Social Question

broughtlow's avatar

Are you able to answer this honestly?

Asked by broughtlow (246 points ) June 18th, 2011

I have always found the ways people express the power of their
emotions – in regards to a relationship – to be lies. All of this “You are my everything” and “the most important” and “my life” and so on, are obviously not true!

The question is at the end of all this but, first I want you to understand where I’m coming from since I am finding it difficult to believe that I’m crazy in this so, bear with me.

For illustration purposes, here is the scenario:
I’m your significant other and you’ve just told me all of the aforementioned sentiments to which I respond ( In all seriousness) then quit your job, sell your car, and say goodbye to your friends and family.

From experience, lets skip all the reasons why you will not do as I ask including the one that goes “I would never ask you to do that” and the one that
involves the control issue and the one about how wrong it is to ask and – just don’t. Lets skip to the part where I say 100% is simple math!
I mean, this thing, that thing, they all add up so that if you really look at it, take that sofa for example. It cost three hundred so, if you would not give that up for me then we can even come close to assigning your real value of me as, somewhere under
300 dollars! Even this is appalling to you! I am trying to find out exactly what importance I hold since, looking at everything the way I do, it seems apparent that I hold little importance since you’ll only give up the little, less troubling, aspects of life.

Anyways, I’ll spare you the rest of the disaster and get to the heart of the matter and, I hope you are not offended because I am speaking to you. Having said this, the question is:

Why did you lie to me and tell me I was your everything and the most important?

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43 Answers

Plucky's avatar

I would say that you were everything…until you pulled that crap with me. So, I wasn’t really lying at the time.

On the other hand, when people say that ..it’s usually figuratively. Not a lie exactly.

And, yes, that was my honest answer.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

What you’re describing is called codependency. It’s a vital part of every Hollywood romantic comedy, and even though it’s portrayed as the dream come true, it’s actually really and horribly unhealthy. So while I personally wouldn’t say that, when people do say that, it’s usually because they don’t have a good grasp on what a healthy relationship looks like. Enmeshment and codependency are how relationships strangle you to death, not how they blossom.

broughtlow's avatar

@PluckyDog Who doesn’t understand everything and most important? Nevertheless, that’s the point! I immediately become aware of this and have no other choice but look for the importance that isn’t stated. Even more so, people make sacrifices and fight to hold on to what’s most dear to them and the load of crap seems to be the the stuff held on to. But isn’t love greater than all and to held on to as such?

Lightlyseared's avatar

Why would you want to completely control someone and cut them off from their family friends and work? Did you not like who they were? Or are just cutting them off from all their support to make abusing them easier?

Plucky's avatar

I have used the phrases with my partner. I still use them. I tell her she’s everything to me ..that she’s the most important person to me. The reason why I tell her? Because I know she knows what that entails. She is mature and intelligent enough to know what I mean in saying those things. She also does not view it as a lie or a stretch from the truth. Our relationship is one of the healthiest I’ve ever seen.

broughtlow's avatar

@Lightlyseared First and foremost, it was said to me. Not believing it, then I test it. Most importantly, I want what I’ll give.

Plucky's avatar

@broughtlow Love is also knowing not to demand such things from one’s partner (quitting one’s job, cutting off family and friends, etc). In fact, what you described in your question is very similar to psychological abuse in a relationship.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Maybe the “demanding of proof” lowers the person’s net value.

For example: I like sex. (There, I said it.) But, if I have to ask for it, I don’t enjoy it. The asking lowered it’s value to me. I’ll do it anyway, just to be polite. ;)

Here is another off the wall example: You might be “my everything”, “you complete me”, etc. And I might truly believe that when I said it. But if I have a full bladder with pee up to my eyeballs, I will pick you after the bathroom toilet. Does that mean I just valued you below a toilet?
A little common senses and respect goes a long way. I’d rather own the $300 couch than be with a partner lacking those qualities.

broughtlow's avatar

@PluckyDog @Lightlyseared @MyNewtBoobs @ Look, everybody above. I walked out on a job because someone was hurting and wanted to talk. My boss asked if it was an emergency and I said nope! He says, is it worth your job? I said, Beyond all doubt. With the same financial burdens as yall and living paycheck to pay check, I walked out for a CONVERSATION. Really! You wanna tell me bout how it’s supposed to work? Hey, I hope you are all happy, really do. Just know that, it really won’t take much to destroy it. Even more so, I’d do the same for you so you tell me, are you worth it? You want someone to be there when your whole world crumbles cuz obviously, none of you would keep the partners you have if the rest of your days were on the street? You catch my drift? LOVE! People! It’s a great power not figurative, emotional force!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@broughtlow Maybe your answer to the boss should have been “Yes, it is an emergency. She is sucidal. I have to go.”
If that is not the case and she only wants to discuss dinner plans or her cousin’s sister’s boyfriend’s drug problem, she is manipulating you. Stick with the job.

broughtlow's avatar

@worriedguy No emergency. My daughter. Nevertheless, some comfort is more important than others. I think that virtues are dead and people don’t seek such things anymore?

