Looking for Love in the Wrong Places

In her poem, "Why Do I Love Thee?," Elizabeth Barrett Browning writes:

"I love you, not for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you."

Love makes you to be at your best. Not just for the one you love. But for the whole world as well.

In our times and culture, love can be poisoned. Many are love casualties because of serious psychological problems and emotional hang ups.

Such internal state leads them to look for love in the wrong places.

A few weeks ago, Rowena, a local woman was telling me in-session that she had "no choice."

She's living in with a foreigner overseas, whom she described as "addicted to sex," because he supports her family financially back home.

Rowena was a battered child and sexually abused teen. She'd get hooked with men in order to leave an oppressive, poverty-stricken home.

Each man whom she had sex or relationship with in the past, she'd say "I love you." Even amidst being abused, used, or jilted, she claimed it's love on her part.

Indeed, emotional hang ups or psychological wounds can cause individuals to look for love in the wrong places.

What they say as love is actually "pseudo-love." Its non-love masquerading as love.

Emotional problems involving "pseudo-love" include a variety of other situations or possibilities.

Marriage for money, status, or pride of possession. Marrying a symbolic father or mother image. Rebound romance after infidelity or being jilted.

Jealousy, the big, sick kind. Possessiveness. Sexual addiction. Severe loneliness. In love with "love" magic. Deep or sudden losses. Betrayal wounds.

The list is longer.

When emotional wounds are unhealed or unprocessed, the more a person is prone to look for love in the wrong places.

Truthfully, we can only find love in the right places when we truly love ourselves first.