(I received the following letter)
“I consistently find myself involved in romantic partnerships with men who then turn out to be emotionally unavailable. Or I end up taking care of them financially and in other ways. I’m dying for a truly fulfilling emotional relationship with a man, but I keep getting these men who have nothing to give, and it’s making me crazy. I’m beginning to believe that I have no idea what a healthy relationship is. I’ve been in a lot of relationships now, and they go great for a while—great sex and fun and all that—but then nothing, and I end up wanting my space. Pretty soon it’s over.”
I’ve heard this story—almost word for word—at least a thousand times. No, more than that. It even has a name. It has its own TUNE, and you need to know that I’m not making fun of you here. I’m telling you this so you know how common this is. It’s called the Song of Imitation Love. Most people have never even SEEN Real Love, and without it they HAVE to have something, so they go looking for Imitation Love, and they fall in love with whoever offers them the most. Kind of obvious, isn’t it? If you’re empty and afraid and in pain, Imitation Love DOES feel good, and you’re going to spend your time around the people who make you feel better, around the people who give you the MOST of what makes you feel good: Imitation Love. Those are the people we fall in love with.
And it’s a trade. The people we fall in love with are ALSO looking for people to make THEM feel good. So let’s look at what you offer these men in your life. Notice that you said that you found yourself involved in ROMANTIC relationships, and you mentioned great SEX. So it’s a virtual GUARANTEE that at some point early in your life you discovered that nobody paid you much attention until you became SEXUALLY attractive, and then, suddenly, guys thought you were, like, AMAZING. They would follow you ANYWHERE.
Guys are like that. In order to fuel a relationship initially with WOMEN, they usually require conversation and flattery and a nice car and maybe nice clothes and sometimes you have to have a nice job and any number of things. It can be very complicated for guys to figure out. In order to fuel a relationship with many men initially, it’s far less complicated. Women just have to be breathing and available. Why do you think the number one destination on the Internet today is pornography? Why do you think on television everything from trucks to tacos are sold by women in alluring clothing, or in the relative absence of clothing?
So it’s not hard to ATTRACT a man into your life initially with sex. You’re offering him a lot of physical pleasure, but also much more. WAY MORE. You’re also offering PRAISE. As soon as you offer yourself in a sexual way, that makes him feel more worthwhile, like he’s THE MAN. He feels very cool. When you do what he wants sexually, he also feels powerful. Sex is a bonanza of Imitation Love, but it’s even more than that, which both men and women often fail to understand. Men are not obsessed with sex just for the obvious reasons. They actually want REAL Love as much as women do, and during sex they get just a glimmer of how emotionally close they can feel to another human being. Sex alone is not Real Love, but it offers men—and women—just a hint of what love could be like, and they want more of it. But then it’s GONE, and it makes them crazy. So they hope they can create that close feeling by just having more sex. But they can’t You can’t create love with sex, and we’ll talk more about this in our next session.