The Difference between Real Love and Illusionary [l]ove

The Difference between Real Love and Illusionary [l]ove: A poem in prose


Real Love: Enduring --- Relationship --- Love --- is calming, steadfast, and steeling. It isn’t rife with drama, fear, and trepidation.

Real Love doesn’t steal your heart, but gifts it back to you … sweeter, enriched, beautified, cherished ------- elevated into further perfection.

When you meet Real Love, you don’t feel you are fighting to catch an elusive butterfly, scared it will escape if you blink or make a wrong movement; but experience, instead, the grace and delight of the butterfly landing on your nose to say, “Hello!,” and glory in the kiss of the flutter of its wings against your cheek.

Real Love doesn’t play games, requiring you to jump through impossible hoops. Rather, it asks you to frolic: carefree and wild. Your shared truths are your guides, never feeling the need to cloak who you are, nor what you want. Real Love invites you to shed the shroud around your heart, expose your true visage, bare your soul to be and express who you really are. And in return, Real Love rewards you with an acceptance so profound you will feel it to your core. Fearless.

Real Love has side effects:

PASSION … desire based on your love, shared lives, and a physical longing to demonstrate your oneness,

INTERDEPENDENCE … you build a life together of love and shared experiences and therefore depend upon each other in daily movements, while maintaining your core of individuality, and

YEARNING for your lover … because you are two parts to an infinite whole, complete in your selves, yet complete-r, still, in the embrace of each other. Feeling safe, secure, and loved when together or apart; yet always smiling: bigger, joyously happier, more contentedly, together, when you fall back into each others’ arms after having been absent...

But society has taken these side effects and Torn - Us - Apart.

Cultural imperatives, communal scripts, and the stories we continue to allow to be propagated and served to us and our children, in our music, in our “entertainment,” and in our tragic, drama-filled, news tell us that Real Love [as I have described above] does not exist. Instead, we are force-fed an illusionary, sick version that is destined to kill us.

We are led to mistake obsession and lust, the unhealthy, hypnotic surge of emotion, and dangerous stalker-esque actions as the Passion of Real Love when in fact they are subterfuge to perpetuate confusion, pain, and commotion.  

We are programmed to think that dependency is good, when it is a symptom of insecurity, lack of boundaries, the demand for someone else to supply our inner needs; while the Interdependency of Real Love involves building relationship structures, understandings, cosmos, and experiences together. 

We are trained to believe that pining for another human being; being afraid of them yet hoping they will turn their gaze to us is romantic. While the Yearning of Real Love regards the joyful coming home of two complete wholes back into total oneness.

Songs and movies are about the struggle of getting together and never about the bliss of the life that comes after. We have become addicted to the Chase, the Push-Pull, the Game, the “Does he or Doesn’t he” part of Wondering, Pondering, Wishing, and Hoping. We think we must be ~drunk~ on each other to FEEL, without knowing that drunkenness fades and we are left with nothing. As a result most of our species doesn’t know how to “love.” Most people have no idea what partnering is ALL ABOUT.

They only know how to hunt. Their whole thrill is in the pursuit. Marriages end. Family systems die the slow. . .and. . .angry. . .death of divorce because they think the actual LIVING of a life together cannot compare to the pursuit -- unless…

Unless we start to change our story. Unless we teach our children that the dramatic stuff of songs and film is Bullshit. Unless we show them that Real Love has nothing to do with pining away, obsessing, filling up your inner holes with someone else and depending on them to make you okay. We can change it all.





We must stop. We must learn to be complete beings, ourselves, before engaging in personal interactions. Otherwise we invite a whole new generation of humans into abusive relationships.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

We can tell our selves and our children the truth about love. We can show them how easy --  and beautiful -- and calm -- and relaxed -- and life-affirming . . . Real Love can be.

Are you ready?


The difference between Real Love and Illusionary [l]ove: A poem in prose was inspired by an interaction Emily had with her nine year old daughter in which she watched her daughter's eyes go dewy over a "romantic" song about pining for an unattainable relationship. They promptly had a conversation about the difference between manufactured romance and Real Love, the foundation for this poem. Emily had hoped her marriage to Scott would be the example for her daughter that Real Love is kind, calming, and drama-free; but, through this experience, realized that cultural influences can still be strong and override her home experiences. Conversations are important to dispel the myths she is learning in the world.

Emily A. Filmore is the author of the With My Child series of children's books about family bonding. She is the co-author of Conversations with God for Parents with Neale Donald Walsch and Laurie Lankins Farley. (Rainbow Ridge, 2015). And the author of The Marvelous Transformation: Living Well with Autoimmune Disease about her experiences with chronic illness. (Central Recovery Press 2015).