Love is not a cage

12 Jul

Taking a break from my blogging break, because I spotted something from a friend’s blog that I couldn’t not blog about.

He linked to a post about Deitrich Bonhoeffer’s view about what’s wrong with romantic love.

I usually have a bit of a frown when I see Sunflower with romance novels. They portray an overly idealistic view of love: fanciful, predictable and monotonous. Of course, she’d likely retort that since she hasn’t experienced romantic love yet then the books will help fill the void. And I’ve told her many a time that romantic love is overrated. It’s messy, painful and often left me wondering if it was worth all the effort. 

Over the years, I realised that I’d confused love with possessiveness, and the need for control. I have control freak tendencies as well as an irrational fear of losing the people I hold dear. It drove my boyfriend nuts having me call all the time; I should have gotten a clue when I’d even get MFM to report whenever he went overseas and I’d spend days worrying one or the other would die/get in an accident/contract a terminal disease or worse – replace me.

The harder you hold on to someone, the tighter your grip, the likelier it is the person will work hard to get away from you.

And I am guilty. Guilty of expecting my loved ones to read my mind, to always be around, to put up with my nonsensical fears, act the way I told them to, let me dictate their decisions. I was no better than a jailor.

So I’m letting go. I’ll stay safe in the belief that I can hold them the people I love close to my heart – but it doesn’t mean I have to do it literally.

Bonhoeffer on romantic love:
"It loves them, not as free persons, but as those whom it binds to
itself.  It wants to do everything it can to win and conquer; it puts
pressure on the other person.  It desires to irresistible, to dominate.
Self-centered love does not think much of truth.  It makes the truth
relative, since nothing, not even the truth, must come between it and
the person loved.  Emotional, self-centered love desires other persons,
their company.  It wants them to return its love, but it does not serve
them.  On the contrary, it continues to desire even when it seems to be


2 Responses to “Love is not a cage”

  1. Sashi July 14, 2008 at 8:42 am #

    You know the saying, “If you love something, let it go, and if it loves you, it’ll come back”, yadda yadda?
    I’d like to believe in that. Problem is with the letting go part.
    Need to work on that.
    Enjoy your holiday. 🙂

  2. Dabido July 15, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    Hmmm, my ex’s always complained I was never jealous enough. lol
    I used to say it’s because I trusted them. Silly me. I always seem to get replaced.
    Mind reading is always difficult. Especially when someone is angry for no apparent reason at you, and when the reason does become obvious [once you pry it from them], there was often nothing you could have done about it anyway.
    I find it funny when conversations often start with, ‘He said …’ or ‘They said …’ etc with no explanation of who ‘He’ or ‘They’ etc are. [My mother started one of those this morning with, ‘Do you know what they named their twins?’]
    When both parties are laid back and accomodating of each other it is a lot easier than when they are uptight and unbending.
    Somehow I always end up with very controlling partners. I must attract them or chose them somehow. lol

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