Sorry… That’s Not Love

Purplecar called my attention last night to a post on CNN.com by Wendy Atterberry called “Why women shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ first”. There were some decent points in the post, in the typical advice column fashion:

Wendy: “But an ‘I love you’ uttered too soon, before the man has processed his feelings and reached the same level of adoration could end a relationship that just as easily could have had an eternal shelf life. As soon as those words are said, they change the dynamic. If a man isn’t feeling the love quite yet, he may suddenly feel pressure to manifest that emotion. And if the woman doesn’t get the response she expected, it could damage her confidence enough to derail the whole relationship entirely.”

I’m sure that this scenario plays itself out every single day, all around the world. I think the advice is valid for the way people approach “Love”. The problem is that lots of people have a retarded idea of what “Love” actually is.

I know this is going to be hard for you to process, because it so complex, but bear with me for a minute… you ready?… The reality of the situation is:

You Love Who You Love

That’s it. There’s nothing more that matters in that sentence. Everything else is on the fringe… window dressing. There are only two states. You love someone or you don’t. Period. There may be REASONS why you love this person, but that has nothing to do with the STATE of feeling love or being in love.

The mistake that lots of people make is adding external qualifiers to an internal feeling. Whether someone else loves you or not has NOTHING to do with whether YOU love THEM. It’s YOUR feeling, and you feel it or you don’t.

The reason the points in the article are valid is because lots of people play that game… even though they don’t realize they’re playing a game. The game is “I only love someone who loves me”. Sorry. That’s not how it works. :/ If that were even LOGICAL, that would mean that you wouldn’t be able to ACHIEVE the state of “being in love” without the other person loving you beforehand. Of course, that person wouldn’t be able to love you EITHER until you loved THEM, by the same logic.

Just the fact that the article talks about saying “I love you” and not knowing what the other person’s response will be indicates that people achieve the state of being in love ON. THEIR. OWN. It’s YOUR feeling, and really has nothing to do with what the other person feels about you.

For example, I love my relatives. I love my relatives that always do the right thing and I love my relatives that always do the WRONG thing. I might not like their actions or what they said sometimes, but I’m clear that I still love them… and not because I CHOOSE to… It’s just a fact.

I also love women who don’t love me. There’s nothing “boo-hoo” about that. It’s just a fact. I know how I feel about them and I carry that with me. How THEY feel has absolutely nothing to do with my own personal emotional experience of interacting with them.

The fact that people are ashamed or embarrassed to own the fact that they love someone that doesn’t love them is what breaks up perfectly good relationships for no reason at all. Hollywood wants you to believe that you run into some chick and she drops her books and you pick them up for her and look into her eyes and you both know that it’s love at first sight and then you start having kids. Nah. Real Life doesn’t work that way. If it did for you, you’re lucky, so enjoy it! πŸ˜€ IRL, you feel how you feel, and your S.O. feels how they feel, and if it escalates at the same time, good for you.

On top of that.. Saying “I love you” has NOTHING to do with actually loving someone. There are ZERO consequences for saying “I love you” to someone. Try it out the next time you go to work. Select someone you don’t actually love and say “I love you”. See what happens. I’ll tell you right now. Nothing. Saying “I love you” is probably the second easiest way to get laid other than paying an actual hooker. For some reason, women tend to believe it’s impossible for a guy to say he loves her without actually meaning it. It’s only three words. Without the actual feeling, emotion and action behind them, they’re entirely worthless.

So… The REAL answer to that question, “When should a woman say she loves a man?” is…….

When She Loves Him

If you can allow “I love you” to be a personal expression from you to someone else, WITHOUT conditions and expectations of reciprocation, you can say it whenever you want. “I love you” is not a TEST. It’s an indication of your mental and/or emotional state. YOURS. Nobody else’s.

Instead of trying to artificially restrict what you naturally feel, you should just feel glad that you ever loved anybody at all.

