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Making, Taking, Faking Love 15th June, 2009

Posted by Scotty in Life.

Extract from Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus

RomanceEntry #7 – Making, Taking, Faking Love

While one person may choose a path of isolation to dull the pain of a loveless existence, others may choose a dramatically different way.  Not necessarily a better way, just a different one.

Some lives can be explained only by the maddening effect of love.

I have friends who have virtually sold their souls hoping to be loved.  Some mask their pain through indifference, but others through false intimacy.  We all long to belong.  We all need to be connected to something bigger than ourselves.  Whether we like it or not, much of our self-worth is rooted in how others feel or think about us.  If we belong to no one, we begin to feel that we are worthless.  Because of this, we will do almost anything to belong to someone or to belong to something.

Sex, unfortunately, is used as a shortcut to love.

Sex can be the most intimate and beautiful expression of love, but we are only lying to ourselves when we act as is sex is proof of love.  Too many men demand sex as proof of love; too many women have given sex in the hopes of love.  We live in a world of users where we abuse each other to dull the pain of our aloneness.  We all long for intimacy, and physical contact can appear as intimacy, at least for a moment.

Is there any moment that feels more filled with loneliness than the second after having sex with someone who cares nothing about you?

There is no such thing as free sex.  It always comes at a cost.  With it, either you give your heart, or you give your soul.  It seems you can have sex without giving love, but you can’t have sex without giving a part of yourself.

When sex is an act of love, it is a gift.  When sex is a substitute for love, it is a trap.

Have you ever met a fifty-five-year-old womanizer?  It’s pretty sad really.  Most of the ones I’ve known didn’t remain single on paper, just in principle.  In and out of marriages, in and out of relationship, they point to their detachment as proof of their self-sufficiency.  They are the guys in college guzzling the beer and sweating that they would be single for life.  They probably should have kept that commitment.  They looked so cool when they were twenty-two.

Most guys, if they were honest, would admit that they envied them.  What a life—get drunk, sleep with a stranger, throw up, sneak awkwardly out, avoiding all eye contact, get some sleep so you can go to church the next day.  No wonder we wanted to be like them.  They were our heroes in college, unless, of course, we were able to see past the allure of vomit to see what was really going on.

Most of us know these guys just don’t get it.  Love isn’t about volume.  Love isn’t about conquest.  When we live like this, there’s something deeper going on inside us that we’re trying to ignore, even drown out.  We are alone, disconnected, and deficient in love.  Deep down inside we know we cannot fill the vacuum within out souls by consuming people.  We are not only robbing others; we are pillaging our own souls.

Eventually it hits you: you cannot take love; you have to give it.  Love is a gift that cannot be stolen.

You may think you’re having a great time, but you’re actually wasting precious time.  What feels cool at twenty-two leaves you cold at fifty-five.  It’s funny how the people who are often described as great lovers are often unfamiliar with it.  Western culture’s primary male icons have been Casanova, Don Juan, and Rudolph Valentino, and now it’s —— [you fill in the blank].  These, among others, are placed in the category of the world’s greatest lovers.  We should consider this an insult to both men and love.  Love is not about how many people we have used, but about how much we have cherished one person.  I’ve come to find over time that players are the ones who are most afraid.  They are afraid to love, and so they make it a game.  They’re terrified of loving deeply, and so they keep everything superficial.  I think deep inside they wonder whether any woman could actually love them if she really knew who he was.

If you really believe you were capable of loving deeply and profoundly, what in the world would keep you from it?  Is it that your heart so longs for love and longs to love, but you’ve settled for so much less?

Then there are the people who believe in love but do not believe that they are worthy of it.  You find them moving from one destructive relationship to another.  What they call love, any reasonable person would call abuse.  It’s almost impossible to understand why they choose to stay in those relationships.  You can’t seem to talk them out of it.  If you dare say anything about their partners, they are the first to defend them.  They are held hostage by their need for love.  They are made victims because they don’t believe they deserve love, so they settle for whatever they can get.  I have met way too many women who have given their bodies to men as a trade-off for a poor imitation of love.

How can you make sense of a person who moves from one relationship to another, making her body the object of another’s pleasure or abuse, except to acknowledge the painful reality that human beings fear almost nothing more than being alone?



1. Soul Cravings « Work in Progress - 23rd June, 2009

[…] Soul Cravings 22nd June, 2009 Posted by Scotty in Life. trackback Soul Cravings by Erwin MacManus is a thought provoking book.  The book is a series of reflections or short journal entries on the topics Intimacy, Destiny, and Meaning.  Through the book McManus probes these topics and at the same time touches the depths of the longings we all have inside of us that so often drag us away from God.  (For Example, see Taking, Faking, Making Love) […]

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