The journey to finding true love can feel bumpy and marred with roadblocks everywhere.
And, when we think we’ve found the perfect partner, there’s still more we need to overcome in the form of ego-based expectation.
Unfortunately, many people have no idea that they’re in such relationships and what could have turned out into great relationships often end up in complete disasters.
Everyone has their own definition of what loves is. This vision is usually a result of our experiences in our personal relationships, what we see with our parents and the people around us, social media, literature, and the romantic stories we see in movies or television.
The stories and images we see all around us form the basis of what we think love should look like. And, if our relationships don’t tick all the boxes, we end up thinking there’s something wrong with our partner.
This is wrong because rather than appreciating our partner’s for who they are, we begin to compare them, their habits, and the things they do with ideals that we’ve made up in our minds.
The beginning of an Ego-Based Relationship
We inherently have some kind of ego especially when it comes to relationships.
Unfortunately, many people confuse ego vs. Authentic love. Most of the time, when we think about being in love we often base our feelings off of infatuation.
We want to feel everything the other person is feeling and we want to be in their future. When we experience such feelings, we often expect the other person to reciprocate.
When we give our time, affection, love, and attention, we don’t think about giving it freely, we give it because we expect that the other person will respond in the same way.
This is what ego love is all about. In short, ego love will keep giving as long as the partner continues to give back.
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However, being caught up in our ego doesn’t mean we don’t love the other person.
Of course we do. But, the truth is, our ego prevents us from loving our partner’s in a way that will allow us to experience deep, authentic, spiritual love.
Unfortunately, even though we might be caught up in our ego and still love our partner’s to some degree, a relationship based on ego love is not sustainable and cannot survive.
Think about this for a minute: if your partner left you, how would you handle it?
Would you instantly feel anger or resentment towards them?
If this describes your reaction, then what you’re experiencing is probably ego love.
You love your partner because of what they can give you and because they return your feelings.
Ego love is founded on expectations and conditions.
It’s like telling someone you can’t love them if they decide to leave or stop loving you.
There are strings attached to your love and you are only happy as long as your partner’s happiness has something to do with you.
Ego love is not selfless because there’s some form of possession and condition attached to it.
An authentic love has nothing to do with possession or control.
Authentic love is selfless and is based on genuine fondness and admiration of our partners.
When we experience authentic love, we wish the other person wellness and happiness even if we aren’t included in their future.
Authentic love means it when they say ‘even if you don’t want to be with me, I still love you.
I will not be resentful or wish you harm, nor will I be bitter because you chose to leave. Some character traits of authentic love are explained in the passages that follow:
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- It is Transformative
When you compare ego vs. Authentic love, one of the main comparisons you will see is that authentic love is transformative as opposed to ego love, which is based on conditions and expectations. When we experience authentic love, we allow our partner to influence us and shape us, and we also impact them positively.
- It’s Founded on Open Communication
Authentic love develops as a result of open communication between both partners. We express our feelings to our partner rather than projecting onto them how we expect to feel.
We acknowledge the other person and who they actually are, rather than expect them to fit into our ideals and expectations of who we want them to be.
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- It is an Investment
As opposed to ego love, authentic love takes energy, time, and willingness to invest in our partners. It isn’t based on any kind of gratification or other rewards we might expect. Authentic love pushes us to become better versions of ourselves for the benefit of our partner.
- It Allows Us to be Vulnerable
When we experience authentic love, we do not view our partners as means of gaining status, meeting our needs or desires, exploring our pleasures, or gaining resources.
True love is based on the ability to allow ourselves to be vulnerable to the other person.
It allows us to share our pain, insecurities, fears, and shame humbly with the other person while they also do the same.
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- It’s the Same as Freedom
Authentic love gives us freedom to be fully open with our partner knowing that their knowledge of who we truly are will be received with understanding and kindness.
As human beings, we have a desire for someone to acknowledge, understand, and accept us with all our flaws, peculiarities, and personalities.
When both partners in a relationship understand this, they achieve a strong bond that is regenerative and lasting. Even then, this will require a lot of work and willingness.
Just because you’re experiencing ego love right now doesn’t mean we cannot work on our relationships to get to authentic love.
Couples experience challenges that make them disagree and fight. However, the best way to get through rough patches is to always find common ground.
Achieving authentic love in your relationship means you stop keeping scores and an accusatory attitude.
If you’re going through a challenge with your partner, try to not call each other names or deflect blame to the other person.
Forgive and take responsibility for your part in the issue.
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