There are many things that look like love, but are something else. They are usually very close friendships, and they last a particularly long time, but deep down in this friendship is not true love, but mere limitations and problems that together continue to advance this relationship. Sadly, distorted love is far too common a problem in our modern world.
It is characteristic of true love that two people want to grow old together. This refers to generosity and freedom. The more this love encourages different parties to individuality, the more authentic this love is. And this includes all kinds of love: love between parent and child, love between partners, and so on.
Sometimes true love is mixed with other things that seem to be love but are not. These relationships often involve really strong emotions.
They are experienced directly from the heart, but often there is no respect or real appreciation of the other party in a relationship. They arise from selfish desires or needs, and they continue this relationship because they both benefit from it in some way. Here are a few examples:
Distorted love: overprotection
Overprotection is one of those things that seems like true love, but it isn’t, and no matter how much that person seems to care. It is a behavior that most often occurs between children and parents. But it is also common among couples, between friends, and also in other relationships.
Overprotection is an excessive desire to keep someone we consider vulnerable and defenseless safe so that nothing happens to him. When we love someone, of course we only want good for him.
But the overprotective person sees danger in places where it does not exist. And if any danger exists, they exaggerate it with seriousness. People who overprotect usually don’t understand the fact that we humans learn a lot from bad experiences.
What prevails in such a relationship is not love but anxiety. He who is overprotective towards another person reflects his own fears on that person.
And on top of all that, he is unable to prevent bad things from happening to his loved one. Quite the opposite, in fact. He ends up crushing his beloved with fears, preventing this from growing.
Distorted love: dominating our loved ones
An excessive desire to control another person is somewhat reminiscent of overprotection, but it’s not the same thing. In this case, the person is actually trying to belittle the other person.
What he ultimately really wants is that his “loved one” would stop trusting himself and that as a result, he would become addicted to it.
Such behavior is seen as love, but it is not at all. Sometimes these people pile the burdens on another person’s shoulders, and sometimes again they take care of him.
They also do their best to keep their loved ones away from “bad things”. But this protection is not free. They pay for this by taking away another freedom and sovereignty.
Their real purpose is to make a person completely dependent on them. From the outside, this may seem like they’re trying to make their partner happy, but in reality, they’re preventing their partners from living their own lives.
They manipulate this person so that this never leaves them. This is distorted love. This is just selfish control.
Addiction and distorted love
Control on the outside and addiction on the inside – these are the qualities of distorted love. Such a relationship is quite strange, as one party puts all its needs and frustrations into the other.
In this way, this party forces the other person to be responsible for his or her happiness. The result is a kind of surrogate for the father or mother who is always there to fulfill every wish of the person.
He desperately needs the “instructor” he finds. After all, he’s like a shield for all problems. This way, he can avoid facing his own problems, decisions, and failures.
An addicted person may feel like he or she loves that person deeply, but in reality, this relationship is just about mutual abuse.
All forms of distorted love are harmful: they hide situations that should be treated differently. They may look like love, but they have more to do with some kind of neurosis. And they almost never end well.
They cause pain and hinder growth. Unfortunately, they also seem to be really strong, and this in turn ends up hurting the people involved more than a normal relationship.