Every society in the world praises the value of love. Love takes us beyond self-centeredness and motivates us to connect meaningfully with another. Yet, too often, the secular ideal of love emphasizes being loved, or at least on receiving love in reciprocation for the love one gives.
In Hebrew, “the word for love — ahavah — includes the Aramaic word hav, which means ‘Give!’ (And the initial letter alef makes it mean, ‘I will give.’) Loving…is not so much receiving, as giving of oneself, and making sacrifices for others.
Romance novels, movies, and fairytales can confuse us about love. They glorify love at first sight, which rarely leads to a fulfilling marriage, because it is usually based on fantasy. Yes, there are couples who fell in love right away, married quickly, and it worked out fine. However, Allison’s experience is more common.
Allison, in her mid-twenties, looks like a breezy blond cover girl. She met Jim on a dating site. She was so charmed by him in person that instead of sensibly limiting their first date to not more than a couple of hours, she agreed to an all-day date that included a six-hour round trip drive to a scenic location.
They left early and returned to her place exhausted around 1 a.m. She said he could share her bed but without sex. Their next couple of dates did include sex. Allison was in love — but with a fantasy. He loved recreational sex, not her. Their “relationship” quickly evolved into his texting her when he felt like “hooking-up.” She was heartbroken.
It hadn’t occurred to Allison to find out before getting physically intimate what kind of relationship Jim was looking for, or to know what kind she wanted, until her disappointment showed her what she didn’t want.
How Not to Fall Crazy in Love
Many of us can relate to Allison’s story because it’s so easy to fantasize. Do you think it’s natural to fall in love? Why suppress what happens naturally? But if you’re…