By Moushumi Ghose
One of the biggest misconceptions about love is that love is shaped like a pie. We are raised from the time we were little tiny babies to believe that there is one “Mr. Right”, one “Prince Charming”, and one “soul-mate.” And while this may be a true assessment, this absolutist thinking sets us up for failure. With so many rules and expectations about love, if we aren’t set up for failure then we are most definitely, at the very least, set up for these disturbing and unwanted feelings of jealousy, insecurity, possessiveness and a slew of other mal-adaptive feelings which don’t allow for love to grow, but in fact squelch and suppress love.
The pie theory of love suggests this: there is only so much love (100% to be exact) to go around. For example, a pie is a circle or 100%. If you cut a piece of the pie out and give it to someone, and let’s say there are 8 pieces total, then when one piece is gone there are only 7/8 of the pie left.
Using this pie theory when it comes to love, falsely suggests that there is only so much love to go around. At some point, the pie, or in this case love, will be all eaten up or given away. This theory also known in some circles as starvation economics is based on a desire to hoard. There have been some studies that suggest that hoarders have had to “go without” or “starve” for some period of time. Similar to anorexics, who have previously starved their bodies of food and have experienced starvation, will inadvertently push the brain into survival mode. Thus, when the body does finally get food it will store any excess food or nourishment the body intakes as fat, for the future, more leaner days.
In much the same way, if we take a look back to our childhood days, if we were starved of love, affection or denied our basic attachment needs in any way, which most of us have been, whether it be by a mother suffering from something as simple and common as post partum depression to full out abandonment, we have at some point in our life been starved of love. We have had to go without. Thus, when we get love, or find love, we do the very thing that then pushes it away. We hold on too tight. By assuming that love will run out, because we have experienced this very thing before, we hold on tight so as to not lose our share.
But, love is not a pie. Love is infinite and the amount of love we get is often based on the amount of love we give ourselves. Here I have compiled 5 tenets of loving that we need to learn in order to give love freely, accept love freely and learn that the abundance of love is all around us. In turn, we will stop feeling jealous or fearful about our own loved ones, stop feeling ownership, possessiveness and ultimately also learn to thrive in all of our relationships.
1. We have the capacity to love infinitely. Imagine a mother with 10 children. She loves all of her children. She has the capacity to love all 10 children, along with her own 10 siblings, and her 50 good friends. Whether she loves them equally is based on her relationship with each one, and the amount of love they are willing to receive, and accept, based on how much they love themselves.
2. Want happiness for your partner, lover and best friend. After recognizing that everyone has the infinite ability to love, then you must allow yourself the infinite ability to give love and this is best done by wanting your lover, partner, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. to be happy. If they are flirting with someone at a party, instead of feeling jealous, try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Does this make him/her happy? If so, make room for allowance. A little flirtation never hurt anyone, and in fact…it may make for better sex.
3. Accepting (loving) their past. If love is infinite, this should make it easier to accept ex’s, past relationships, familial ties, etc—that ex-boyfriend that she still talks to or that strange relationship he has with his mother. You will now be able to make more allowances for them to exist. They do not take away from how much your partner loves you.
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