Loving Someone for Who They Are Vs. How They Make You Feel


When I was 17 years old, I went through my first big, heartbreaking break up. In the midst of all of the useless advice, someone finally said what I needed to hear. The words echoed in my head for the next 10 years of my life, luckily haunting my every heartbreak: “Do you love him for who he is or for how he makes you feel?”

Relationships are so complicated, who knows anymore, right? You become so entangled in your emotions, you can’t tell your ass from a broken heart anymore. But this question is an important one because it can make or break your relationship- if you’re in one- and the healing process -if you’re fresh out of one. So grab a mirror and some tissues and let the reality slap begin.

In a Relationship:

Say you’re dating the model boyfriend/girlfriend; sex once -or multiple times- a day, perfect dates, the right amount of personal space, perfectly timed oral sex, etc. Everything outside the relationship, however, triggers the fear that although you may finally be getting treated like the prince/princess you are , the person you’re with sucks at being a good person. Could you go on in the relationship?

At some point, assuming you’re a decent human being, it will affect you. Being with someone and disliking the person they are is still a recipe for disaster – regardless of how amazing their blow jobs are or the jewelry they surprise you with over dinner. The problem is that the moment you notice it, it will probably be too late. You’ll either be addicted to the wonderful treatment or be in so deep that you can’t get out. If there’s ever a doubt in your mind, pause and ask yourself what it is that attracts you. Because if it is how you feel when you’re around them, you’re with them for the wrong reason. They won’t always make you feel that way, but they WILL ALWAYS be a greed freak, an asshole, a misogynist, or a heartless soul sucker.

After the Break-Up:

Relationships are hard work; you devote every fiber of your being to making them work only to watch them crumble before your very eyes. It’s no wonder you continue holding on once it’s over. But have you ever asked a broken hearted person the following question, “Why do you miss your ex? Why do you love him/her?” and actually gotten a real response other than the following:

  • We’ve been through so much
  • We had so much in common
  • He said he wanted to marry me
  • She said I was the one

(insert other variations)

The answer is no, you hardly hear a response other than the above. You never hear, “Because, he was a kind, compassionate man.” Because if that were the case, you’d respond with, “Really? How kind? So kind that he’d sleep with your best friend?”

Your mind is a slave to your heart. If your heart hurts, your mind will say what it needs to in order to make it stop hurting. When your heart craves to be loved, your mind will respond, “There’s still a chance. Hold on tight.” But it’s all bullshit. Because if you saw things clearly and objectively, you’d notice that there’s NO WAY IN HELL you’d let your best friend experience what you’re going through. Because what’s so attractive about someone who has caused you pain? What’s so admirable about someone who enjoys watching you suffer?

“I love him because he hurts me”

“I love her because she makes me feel worthless”

That’s what you’re really saying. Or would you prefer:

“I love him because he is the type of man who hurts me.”

“I lover her because she is the type of person who makes me feel worthless”

The reasons you first fall in love with an individual are mixed; some are because of how they makes you feel and some are their qualities. Yet when you have to differentiate them, you’re never able to. Make sure you’re able to define your feelings, being able to do so may be your ticket out of an unsatisfying relationship or a life altering break up.