature of our relationship with them may change, but we do not hate or become bitter. Real love never discards anybody; it knows and accepts that true relationship is based upon something deeper than feelings that come and go.
Exercise : Unmasking Counterfeit Love
Describe what love means to you and how a person has to be for you to love him.
Describe some situations in which you felt you had love, only to be disspointed. What did you take to be love that might have merely been infatuation, need, or fantasy?
In your present relationship, for a week, give up one expectation a day. Let the person and relationship be just as they are. Do the same for yourself. See how you and your partner begin to feel.
Keep a diary about this. You’ll be amazed.