True love begins when nothing is looked for in return. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
What does that mean?
I have heard a lot of variants of this quote, but many seem to take it in a different direction. To me, this is about the end-game of love, where you end up, and how you get there.
Some seem to think this is about sitting around and waiting (looking for nothing) and waiting for love to find you. It might happen, but I believe this quote is about what you do after you find someone.
It may start as passion, it may start as friends, but you usually want something from the other person. That is what I believe this quote is about, what happens when you still love them, but no longer for what you can get from them.
The quote says that’s when true love begins. You are no longer hanging around them just because they have money, or because they are popular, or because you want something.
It begins when you are there because you want to be with them. Nothing more.
Why is looking for nothing in return important?
To me, until you are looking for nothing in return, you don’t have true love, you have a business transaction. You are there because you want something from them, and are willing to give them what they want in compensation.
While we all have needs and desires, the question to ask is: “Are you only with them because of what you get?” If the answer is yes, you’re still looking for something in return. When you can answer no, then you are past the point of simple transaction.
To me, that is a point of transcendence. You have changed the nature of love from wanting to giving. Yes, there was giving before, but how did you react if they forgot to give in return?
Does that tell you all you need to know about yourself, and if you are still looking for something in return?
Where can I apply this in my life?
While this is typically considered in romantic love, I believe it applies to all forms of love. If a buddy needs some help moving, do you leave in a huff if they forget to buy pizza and beer? Would you leave them by the curb with all their stuff?
What about family? Do you only love them because of what you get from them, or are there times when you look for nothing in return? Yeah, I know it can be dynamic, love one moment, hate the next, but there is something there despite the volatility.
What about you love of humanity? It might not be your first thought, but odds are that you have at least some level of compassion and love for them. And what do you expect from them? It might not be your most intense love, but it might be your truest. Or not, we are, after all, unique and different.
Grab some paper and write down at least a half-dozen people you have some form of love for. It could be romantic, brotherly, or any other kind of love of which you can think. Take a moment and consider what kind of love and how intense or strong it is.
Next to each, list what you get out of the relationship. Attention, access to other friends, intimacy, whatever it might be. Now consider how necessary that which you receive is to your love. Would you stay there if you didn’t get what you wanted? Mark each relationship with yes or no.
This isn’t a personal attack or a judgement. We all do things for reasons. My concern is that you understand those reasons. What do the results tell you about yourself, your relationships, and the people who are part of them? Does it give you any insight into what you are looking for in life?
This exercise might be something you consider when you are getting serious about any loving relationship. Are you in it for them, or for what they give you? We all do things for various reasons, and we justify them in just as many ways.
From: Twitter, @Quotes_on_Love
confirmed at : http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/169612-true-love-begins-when-nothing-is-looked-for-in-return
Photo by John Benson
- Nurturing your relationships (martinamcgowan.com)
- Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it. (philosiblog.com)