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Can You Love Too Much - When Love Becomes Smothering

Can you ever have too much of a good thing? The answer to that is.. Yes.

Sunlight is vital to our very existence. Yet too much of it will fry us to a crisp.

Water is an essential component, but too much of that and we drown.

Exercise builds muscle and endurance. Excessive exercise will also break down the body.

Food keeps our bodies nourished, but overindulging is just as dangerous as starving ourselves.

It is proven over and again that excess of just about anything can be harmful.

So what about love?? Can you have too much love? Or can you, in turn, love someone too much? Here are my thoughts.

Love, when presented in its purest form - that another’s needs and happiness come first, then no, you really can’t love someone too much. You can never wish too much joy or fulfillment onto another human being.

But, when you cross-pollinate that pure love with the more realistic and flawed emotion that some of us possess, then love can turn to smothering, which can then turn to obsession, and yes, then it is too much.

Love gives; smothering takes.

Smothering, or loving too much, is about yourself first and your partner second and is rooted in insecurity. It is where you are more concerned about your feelings, where you fit in the relationship, what are you gaining, which of your needs are getting met.

In order to prove your status/worth, you inject yourself too much/too soon into their world. This usually results in all kinds of red flags waving in their heads, and they start to back away.

What are the signs?

1. The need to have a predetermined, established future. Plans are good. Small ones and big ones, but pressuring to secure, or promise, a lasting relationship in the future puts a huge strain on the relationship as it is today.

Seize the day. Enjoy the moments. Promises are just words. The only pure time you have is today. Don’t ruin it by stressing about tomorrow.

2. Forgetting or forsaking who you are. Don’t lose sight of your true self. A huge mistake is made when their favorite things suddenly become yours. Yes, in a healthy relationship, two individuals can expand their life’s resume. New experiences enrich our lives.

But if you adopt everything of theirs just to push your way into their world, it will backfire. Everyone needs to have their own passions and pursuits. Be interesting. Be unique. Don’t become a shadow clone.

3. Along with that goes your time. It is natural if you have a life with friends, family and hobbies, that you will not always be available That’s ok! It is good to miss your partner, and for them to miss you. Plus, when you are together again, you have the experiences and memories to share.

Neediness is a thief. It steals your self-confidence and it steals your partner’s independence. Both are necessary to successfully move a relationship forward.

Love will never create anxiety. Read that line again. Life isn’t perfect. People aren’t perfect. You will have disagreements and challenges, but love does not create anxiety.

If you are anxious all of the time, checking your phone, watching the clock, wondering what they are doing;

all these are signs of insecurity and self-doubt on your part, and not necessarily signs of suspicious behavior on theirs.

Now there are bad partners. Some who will use you, take advantage of you, treat you unkind. Those relationships will also make you feel anxious. But that is YOUR sign to get out. If your partner is treating you with respect and truly trying to make things work, you need to lighten up on the anxiety or you will drive them away.

While it is true that you shouldn’t give only to receive in return, be careful if your giving becomes so obsessive that your partner can’t reasonably keep up.

A healthy relationship involves a mutual give and take of both time, gifts and verbal affirmation. When the relationship becomes unbalanced, it will soon fail.

I wish I had a quick fix for fear and uncertainty in relationships. The best I can do today is pinpoint the signs where you have mistaken love with the need for self-esteem. A great love affair can boost your self-esteem, but it is not someone else’s job to hand it to you. It is your job to love yourself enough first. Before you can successfully love another.

My Hopefuls, please know I wish for all of you love that is pure and sustaining. I know for some of you it seems like it is meant for others, but not you. I simply don’t believe that is true.

I completely understand the disappointment and fatigue of lost love and failed relationships. I’ve had my share, I assure you.

But through it all, I still believe in it. Hope for it. Because, you see, while you can eat, drink, and even binge Netflix too much…. You can NEVER love too much. Not the kind of love we all seek.

And for the record, I love you guys, my faithful Hopefuls!

And as always…

Hope With Abandon

Hope Out

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