BarnacleBill's avatar

Because when I say you’re “my all”, “my everything”, “my life” the unspoken caveat is “after myself”. If I don’t love myself, I can’t love you. And by asking me to ditch everything that constitutes my safety net without any promise of security, then you set off warning flags that you don’t understand me, and I am not important to you. If I must “prove” that I love you by abandoning what’s important to me, then self-preservation kicks in, because I can’t trust you to keep me emotionally safe.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Let’s put it this way… my wife is the most important person in my world. I would give up anything ( and everything ) I own for her, if that’s what she wanted. We both value our relationship above all else in life, and certainly above any mere material possessions. This woman almost literally saved my life, and I love her beyond any mere emotion.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Is your daughter like 5 years old?

ragingloli's avatar

Because flattery is the bread and butter of getting into someone’s pants, and since I would be interested in maintaining this state, I say that to you.
now drop to your knees and open up

broughtlow's avatar

BarnacleBill Man! That’s it! That’s what troubles me though, to be the one to, essentially, surrender myself to the flames, as they say. But yeah, I’m comforted by that piece to the puzzle! Much respect

CaptainHarley's avatar

@ragingloli

You HAVE to be one of the most cynical people I have ever met!

BarnacleBill's avatar

I feel like we’re going to have to play 20 questions here, because I suspect the real question isn’t what you think it is. How about all of the real details?

Love for your family and romantic love are two different things.

broughtlow's avatar

@CaptainHarley I fail to see the dilemma.

broughtlow's avatar

@BarnacleBill real details? love is love despite perceptions.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@broughtlow

What dilemna? I was under the impression that YOU had the dilemna. I was simply explaining that the value we place on our relationship enables my wife and me to treat all else as mere possessions, which are replaceable. Did I misunderstand you??

BarnacleBill's avatar

If you really walked off your job to have a conversation with your daughter, and told your boss it wasn’t important, then the real question is “where did I go wrong parenting that my daughter expected me to quit my job to have a conversation with her?” or “why did I lie to my boss and tell him it wasn’t important, when it was?”

If your family counts on you for financial security, and you lost your job because you walked out for something that “wasn’t important,” then you failed your family.

broughtlow's avatar

@CaptainHarley My apologies! wrong person.

broughtlow's avatar

@ragingloli I fail to see the dilema.

broughtlow's avatar

@BarnacleBill Well, your kid(s) would be wrong, then, if they think that they can always depend on you to be there for them when they need such a small thing as to ease their troubled hearts and minds. Much more important things, I’m sure. Personally, I find it important to prove and let her know that, as long as I have life I’ll be there and drop anything and everything for her. Hope she doesn’t develop a sense of importance, and confidence to face life!

broughtlow's avatar

@BarnacleBill @CaptainHarley @ragingloli @worriedguy @PluckyDog @Lightlyseared @MyNewtBoobs Anyways, I really do want to conduct myself in a calm respectful manner and am begining to fail! My apologies for my offensive words! I mean this!!! Gotta get up in three hours. Above and beyond all, I wish peace. Till tomorrow…........later.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Part of being a good parent is to teach children discernment and emotional self-reliance. There are certain situations where they don’t need their parents, they need their friends. Parents who are too wrapped up in their children’s lives are harmful to the child, and eventually become bitter, controlling old people who either have children who are train wrecks as adults, or take their children moving on as adults as personal rejection.

Either the “crisis” was important, or it wasn’t. I have left work because of family issues many times—the family dog got hit by a car in front of the kids, someone followed my daughter home from the bus and she had to run for it, her car broke down on the expressway 100 miles from home. Those are important things, and were articulated as such to my manager when I left work. Problems with friends and people they’re dating, failing grades, not getting a job they wanted, those are things they need to learn to manage on their own.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@broughtlow It has been a stressful day for you. Sleep well. You’ve earned it.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Loving someone does not equate to doing what they want you to. Loving someone means that you will always do what is best for them according to your own judgement. If they ask you to do something unreasonable, then by your judgement it is not the best thing for them. If they provided a valid reason for the same request, then you would do it without hesitation.

I would not amputate my right arm simply to prove I love someone – that would be moronic. However if I had to use that same arm to push them out of the path of a fast moving truck, then I would do it without hesitation, because I love them.

_zen_'s avatar

LOVE
The definition of love in Buddhism is: wanting others to be happy.
This love is unconditional and it requires a lot of courage and acceptance (including self-acceptance).
The “near enemy” of love, or a quality which appears similar, but is more an opposite is: conditional love (selfish love, see also the page on attachment).
The opposite is wanting others to be unhappy: anger, hatred.
A result which one needs to avoid is: attachment.

This definition means that ‘love’ in Buddhism refers to something quite different from the ordinary term of love which is usually about attachment, more or less successful relationships and sex; all of which are rarely without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to de-tachment and the unselfish interest in others’ welfare.

