The Sun News

Don’t mistake pity for love

Love is such a beautiful feeling. It is fun, free and playful. When you are in love with someone who loves you too, you are at peace. You feel happy and radiate. You are not afraid because you know your heart is safe.

We all yearn to be loved. We all need a shoulder to lean on especially when we are down, and going through the darkest moments of our lives. This is the time to guard your heart jealously because you are vulnerable and unable to differentiate what exactly you feel. But unfortunately, at such times, people tend to fall harder thinking they are in love.

Most people fall in love easily when they are down. Their own definition of love is the person who stands by them in their time of need. Just little acts of kindness from a friend or total stranger and they fall passionately for the person. They mistake anyone who alleviates their suffering or protects them from hurt as someone who loves them.

Pity is the compassionate sorrow we feel towards the suffering of others. Show of compassion can feel like a loving attention, and it can make the giver feel like they are acting out of love because compassion is a kind of love that could be mistaken for a romantic love. You should naturally feel pity for someone you genuinely love when they are suffering, but if you take the pity away, what else do you feel for them? What is left when the wounds have healed?

It is very easy to mistake pity for love. We often meet people who are in need and we feel pity and compassion for them. It makes us want to hold, protect, care, and help them heal. Unfortunately, many relationships begin like this. One cares for the other, and it is this flow of suffering and pity that defines and keeps the relationship afloat.

This is not to say that love cannot grow out of a relationship that begins with suffering and pity, but if pity is mistaken for love, what remains when the suffering ends and the people involved become emotionally detached and incompatible?

Most times, when people fall out of relationships they thought was love, they are usually confused because they gave their all to make the other person happy, but they didn’t realize that it was not love they felt but pity. And because the recipient of their pity called it quits, they feel that love is one big lie.

They refuse to accept or even understand that they were confused by their own feelings or definition of what love is. What they thought was love was compassion for another person. They feel hurt after providing solace for the person in need and they refuse to stick around out of pity because nothing else is keeping the relationship going.

At the end of such confused relationships, it is most likely you would hear the hurting partner say, “after all I did for you, even when no one else was there, I stood by you. What else do you want?” The truth is that all you did was out of compassion, and they are bored already because outside your pity, they can’t see anything that makes you both compatible. It’s so bad that you both hardly have anything to talk about any more, so your illusion of love is shattered.

One big mistake people make is to marry or stay put in a relationship out of pity. It is not that they love you or want to spend the rest of their lives with you, but they feel compelled to marry you out of pity for being there for them at their lowest moment. They then marry you as a form of compensation

When you marry or stay in a relationship out of pity, you might eventually meet someone else you are actually interested in and once this happens, you may never be happy in your marriage or relationship again. And the possibility of cheating on your partner either sexually or emotionally with another is very high.

When it comes to settling down, a lot of people look out for those who were there for them in their time of need, not minding whether they are compatible on important life issues. If you settle for a man or woman because of how much they invested in you or how they were there for you when the chips were down, you may be in big trouble already.

True love is genuine and comes from within. When you marry out of pity, your love is fake, it means you are not who you pretend to be. It feels like you are doing your partner a favour by being with them. That relationship will not be a happy one for you because you are likely to feel miserable in it. Regret sets in, contempt and resentment follows, you become total strangers and emotionally distanced..

You need to be loved and wanted, not to be pitied. Nobody does anyone any good, stuck in a relationship for pity sake. If you don’t feel love for him/her, don’t hide under pity, let them go. They will curse, sulk or even hate you now or even till eternity, but you did the right thing not leading them on, they deserve better and so do you.

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