Is it possible to love too much?
Some people say that you can love too much, but we reckon they’re confusing love with smothering, which you certainly can do too much. People often confuse the two, but smothering can push someone away, rather than draw them closer. How do you know if you’re loving, or smothering, someone? We explore the differences.
• Smothering is selfish: If your displays of affection are rooted in your own insecurities about the relationship, then your motives are selfish, and you’re probably guilty of smothering – even if you think you’re showing love.
• Love is giving: Love is about the other person in the relationship, and being prepared to do anything to make them happy. Even if that is at the expense of your own desires.
• Smothering wants: Do you find yourself always asking your partner where your relationship is going, and demanding answers? Do you crave attention and statements of love from them? Smothering asks for more than it gives.
• Love is patient: Love allows a relationship to continue at a relaxed pace, and doesn’t constantly need to know where a relationship is going, and what the future holds.
• Smothering is oblivious: Part of the reason why people confuse smothering and love is that smotherers will often repeatedly tell their partners they love them, and confuse this with actual love. But this simply sounds needy, and disregards the partner’s true feelings.
• Love is aware: True love doesn’t need to repeatedly force itself on the other person. As above, it allows a relationship to grow naturally, without constantly saying ‘I love you’ in the hope it will get the point across.
• Smothering is relentless: It texts 20 times a day, requires constant phone calls and pushes the other person away, while thinking it’s bringing them closer.
• Love is respectful: Love lets the other half of the relationship be the person they need to be, not the person it thinks they should be.
• Smothering is insecure: Insecurity is the basis of smothering – it is the thing that makes us try to draw someone closer by trying to control their emotions and actions.
• Love is secure: Love knows what it is, and lets the other person be themselves.
Just as trying to protect a plant by covering it up can kill it, relationships need space to breathe and grow. If you find yourself constantly asking your partner for reassurance, ask yourself why. By checking your behaviour, you may be able to adapt and overcome, and emerge being part of a stronger relationship.
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