‘Even offering three hundred bowls of food three times a day does not match the spiritual merit gained in one moment of love.’
Nagarjuna

“If there is love, there is hope that one may have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. If the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama from ‘The little book of Buddhism’

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@zen Great quotes! Its hard to think of love in such a general sense, when many of us focus it only those close to us.

mazingerz88's avatar

I could never keep up with love promises and it just made a liar out of me so I stopped saying these things even before I started high school.

chyna's avatar

Everyone needs to learn to filter themselves, it is a part of growing up. I understand needing to talk when you are are hurt, but being able to wait until someone is off work so they can continue taking care of their family should be explained. Love for a child is unconditional, but that child should understand rules, and the rules should be that daddy can’t just leave his job to talk.

wundayatta's avatar

I think the problem comes from the overwhelmingness of the feeling and the lack of words adequate to express it. You are my everything. You mean the world to me. I’d do anything for you. Haven’t you ever felt that? It’s overwhelming. It fills you up. You can’t think about anyone else. You want to be with them all the time.

Yet the words, taken literally, are lies. Very few of us will sacrifice our lives for another person. In fact, there are probably a lot of things we won’t do even if we feel that way about another person.

So how can we express that feeling without lying? I don’t know. What I do believe is that when we say these things we are using hyperbole, which is pretty standard in our lives. Anyone who takes these words as something more substantial than hyperbole probably has trouble getting the unspoken cues of normal give and take.

When I was falling in love with my wife, but long before it was clear where things would go, I would tell her, “I want to marry you!” It was an expression of the power of my feeling about her. Eventually I did marry her, but it didn’t matter whether I did or not, as far as that expression was concerned. I knew no other words that could express the power of what I was feeling. Those words: “I want to marry you,” seemed to get as close to the feeling as I could manage.

I suppose this is where love poetry comes in. I’m sure poets write all kinds of amazing things in their poetry, but I don’t think people take those things literally. It’s poetry, for God’s sake! It is meant to create images and use all kinds of other literary tricks, but we are expected to look at the underlying meaning as much or more than the surface meaning.

Love is such a huge thing. It blows us over like a a house falling before a tornado. Our minds turn into static. Our hearts galumph along like elephants. The object of our love pulls us to them with the strength of a black hole. We are helpless to get away, and we don’t even want to. We want to crash, black hole to black hole and explode an entire new universe.

Yeah. You are the world to me. You are my everything. We just fucking created a brand new universe. That’s what it feels like.

But really?

Hibernate's avatar

I can’t say that someone is my everything so that’s why I don’t expect to hear it from someone.

Mariah's avatar

“Why did you lie to me and tell me I was your everything and the most important?”

I didn’t. Because I, personally, would never say that to someone. I will never be that girl that says I’m not complete without my partner. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean I’m not still an individual and that I don’t have self-respect and my own priorities, separate and outside of the relationship. So I would never say something that implies that my life is nothing more than a relationship.

Coloma's avatar

Most of what people call ‘love’ is nothing more than neurotic attachment to another that mirrors back what they wish to feel about themselves. More of an addicition than anything that parallels true lovingness.

I’m with @PluckyDog & @zen here…

Real ‘Love’ is holding on loosely, no demands on another to sustain your sense of self, and, sometimes, the most loving thing we can do is let go.

Love is NOT, emotional blackmail, manipulation, control freakery, or mind games of any kind. Nobody is ever responsible for anothers happiness, ever, nor do they play the game of ” IF you REALLY loved me, you would do X,Y,Z etc.”

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Would I drop everything I’m doing at work to talk down my partner during a neurotic or angry episode? NO.

Why not and does it mean I don’t value my partner? NO! What it means is that I have responsibilities I expect my partner to to bear with and work around, just as I do with theirs.

Oftentimes my partner and I have had little gripes or stuff to talk out and work out but both know we won’t jeopardize our jobs or how we’re perceived on the job when personal stuff can wait a few hours.

broughtlow's avatar

Someone once told me that if I didn’t know the definitions of the words I was using then I didn’t know what I was talking about. I found, by studying the words I used, that this was true and that for most of my life (28yrs) what I said and what I meant were things that often differ. Words have their own definitions despite the assigned meanings imposed by the ignorant – myself included. So, as far as figures of speech go, truly understanding what another is saying is troubling since, all I have to go on are the meanings words that already have despite the way people interpret them. So, in a foolish effort to express the power of one’s personal emotions Love is also assigned a meaning by the individual so that love is what you perceive it to be as just as the words you use. And, when you get past the expressions you find yourself looking for what love is since it isn’t what you say.

dabbler's avatar

People express their feelings, honestly even, and feelings change. No lying going on, but recognize that’s what’s being expressed.
And understand real commitment and agreements and promises are different from that.

WasCy's avatar

To be fully committed to someone does not mean to become that person’s slave or possession. I presume that when a woman commits herself to me that she has not committed all of her self, all of her possessions and all of her potential values, including future earnings, etc.

I don’t accept or want slaves, and I won’t agree to be one. By what logic do you read that kind of “total” and absolute commitment (self-immolation?) into a relationship between competent adults?

YARNLADY's avatar

I haven’t used words like that ever since I found out the world didn’t end when the love of my life did. I learned that life doesn’t always unfold the way we expect it to.

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