This week I´ve been seeing various patients, and in their therapy they´ve been having “Too much love troubles…”
They didn´t say it that way, but the thing is, they´ve been expressing too much love to the significant other.
The three of them are men.
Two of them are currently in the dating game, and the third is recently divorced.
All of them, expressed in one way or another: “I don´t know what´s the matter… I give them (women) a lot of love, treat them right, give them little treats (chocolates, roses, etc.)…”
My response: You are doing everything wrong!
You see, dating is really a game we play. If you play right the cards, then you win the game.
Each of them, started and ended giving too much love…and that is a big NO! No! in dating. Why?
Because you appear to be NEEDY. Dating needs to be a “Catch me if you can…game.”
“Why do you suppose we only feel compelled to chase the ones who run away?” -Vicomte De Valmont, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
You may give the other person all the chocolates, and love you want, ONCE you are steady with the relationship. To mantain a steady relationship, you need to display your love, but also, with balance.
Are you giving too much love?
The thing is, wether you are dating, or in a steady relationship, you have to learn that there are deep psychological structures that affect the perception of How much Love… is too much love.
In other words, love may be perceived as too little or too much by the receiving person, because in part of their internal psychological structure.
This may sound as counterintuitive, but you need to have a balance in to how much you express and how you express your love to the significant other.
The responsible structure for this is called Attachment.
According to Wikipedia:
Attachment in adults deals with the theory of attachment in adult romantic relationships.
Attachment theory, initially studied in the 1960s and ’70s primarily in the context of children and parents, was extended to adult romantic relationships in the late 1980s. Four main styles of attachment have been identified in adults:
I have never seen a fearful-avoidant style, but let us say, that this would happen if there was a Traumatic relationship. Or a person that has lived various traumatic relationships in his/her life.
The anxious–preoccupied style are people that react in an anxious way to a relationship. They NEED to know all the time that the other person loves them… So they keep calling, and calling, and looking for love demonstrations, of the significant other. They want to be always in the space of the significant other. They are most of the time perceived as NEEDY.
The Avoidant style of attachment, are people that NEED their own space. They love you, but they need their space. The feel drowned by the significant other if they are all the time, asking for love demonstrations. They are most of the time perceived as COLD by other people.
So the thing is, what happens when you have an anxious person, in a relationship with an avoidant style person? Well you guessed it… The anxious will try to be chasing the avoidant, that will demand lots and lots of space.
In this case, for the Avoidant style person, there is something as too much love.
The Secure type, is someone that may demonstrate love, but will also give space when needed. If they are with you, its o.k. and if they are not with you in any given time, they are also o.k.
Think about these Attachment Styles, and ask yourself: Which of these styles am I? If you are not a Secure type, try to become one!
If you are anxious, give your love some space.
If you are avoidant, try to show more love, and stop being cold all the time.
Hope this helps you with your relationships, and let me know what you think!
Photo by Nomadic.