~Bill

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21 Comments

  1. “Saying Ò€œI love youÒ€ is probably the second easiest way to get laid other than paying an actual hooker” That’s going on my all time favourite quotes list. Legend!

  2. I’m gonna have to quibble here. For women, there is no return in saying “I love you” to a guy who doesn’t love them. You’re better keeping it a secret. We do not, in general, go around “trying to get laid.”

    So I feel the original article’s point was very valid. We women want to keep our disappointed love feelings secret. After all, saying “I love you” to a guy who doesn’t love us back could make us vulnerable to him taking advantage of us. Or alternatively scaring him off. I can’t think of a single time in my life it would have been to my advantage to tell a guy who didn’t love me that I loved him.

    Of course, unrequited love (almost) never happened to me … πŸ˜‰

    Sonja

  3. @Sonja: Thanks for the comment, and “Play On, Playah!” that unrequited love (almost) never happened to you, hahaha πŸ˜€

    I agree with your first point, that there’s no return for women in saying “I love you” to a guy that doesn’t love them. Since the article itself stipulated to the inevitability of a woman EVER saying “I love you”, that’s what I was talking about. Women don’t *have* to say they love you. You can tell whether they do or they don’t.

    The real point I was trying to make was that IF a woman chooses to tell a man she loves him (whether he loves her or not), it should be something she says because she’s feeling it and wants him to know how she feels…. NOT something that she says in hopes that he’ll validate her feelings with a reciprocal statement.

    For instance, if someone sneezes, you don’t say “Bless You” because you’re HOPING that they say “Thank You” in return. Saying “Bless You” SHOULD be an indication towards the person that sneezed that you hope that they feel better soon. Should you feel slighted if that person doesn’t reply “Thank You”? If you feel like it. However, that doesn’t REMOVE from your “heart” the feeling that you had which caused you to say “Bless You” in the first place. You can feel mad all you want for making a courteous statement towards someone uncooth, but your statement was a reaction to YOUR feelings.

    Similarly, you don’t automatically un-love someone just because you didn’t hear the right response to your fishing expedition. The reason you said it was because you were feeling it, right? So how could that possibly change in a split second? It can’t. You can start to CONVINCE YOURSELF that you don’t love him because he didn’t say he loves you OR because he did say that he DOESN’T love you, but it’s still *ALL* YOUR feelings and YOUR decisions.

    Also, I agree that women don’t have to “try” to get laid… all y’all have to do is SHOW UP! πŸ˜€ … but that’s a post for another day! πŸ˜‰

    The way to “keep disappointed love feelings secret” is to….. keep disappointed love feelings secret. πŸ˜€ Be like Nike. Just Do It. I wasn’t ADVOCATING that women say “I love you” to anybody! πŸ˜€ I was just saying that IF you’re going to do that, do it because you’re expressing your own authentic feelings, not because you’re fishing for compliments and validation.

  4. Rejection can be more than painful, it can be devastating! I do agree with the original article yet I do understand your logical argument here, too, Bill. Though I don’t read a lot of self-help theory books, I’m Glad Gray’s “Women are from Venus…..” Some things still haven’t changed, regardless of how we’d like to think so..i.e. Women still marry men with countless notches on their bedposts, “Playas” date but don’t marry their female counterparts. I remain a traditionalist and advise my daughter to be the same if she wants to keep her self-respect in tact. Call me old fashioned if you want, but I still expect a man to open doors for me & pay the tab for the date w/o expecting a “reward.” And before you ask…..I’m divorced, not a frequent dater but not lonely or desperate either. πŸ™‚ After a few memorable heartbreaks of youth, my self respect is quite intact. πŸ™‚

  5. Most of us, male & female, have little trouble expressing our love to family, friends & pets. It’s only when the eternal Mars/Venus – Sex/Commitment issues are involved (ie. guy/girl romantic) that communication becomes cautious… and nuanced.

