When Does Love Stop Loving?
Does love stop loving? No. But lovers stop loving because they stop believing.
Sometimes I see snatches of the daytime court programs on the television and half the cases are former friends or lovers trying to get paid for what amounts to lost love. Typically they get down and display all the dirty laundry in front of the camera and the tv judge and it's obvious.
It's either like this:
"You kicked me out of your wedding and I want my money back for the bridesmaid dress I already bought."
"I paid for his cell phone and he ran up a big bill talking to his new girl friend who he ended up moving in with."
And really it's like this:
"I loved him and he shafted me. He promised me love and he owed me. Now I'll take whatever pound of flesh I can get."
Of course the money won't bring back love and respect. And the notoriety won't bring satisfaction. The abyss of broken love will still be there, unbridged. But does it have to be this way?
The flow of love stops when one or both turn from the belief that the other loves him. The other feels it; nothing need be said. She thinks, he doesn't believe I love him anymore. And she turns away. On and on, each in turn, just as natural as can be—soon each believes the other has no love. And if they believe it they very naturally cause their beliefs to come to fruition.
"Now I see she never loved me," he says. And she says, "He was only using me all along." But if one had only reminded himself that he must believe in the other—the the other has a heart of love and that love has been turned toward him in a special way.
Kierkegaard said in order to build up love the one who loves should presuppose the other loves. Even though that love might be temporarily covered or masked by hurt or shame, it is there. It is always there, but it must not be manipulated or demanded; it must be believed in.
Love is the greatest thing but it doesn't stand alone. It must have faith to go with it.
If I remember my faith and believe you love me I will be at rest and it will be much easier for you to show me you care for me. If I believe you don't love me—for whatever reason—I will "count the ways" and dwell on them and it will be impossible for love to flow either way.
Let's keep the faith and keep love alive.
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