Never Settle for Superficial Love: Learn the Difference Between Desire and Love

By: Sohaila El Nahas

He or she may need you, they may want you, or they may desire you madly, but do they love and value you?

There is a big difference between being wanted and being valued. Please don’t mistake desire for love, and don’t build your relationship or marriage on a weak foundation. So many people make the wrong choice because they are simply not aware. You deserve so much more than that.

Someone may want you for your body as a status symbol, a trophy, an accessory to adorn his or her ego. They may want you for your social or professional status. They may want you only for the good times, gratification, entertainment, pleasure. They may want you for their comfort and convenience. They may put you on a pedestal and like only the nice parts. This is not real love. This is both of you using each other to satisfy the needs of your ego.

In such relationships, both people are simply in love with the ideas of each other. They’re in love with the photo-shopped versions of each other. They try to hide in one another to avoid facing the multidimensional nature of their true selves. They’re looking to take from each other, which is why these relationships crumble so easily under pressure.

External attractiveness fades with time, success is unpredictable, and aging is inevitable. Since ego-based relationships are based on superficial and temporary qualities, they exert tremendous amount of pressure to be ‘perfect’.

You become reduced to a thing instead of a person. A thing is expendable and disposable. You upgrade and buy a new one, when it can’t satisfy and gratify you anymore. If you are a ‘thing’ in relationship rather than a person, you are always auditioning, selling, competing, performing, pretending to be someone to get them to like you, because you don’t believe in yourself. You don’t know even your real self. You haven’t put in the effort and time to get in touch with your authenticity. You keep trying to keep up with the mask of your fake and flawless highlight reel.

If you are seeking validation from a partner to affirm your sense of self-worth, you have low self-esteem due to a lack of self-awareness. You will continue to base your value on superficial qualities, and your partner will continue to judge you based on it. You will keep trying to save your partner, because you cannot fix yourself. Your partner will keep victimizing themselves, because they are entitled, and cannot take accountability for their own issues. If you are being used and using your partner, then both of you are disconnected from your own selves and others.

If you have competed against others, and ‘won’ your partner over because you were ‘better’ (aka cuter, richer, funnier, smarter), you will always feel insecure for the rest of your relationship. Your partner will always wonder if the grass is greener on the other side, and if they could have done ‘better’.

If your relationship is based on love, it is real because it has incredible depth. It is based on healthy boundaries, because both partners have a strong sense of inner self-worth that is not dependent on external validation. They respect themselves, and share a mutual admiration for each other, which build the foundation of trust. Without respect, there is no trust. Without trust, there is no love. Without love, your relationship will always leave you feeling empty, dissatisfied, and wanting more.

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