    Dionysus’ statement was quite accurate, and illustrates the dichotomy between males and females…the one we always end up seeing in these discussions…. “Guys value sex for the pleasure of sex and girls generally don’t, while girls dream of romantic love and long term commitment and guys generally don’t”. There are exceptions on either side but they are just that… exceptions.

    It’s a state of affairs that comes from the primal reproductive roles of males and females combined with cultural conditioning and basically we’re all affected by it to some extent.

    Wendy’s advice to let the guy say the first “I love you” is indeed prudent for those women who are hoping for a long term commitment, and that’s because of the aforementioned dichotomy. It’s there and we’ve all got to work around it. Dionysus has certainly found a way to do so. ;o)

  6. @Rosemarie: Well, I think that’s just the thing. If a girl or woman has her self-esteem intact, she’s not going to *NEED* the validation of a guy reciprocating when she says she loves him.

    At the same time, she’s not going to feel the need to SAY that she loves him.

    Think about it this way: If we’re sitting down to dinner together and you want the salt, you’re going to say to me “Please pass the salt”. I’m then going to honor that request by passing you the salt or not honor it. You do not feel badly because I don’t say “YES… I WILL PASS YOU THE SALT”. πŸ˜€ It doesn’t matter. Your goal in saying “Pass the salt” was to express your desire to receive the salt. Similarly, your goal in telling someone “I love you” should be to EXPRESS to that person that you love them. Nothing more and nothing less.

    Now, if I didn’t honor your request haha and refused to pass you the salt, you can get mad at THAT for sure! πŸ˜€ But you wouldn’t be upset because I didn’t reciprocate your statement by verbally expressing my own desire to pass you the salt when you asked for it. πŸ˜€

    Also, ultimately, the stronger a person is, mentally & emotionally, when they prepare to enter a relationship, the better it is for everyone. Each person should have a strong sense of self and self-worth, like you’re instilling in your daughter. I think that would make for way better communication, since neither side would be afraid to say what’s honestly on their minds.

    And… I wasn’t going to ask if you were divorced, hahaha… just what time is dinner served? πŸ˜‰

  7. @GolfGirl: Not to be a credit-hog, but Dionysus was quoting *me* from the fourth paragraph from the bottom. πŸ™‚

    Primal reproductive roles always play a part in situations like this, even though people these days (at least in NYC) have replaced having kids with buying dogs. Ultimately, women are looking for men that want to stay with them and men are looking for women that are hawt and “useful”. This is obvious by how lucrative the porno industry is. Even when they selected Sarah Palin to potentially the first female Vice President, she was immediately dubbed VPILF (variation on MILF) and a company scrambled to output a porno with a scenario based on her.

    For this reason, it’s not really too important for a guy (in general) to hear “I love you” from a woman. That’s what y’all DO! haha LOVE guys! πŸ˜€ That’s what that whole search for “the one” is about. From a guy’s point of view, we can tell where a woman stands by what she does for us, and what her attitude is when she does it.

    So, putting aside my issues with saying “I love you” as a fishing expedition, I definitely agree with the poster that women shouldn’t say it first. Not because of the potential chaos it could cause in the relationship, but because for the most part, for guys, it just doesn’t matter to hear that.

    There’s also the problem of interpretation, because most of the time, when women hear “I love you” from a guy, they interpret that to mean that he only wants to have sex with THEM. This is one of the reasons why guys pause when this comes up unexpectedly. They might actually LOVE her, as a person, the same way they love their cousins or their closest friends, but they’re not ready for her to believe that she’s the only one he’s messing with, because it’s going to be a big problem if it’s ever revealed that she isn’t.

    That’s when the conversation turns to “I thought you loved me!”, to which the honest answer is “I do… And I just had sex with this other chick. What about it?”

  8. “If that were even LOGICAL, that would mean that you wouldnÒ€ℒt be able to ACHIEVE the state of Ò€œbeing in loveÒ€ without the other person loving you beforehand. Of course, that person wouldnÒ€ℒt be able to love you EITHER until you loved THEM, by the same logic.”

