Counterfeit love

To love someone requires many things—respect, humility, fairness, tolerance, patience—but most of all the overcoming of our own narcissism. Eric Fromm

But some people are unable or unwilling to overcome their own narcissism, their own self-love, and to be able to truly love another.

When we love anything, such as some sport, hobby, pet, or even an object, like a house or car for example, we give it care, attention, and time. It becomes an important part of our lives. When we love a person, we invest time, effort, and energy in them and their welfare. But when it comes to love, some people are all talk and no action.

Some people, such as highly narcissistic individuals, like the mythic Narcissus, focus so intently on themselves that they have little time or interest to spare for anyone else. And because they see others, even a partner, as inferior to themselves, they don’t believe others are worthy of much attention. Such people may sincerely believe that they love their partner or family but fail to give them any more than token attention. They believe that all they have to do to satisfy a partner is to be themselves. They assume that being in a relationship with them is all a partner should ever need or want.

So they see no need to make an effort, to give much, do much. Their idea of love, their expression of love, amounts to little more than tokenism. They only play at meeting other people’s needs. All their efforts are nominal, minimal, perfunctory, forced or hollow. For the most part they have other priorities, more important things to do—work, play, recreation, other people to see, impress, woo or entertain—than try to please a partner who loves them. They are more interested in being loved than in being loving.

So if the word love is contradicted by unloving behaviour we should always believe the behavioural message. Actions do speak louder than words. If someone claims to love you but is off-hand, absent, or disinterested in your well being