Are You Mistaking Illusion for Love? Look Out for These 6 Signs

### Signs You May Be Caught Up in an Unconscious Illusion of Love

We all remember the classic Disney films like “Cinderella” and “The Little Mermaid.” We remember the magical storytelling and the fascinating characters. Feeling enthralled we believed that love was either black or white — and that there’s no in-between. But love is a little more complicated than this.

Despite what we know now, we still tend to get caught up in the illusions of what love is rather than face reality. Luckily, certified trauma professional Linda Meredith shares the top signs you may be caught up in an unconscious illusion of love, and how you can break free from it.

#### 1. The ‘love’ comes with conditions.

Conditional love is dependent on actions and status rather than on emotions. This can be disastrous, as realistically your relationship is bound to go through hard times. As Meredith writes, “I love you includes loving your partner beyond status or material things.” If you or your partner struggles with this, counselor Urvashi Marashi advises you to consider stepping away from the relationship. She writes, “When a relationship affects us negatively and hinders our growth, it’s high time to reevaluate it and at times, end it.” If your feelings aren’t freely reciprocated, it may be time to break up.

#### 2. Your actions in the relationship are fueled by trauma.

To address trauma we have to first recognize and acknowledge how it affects us. Though it may seem obvious, many of us go through life unknowingly dealing with the effects of unresolved trauma. If you experienced trauma in your childhood or previous relationships, it’s possible you may “find yourself repeating cycles from your early life and placing yourself in situations where you may be hurt again emotionally or physically.” In such cases, the relationship isn’t based on love. It’s a trauma reenactment.

#### 3. You experience the toxic quartet: criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt.

Researcher and couples therapist John Gottman found that these four behaviors are the biggest predictors a relationship will end. Let’s face it, expressing criticism constantly doesn’t do much and can have negative consequences over time. Combine this with stonewalling or contempt and your partner can begin to feel as if you don’t love them anymore. If your partner has been unknowingly hurting you, take time to sit down and reflect on your relationship. Is the love as real as you think it is?

#### 4. They insist on double standards.

Double standards can be a deal breaker in any relationship. After all, it’s infuriating for your partner to expect certain treatment if they don’t reciprocate. This kind of hypocritical behavior can be a glaring sign that what you have together isn’t the kind of love you were probably really looking for.

#### 5. The relationship is emotionally immature.

Emotionally immaturity is a breeding ground for emotional trauma if not dealt with promptly. And let’s be clear — disrespect should never be tolerated in any relationship. According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, “Disrespect causes the recipient to experience fear, anger, shame, confusion, uncertainty, isolation, self-doubt, depression, and a whole host of physical ailments such as insomnia, fatigue, nausea, and hypertension.” If you aim to have respectful conversations, make sure you both listen to each other. Don’t talk over each other and never engage in disrespectful behavior such as rolling your eyes. This can come off as dismissive and can leave your partner feeling unimportant. Take timeouts when you feel emotionally overwhelmed and acknowledge your partner’s efforts.

#### 6. One of you wants the other to change but isn’t willing to work on themselves.

Telling your partner to pay attention while scrolling through your phone is a classic example of hypocrisy, given the fact that most of us do it all the time. But as the saying goes, everyone is a hypocrite, including you and me. You can’t expect change if you aren’t willing to change yourself. These confusing double standards will leave your partner feel anxious and demoralized. Sit down with your partner and discuss both of your issues calmly. This conversation is necessary to have if you want to create a fair dynamic together. After discussing, come up with a plan to limit these mistakes. For instance, if communication is an issue for both parties, then agree to set up a time to talk every day. Limit the use of electronics and use this time to reestablish your connection. If you struggle with what to talk about then only ask open-ended questions. You can also create conversation by engaging in new experiences.

Original Story at – 2024-01-31 22:32:25

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