    To keep things logical, I think it is best to distinguish between “being in love” with someone and really loving another person. It is absolutely possible to achieve the state of “being in love” without the other person’s cooperation, even when that person is not interested at all and will not even talk to me. But loving someone is an entirely different story. It means saying yes to another person with all your heart, AFTER you have gotten to know them properly and have seen the best and the worst of them. When one has seen the best and the worst and is still able to say “I want to be with you”, that is where love BEGINS. And how should that be possible when the feeling is not – at least to some extent – mutual? Who would be so stupid to let you see the worst of them if there was not at least a certain level of interest, trust and a certain amount of time spent together?

    Please don’t get me wrong, I think that being in love with someone is a wonderful state of mind. But it is selfish by nature. It can be nice to admit this feeling to the adored person, even if I don’t get anything in return, but I would never choose the words “I love you” in that case. “I love you” means so much more to me, that I could not bring myself to say these words to someone I don’t really know intimately. Which would be the case with anyone who is not a relative, a close friend of many years or my S.O.

    I guess this is also the reason why so many women can not believe that a guy would say “I love you” and not mean it. Call me naive, but I want these 3 words to be a precious thing that only very few people on this planet will ever hear from me. How can I achieve that when I have abused the phrase “I love you” for years and years, just to get laid? It would make the words sound fake to me, even at a time when I really mean them. Is men’s way of thinking really so different?

  9. @Fishingrod: Good points…

    “But loving someone is an entirely different story. It means saying yes to another person with all your heart, AFTER you have gotten to know them properly and have seen the best and the worst of them. When one has seen the best and the worst and is still able to say Ò€œI want to be with youÒ€, that is where love BEGINS. And how should that be possible when the feeling is not – at least to some extent – mutual? Who would be so stupid to let you see the worst of them if there was not at least a certain level of interest, trust and a certain amount of time spent together?”

    Don’t you see that you just said what I already said? πŸ™‚ Nothing you said right there indicates that the other person loves the person doing the evaluation. It only indicates that the other person was willing to share themselves so the evaluator could make an educated decision. It’s perfectly meaningless in terms of “love”.

    My point stands that love is something that each person develops INDIVUDIALLY and feels ON THEIR OWN. The lucky part is when people feel it mutually for each other. There is no way possible that love is developed simultaneously, like some Big Bang Theory. πŸ™‚ Each person’s “love” would be dependent upon the other person loving them back already. It’s a chicken & egg situation. No possible beginning and no possible conclusion.

    I agree that being in love is a wonderful state of mind and also selfish.

    It’s not naive for you to WANT those 3 words to be a precious thing. My point is that guys KNOW THIS and SEE YOU COMING. It’s very easy to say “I love you”… it’s just as easy as saying “Please pass the salt”. Unfortunately, women project their concept of the meaningfulness of “I love you” onto men, so that when he says it, they fall head over heels and then wonder down the line how the love “went away”. It didn’t go anywhere, because it didn’t start anywhere.

    Sure, there are guys who reserve those words for situations where they actually feel and mean it. All I’m saying is that, for the reasons you stated, it’s an easy gimmick to get laid, and everybody knows it.

    In general, yes, men’s way of thinking is ENTIRELY different. Notice how there are lots of locations where a man can go to pay a woman (or several women) to have sex with him, but there are almost ZERO places where a woman can go to pay men to have sex with women? Different mindsets between men and women.

    Also… Notice how in pornography, it’s not common to hear dialogue where women are saying “I love you” to men?….. Or saying ANYTHING AT ALL for that matter? πŸ˜€

  10. Is saying I love you really wrong?? YES DAMN IT, but only if its a lie.

    I knew a girl who was super in the sack-shyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyt I loved her!

    I knew another who kept me dressed to the nines (when i was 18 and unemployed, im now 38 with my own CC)-shyyyyyyyyyyyyt i loved her!

    I knew the next chick who had no problems with me having two seperate realtionships in the time span during which we “hung out”-shyyyyyyt i loved her!

