In pursuit of love, it's important to know what love is not.

What does it mean to be in love?

Love is Not Blind

In "Love is Not Blind" I addressed that love does not overlook the humanity of the person. True love attempts to see someone completely & allows someone to trust another fully because they know that you will love them through and through, as another self. It is not a safe investment, but it is a chance to make you aware of your own existence, more yourself than ever, and push you to love like Christ every single day.


So part II of what is becoming a series on love...

The Thief of Love

COMPARISON IS THE THEIF OF JOY is the common idiom

but why?

When I am working with couples, I often ask their advice, and the #1 piece of advice I have received is "communicate." Why?

As humans we are visual creatures. We observe the world around us, we compete, and we compare. Comparison breeds feelings of inferiority or superiority. When you feel inferior, that insecurity can cause frustration with the other, the better, half. When you feel superior, it leads to condescension and thinking less of the other.

The theme is resentment.

So I would encourage a modification of this theme: comparison is not the thief of joy. That does not go deep enough. Resentment is the thief of joy because it blocks communication and breeds indifference.

Resentment blocks communication: Imagine your significant other or friend does something small that frustrates you. Maybe it was an act of being dismissive of your idea, continually not doing the dishes when you ask, not picking up on your frustration about something. You internalize this, dwelling on the minor frustration in your mind to the point where you think they should notice your anger. In fact, the fact that they do not notice it goes to show that they do not care! Often pride feeds into this feeling; you do not want to have to be the person to bring up the issue. You continue to hold that feeling inside and it grows bigger and bigger until they ask what is wrong or you blow your top.

Resentment is the #1 killer of relationships. It's an inner discontent that demands to be noticed without being heard. But in this demand, resentment sabatoges any satisfaction. If the most important advice from couples is to communicate, to hold something close to your heart and dwell on it in anger is the most prevalent source of destruction to relationships.

Resentment breeds indifference: Say it goes further, you are so upset with the other but they cannot put two-and-two together to realize what is wrong. They want you to tell them, you want them to notice. This is frustrating for both of you and goes on until someone breaks or indifference takes over. "So what?" You wonder, "I guess they will never notice. I guess we cannot communicate. I guess you don't care enough to try." This resentment is so subtle that it can be hard to recognize, but hurts all the more because both parties feel it. The only solution is to decide that you do not care. You become indifferent to them.

Resentment is an inner discontent that demands to be noticed without being heard. But in this demand, it sabatoges any satisfaction.

The Thief of Love

How to Defeat Resentment

  • Develop self awareness. When you are upset, look internally in prayer and inner dialogue to figure out why. Be honest with yourself.
  • Ask yourself questions. When did I start feeling this way? What did they do that triggers this emotion? At what point in the day do I usually experience this? What do I truly want them to do? If they were to ask how they can fix this problem, what would I say? Prepare yourself to communicate well.
  • Once you know or think you know the root cause of your discontent, communicate it to your significant other or friend.
  • Instead of saying "You did this..." say "It feels like you are..." Instead of accusing, speak from what you know for certain: how you feel. Then allow them to bring their perspective and experience in. This language will provide a better foundation for conversation.
  • Be open to being corrected or compromising: your perspective might have been skewed or missed something important. Address in humility knowing you may learn something new.
  • Consider the time of day: confrontation isn't good in every moment. Bring it up at a time when you are both comfortable and able to sit down and talk. If it's hard to find that time, you may have to schedule it or preface the conversation. Ask, "Can we talk this evening? I have something on my mind."

Quick Tips:

When you say you forgive someone, mean it.

If you don't mean it, you need to look inward and see what is actually bothering you. Don't let someone suffer because you do not feel like forgiving them. Forgiveness is a gift. It is not earned; it is freely given.

Communicate daily.

In your relationship, make time to talk over things. You may have to schedule it in, with a walk or a coffee date, but make sure there is space/time to discuss things that will inevitably come up.

Practice courage

The first few times especially, this will be scary. But as people come to know you and understand where you're coming from, confrontation becomes easier and easier with trust.

Acknowledge the gift of confrontation.

Don't make it a horrid experience. Even if you disagree, you should notice and acknowledge that you appreciate them caring enough to bring something to your attention BECAUSE if they did not, that would harm the relationship.

Confrontation shows care. If they did not care about the relationship, they would not work to make it right.

The thief of love