Monday, December 14, 2009

True Love vs. Obsessive Love

I have been thinking about the differences between true love vs. obsessive love.

At 16, I had my first serious relationship which lasted until I turned 20. Sam was my first love. For 3 years, it was ‘love’ based on my limited experience of what love was or should be.

Personally, I think that romance novels and Hollywood have a lot to answer for about how love is portrayed. For a long time I felt that if I did not experience the fairy tale ‘feeling’, then it was just not the real thing and therefore not true love. I believe that often I did not give love a chance; because I was too busy writing it off as ‘not’ true.

At 20, I met John and fell head over heels for him. My heart beat faster, my heart fluttered, I felt so happy. I believed that I had finally found what I considered to be ‘true love’. The problem was, was that it was not ‘true love’ but a horrible, twisted, obsessive love.

I was so obsessed with loving him and getting him to love me that I virtually destroyed my sense of self in the process. I pursued him mercilessly and seized on any attention he gave me. The problem about being in a destructive relationship is what it does to your psyche and heart.

For me John was like a drug that I could not get enough of. In moments of sanity I would try and wean myself off him, but one of us would always hook the other back in. My friends suffered because I would constantly try and reason out my feelings and/or John’s feelings for me. Unfortunately, I lost friends along the way.

For a long time I blamed John for my hurt and took no responsibility for my own actions however, a few years into it I realised that both parties must take responsibility for their own actions. I think it is very easy to blame the other person when you are in pain, nevertheless you do need to take a good hard look at your own actions.

Please do not get me wrong, I did love John in my own way. I would not change how the next 7 years panned out; as they have shaped who I am today. Nevertheless, I did promise myself (when it finished) that I would never love anyone like that again, and I started to construct walls around my heart.

In the end I felt that I was strong enough to walk away for good. The last thing that John called me was selfish and to this day that really hurts and makes me angry.

At 27, I met Mark via the internet. We developed a “friendship” over a couple of months. The love was not instant for me, not in the ‘true love’ format that I had come to expect. Also, I was still trying to get over John.

A friend asked me a few weeks ago “when did I realise that Mark was the ‘one’ for me”. For me it was probably about 6-9 months into the relationship when I woke up one morning and realised that I wanted to have babies with Mark. For me it was not about literal babies, however more about wanting to spend the rest of my life with this person.

What I have realised from our relationship, is that for me ‘true love’ grows and it is seldom ‘instant’. After John I thought that no one could repair the shattered parts of my heart, however Mark did this. Somehow he managed to pull together the broken parts of my heart and life to make it whole again. Our relationship is not perfect, however Mark is the one that I go to when I feel down and he tries to fix the hurt.

On our wedding day as I listened to his speech, I realised just how much he loves me. Yesterday, I just got given some scrapbooking pages from our wedding and one photo of Mark and I speaks volumes about the feelings we have for one another.

What I have learned is not to let past relationships ruin future relationships and that true love appears in different forms. If you let the past cloud your judgement, you may just miss someone amazing.


  1. I have to admit, its hard sometimes coming out of a bad relationship, and admitting that both parties were at fault.
    Its easy to blame the other person, but probably in most cases i reckon there are always contributing factors

  2. That is a wonderful post Ness. So true. And as Liz said, a bad relationship isn't bad because of one person, or the other, its the combination that is bad!!!

  3. Well done Vanessa xx great post and yes it's not a quick fix or quick find this love business ;)