    There was this one chick who routinely signed my name into the log when i was in school and was the reason I got an A in that course even though i never went-shyyyyyyyyt I STILL LOVE HER!

    feel free to call Maury, the lie detector test will conclude that I indeed was telling the truth when I told them all that I loved them. But sorry, that IS and WAS love.

    I was just never IN love with any of them!

    Many girls dont want to know if you are IN love with them, they just want to know you love them. And many KNOW you are not IN love, that you only love the residuals but so long as you say I love you…

    So yes Sonja, there is no return in saying it if the feeling isnt mutual BUT you may just be the exception and not the rule!

  11. @Frank: hahaha Preach! Preach! πŸ˜€

    I’m telling you. You’re the one that should be writing a book! hahaha It would be a best seller in bodegas from hood-to-hood! πŸ˜€

  12. @Frank & Bill: Although of course I don’t know the women you referred to, I have known many in the circumstances that you’ve so colorfully described. More than likely, they were not satisfied with your “loving” rather than being “in love” with them, but settled in hope that they could somehow change you or convince you to love them.

    Unfortunately, I believe all to frequently, women hope that men will change if the sex or perks are good enough and hang onto them by any means possible. This is the same with a woman who will date a married man and feign that she is content but secretly (or not so secretly) hope he will leave his wife.

    I hope young women will read this blog & wise up. In the same vein, where is the dignity in men? The same men who will abuse & misuse vulnerable women would want to kill someone who treated their sisters in the same manner.

    Everything that is lawful is not expedient. Just because you CAN doesn’t make it right. This is precisely why we have so many broken homes & fatherless children.

    You may believe however you wish, but I’m convinced that if MOST women had their choice, they’d prefer to have a man who, loves and is IN love (not lust) respects & will marry them. However, since it appears that so many men, prefer to be irresponsible and animalistic; driven by their genitalia rather than minds and hearts, too many lonely & vulnerable women avail themselves to the abuse and misuse that you, @Frank have described.

    I would be more than ashamed if my son allowed a woman to pay for his clothes, sign him into class, etc as you described. You didn’t love any of these women. You loved yourself & what they could do or provide for you without your having any responsibility to or for them. What you described is certainly not love. Love is not opportunistic, nor is it purely emotional. Love does not manipulate or take advantage of another for their own personal gain. Love is selfless….not selfish!

  13. @Rosemarie: The problem is that all too often, “dating” and “relationships” are adversarial in nature, not cooperative. For example, a woman could be “making love” to a man, while he’s simultaneously “screwing” her. They’re having two entirely diferent experiences of the same event.

    The only solution for women is to wise up, as you said, and WAKE UP to the reality of the difference between what they WANT and what they CAN GET from a particular guy. Yes, some guys are directly deceptive. That’s unfortunate, however, it’s a fact of life. There are other guys who will tell women directly and honestly that they’re not interested in a relationship, and those women will still pursue one with them, most times, most likely, to their ultimate dissatisfaction.

    The game‘s never gonna change, so women need to learn how to play it better.

  14. Okay Bill, I think I didn’t go far enough in my last comment but as I read through the thread I think we’re getting closer to the truth … the point of the original CNN blog was supposed to “empower” women … actually, it was an attempt to rescue them from drowning in behavior that is, quite simply, self destructive.

    Girls should be aware that men will tell you what they’re there for if you watch them. Just watch how they speak to you and how they treat other women, and you’ll know, particuarly if it’s all of a piece. And if it’s not what you’re interested in, girls should run not walk, not think “he’s going to change.” The only thing that changes a guy is maybe true love and if he feels that you will know because you will be treated differently than all the other girls, it will be obvious that he can’t act that way around everyone. And then you’ve got a whole ‘nother kind of problem.

