Inspired and Blessed by Bob Acebedo
Inspired & Blessed

Love Is Blind, But Beware of ‘Deal Breakers’

Dec 4, 2021, 12:38 AM
Bob Acebedo

Bob Acebedo

Columnist

Perhaps, not a few may have come across this story:

“A blind girl was so depressed that she couldn’t see. The only person she would tolerate was her boyfriend, who was unconditionally devoted to her. One day she said to her boyfriend, ‘If I could see the world, we could travel and get married in the most beautiful place’. Months passed, and one day she received a letter in the mail that an eye transplant was available for her. She quickly accepted the surgery. After recovering, she opened her eyes and began to see for the first time. She looked up and saw her boyfriend standing there. He said to her, ‘Now that you can see, let’s travel the world and get married!’ A few moments passed, only for the woman to notice that her boyfriend was blind. Heartbroken, the woman did not know how to emotionally process it and immediately broke up with her loving boyfriend. A few weeks later, she found a letter in her mailbox from her ex-boyfriend that read: ‘The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen, they are felt. Take care of my eyes dear, I love you’.” End of story.

Whether the story is true or fiction is of no moment of interest to us. It is the message it conveys that matters most. The blind girl and her boyfriend are definitely friends, but it is not clear from the story’s opening lines if the blind girl ever loved the boy. But we can see at the end of the story that the boy truly loves her.

The blind girl’s journey, from physical blindness to gaining sight, enabled her to see that her boyfriend was blind like her before. That brought her to the realization that she did not love him after all, and she then decided to break up with him. On the other hand, her faithful boyfriend, who had normal vision, chose to go blind for the girl’s sake, thus showing his love for her to be authentic.

Is true love really blind? In a sense, yes.

When you are in love, you are “blinded” so that you fail to see the limitations and flaws of the one you love. You do not see the lurking dark clouds but only the appealing colors of the rainbow. And even if faced with the reality of flaws of the beloved, true love accepts those limitations, but does not judge; it seeks to understand beyond the flaws.

But, why does love make us blind even to toxic aspects of our intimate relationships?

Lawrence Josephs, Ph.D., in his article “Why Love Is Blind” in psychologytoday.com, suggests that blind love is not totally a bad thing and is essential to a lasting relationship.

“Accepting our partners’ imperfections, warts and all, appears to be an essential ingredient of successful long-term relationships. A relationship isn’t going to work if your partner is treated as a permanent fixer-upper who will never be good enough, no matter what they do to make you happy,” Josephs wrote.

But, we may ask further, are there certain imperfections that we shouldn’t have to accept in a long-term relationship that must be fixed to our liking, or we should get out rather than settle?

Relationship scientists distinguish between “necessities”, “luxuries”, and “deal breakers” when it comes to our preferences in picking a romantic partner. A “necessity” might be some minimum standard of good looks or sexual chemistry. A “luxury” might be needing a partner who is the sexiest person he/she has ever met. A “deal breaker” might be someone you feel zero sexual chemistry.

The major “deal breakers” are infidelity, alcohol or substance abuse, physical, emotional or verbal abuse, and failure to contribute to family finances. Yet, there are people who out of “love” choose to remain blind to such behaviours of their partners, hoping that their partners will change over time and because of “loss aversion” or fear of ending the relationship.

For Lawrence Josephs, “deal breakers” are imperfections or toxic behaviours that we should get rid of – particularly, of our blindness.

“Living with deal breakers and rationalizing them can extract a high emotional cost. You can’t feel securely attached to someone who cheats on you, mistreats you, doesn’t financially support you, and loves their alcohol and drugs more than they love you. It’s not good for your self-respect if you settle for this sort of treatment day in and day out without any end in sight,” Josephs reasons out.

And, how to get rid of “loss aversion”? By choosing self-respect and letting go of the toxic relationship.

Josephs verily points out: “We free ourselves from toxic relationships once we overcome our loss aversion. Once we choose our own self-respect over our attachment to our irreparably flawed partners, we become capable of leaving a bad relationship without looking back and without regrets. We must let go of the sense of failure that we couldn’t make a toxic relationship work, we must let go of the sense of unlovability that we didn’t deserve to be treated any better than what we got. We must convince ourselves that we are better off on our own and that we deserve to do better and can do better in the future.”

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