‘Marry a man who loves you more than you love him’. This is a phrase I am sure every girl would have heard at some point in her lifetime. In fact, my friend says that a man should be obsessed with you before you marry him. According to conventional wisdom, this is not a bad advice at all. But, on the other end of the spectrum are women who settle and are stuck because of this same piece of advice.
I am a person who believes in practical love, but I have heard from various sources that there is no such thing as 50-50 love. As a matter of fact, most people argue that the person who loves ‘less’ holds more power in the relationship. This is a reasoning I still cannot get over because it is pointing towards the direction of control and manipulation and if you really love someone at all, you will not be headed that direction. I did a bit more research on this topic and got some interesting responses from Brothers A, B, C, and D.
Brother A: As a man you CANNOT, I repeat CANNOT be feeling a woman way more than she is feeling you and expect it to work. You’ll end up overextending yourself and eventually lose her. Or if you already have her you’ll end up losing your ground as a leader and end up following and be stuck approval seeking. That doesn’t work and it also causes women to be bored and frustrated with you. They’ll eventually just stop messing with you. You have to be a man, and a part of being a man that makes you strong is your indifference to your feelings. Sure you love her and you show it, but don’t fall so deep into it that it’s borderline female (who are more emotional than men are, and it gives great balance). You have to be able to be a pillar and not a hammock. You can’t spend your whole time in a honeymoon mindset; someone has to hold it down. And women fall out of love with a guy who’s always bending and swaying. This is crazy,and every guy can think about a time when he lost a girl from being too head over heels and not being more laid back and less emotional.
Brother B: You hit the nail square on the head homie and I concur. To add to that, the laid-back & indifferent demeanor that a confident/secure man has in a relationship is EXACTLY what keeps most women interested/in love with him in the long-term and why they fell in love with him in the first place. A man that puts too much effort into a girl can (sadly) have this work against him. Women below 30, in general, don’t seem to respect a man that really cares about them. This is why the chilled, confident men with swag are cleaning up in the ‘kitty kat’ department because women instinctively are turned-on by that and can’t be happy with less. Those qualities I described are all alpha male traits and we know that via casual observation ALL females (human or animal) want the alpha male. As I’ve said to my friends before: Love too much and a woman can (and most likely will) lose respect for you. Love a little less (not treat her with disrespect or anything but just lay back and let her feel you) and those heart/drawstrings are yours.
Brother C: Any belief that one partner should love the other more for the benefit of the relationship, is bound to be driven by fear. Fear in its very essence is the opposite of Love. They cannot coexist in the same place. You cannot truly love someone in the purest sense if you are afraid. The lack of fear allows one to totally love someone else the way they should be loved. Fear creates the imbalance that most of us have felt at one time or another. I think people honestly over complicate things and fail to see the bottom line. Why would anyone want to be in a relationship where the other person loves you more than you love them? That’s actually rooted in selfishness and self-preservation. It’s a defence mechanism to ward away pain that can only be experienced when you are vulnerable. People defend themselves when they sense danger or are afraid. Secondly, how could one find his or her self happy knowing that they’re with someone they don’t love equally? In essence, they’d be occupying a space that someone else should be filling for fear of being hurt. You can’t have true love in a relationship if fear is the driving force.
Brother D: A woman whose love is unconditional and reckless will do more harm than good to her man just as a woman with unconditional love for a child encourages him into mediocrity rather than challenging him to be the best. It is the woman who brings out the best in her man that is celebrated eventually not the one who out of love has catered to his every need without once challenging his manliness.
My train of thoughts align with Brother C’s and the phrase “the man should love the woman more” is embedded in the belief that virtually every man, sooner or later, will prove to be a huge disappointment to the woman who loves him. However, if she loves him just a little less, it gives her a way of negotiating his presumably inevitable infidelity traits or risk of abandonment. Therefore, this romantic imbalance “works in her favor” by giving her the chance to manipulate. The same goes for a man who expects the woman to love more. I believe in treating people exactly the same way they treat me and in relationships, I do not believe in settling. It is either my mind is in it or not, and if it is… I would not hesitate to give it my best shot. However, the difficult part is not ‘losing’ yourself while you at it and this will require a lot of self-evaluation and self-development as it progresses. As an individual who loves to deconstruct societal norms I am putting it out here to the ladies ‘why are you really choosing to commit to him long-term’? Are you making the decision to commit to a man because he loves you more than you love him? And are you looking to keep the man around, because if he loves you more, then he WILL stick around? And to the men, ‘Do you believe a woman should love you more before you make the ultimate commitment to her?’
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Oluwabusola Adedire is a graduate of Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, an enthusiast on social issues, and loves to inspire people about life, God and Love. Find her on Instagram @hrh_oluwabusola and on Twitter @HRH_oluwabussie