    Sonja

  15. Uhm Rosemarie: why do i feel like you just tried to whoop me into shape? lol hey who I was and what I was when I was 18, is not who I am now. As for the chick who kept buying me stuff, trust me i kept telling her to stop. I would even tell her that I would probably wear them there fresh out the box MJs on my next date and probably not with her. In the moment (at that age) you seldom say I got this. Its more like, Im chilling with a girl im kinda cool with and since im currently unemployed she hooks a brother up! It wasnt till years later that I called it for what it was “damn i had that hoe strung out!”
    As for the signing into class when I wasn’t there, that isn’t ghetto game, its just ghetto love. We all did for, had done for us or know someone that passed a class or two with the help of “friends”.
    as for hoping your son never walks this path: ALL MEN AND WOMEN eventually walk this path. All you women who hold out “services” because your man forgot the b’day/valentines/aniversary are engaging in it. Whether we accept it or not we ALL at some time pay to play. If love is really unconditional I would have got that azz on Feb 14th even if I forgot to bring home the flowers. Matter of fact the flowers I got you last week, thats me credit! and for guys this only helps to amp their game outside of relationships.

    just saying.

  16. and by the way, I LOVE my manz Jorge and Big El, but im obviously not in love with them. The love that you describe is one dimensional when the fact is we love in different ways and differently in any given situation.

    The girl who signed me into class… I LOVE HER STILL! she is actually going to be the God Mother of my 3month old daughter!

    Love is love unless people are looking for a specific kind.

  17. @Sonja: I agree with you that the goal of the CNN blog was to empower women. I’m sure a lot of women WERE empowered… technically… by the advice they received.

    Unfortunately, what they were “empowered” to do is HIDE. They were empowered NOT to say how they really feel, for a tactical reason… It might have a detrimental effect on their relationship. Does that sound familiar? πŸ˜€

    To me, it sounds the same as if I were to say to guys “Tell her you love her or you’re IN love with her so she lays down for you quicker”. It’s the same thing. In both indications, you’re advising people to be deceptive. In the CNN case, they’re advocating deception by omission.

    Is it a good idea for women to do what they did and not go first? Absolutely. Whomever goes first LOSES control of the entire situation. However, IMO, giving women gimmicks and workarounds isn’t my idea of what’s best for them. It’s better for women to WAKE UP, use y’all’s BRAINS and start to see reality.

    There’s the distinct possibility for each human being that they will NEVER be loved by ANYBODY in their entire lifetime. It’s entirely possible. However, women are fed pipe dreams, including “There’s someone out there for everyone”, “You will meet ‘The One'”, and “It doesn’t matter what you look like… SOMEONE will love you”. Those are all POSSIBILITIES, but women are trained to believe that they’re GIVEN… That they’re DEFINITELY going to happen sooner or later, so y’all get brainwashed from the giddyap and remain behind the game the entire time.

    Guys get to use this against women to incredible advantage. It’s all in the game. The only way for women to evolve is to stop hiding from the truth and confront it. Guys are going to do or say whatever they have to do to get in those drawers, and that’s that. πŸ˜€ The first step towards recovery is admitting that you have a problem.

    Making up gimmicks like “Don’t say you love him, even though you honestly do” is effective, but ultimately only addresses the symptom and not the illness.

  18. @Frank: Of course, as usual, you just dropped more Truth & Science, hahaha πŸ˜€

    The fact of the matter is that once a woman decides she wants to “do for you”, it’s a wrap. HER happiness is found in making YOU happy. She’s GLAD that she can spend her money on you. She’s GLAD that she can help you pass a class. Women in general aren’t going to understand that that’s not a woman debasing herself, that’s a woman showing DEDICATION, which is rare and appreciated, and some guys honestly LOVE the women that “do for them”.

    Sure, there are guys that just take advantage and use her for whatever they can, but there are others that recognize that she didn’t HAVE to do this thing for you, but she did it from the kindness of her heart and her devotion to you and that puts her ahead of the pack.

    It doesn’t guarantee her OWNERSHIP, to any degree, but it secures a potentially life-long place in a brotha’z heart. :~( *someone hand me a tissue*

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