If a person only pretends to love you, the person’s actions come off as ‘seemingly loving actions (SLAs)’. Eventually, and at some future date, if a person attains to selfish outcomes that were motive for SLAs, they cease to do stuff they used to do; the relationship breaks down. If the person in question (The Pretender) is unable to obtain desired selfish outcomes, SLAs cease, are replaced by unloving actions, the relationship breaks down.
Whenever people refuse to be honest with themselves, they tell themselves breakdowns occur in relationships merely because relationships have run their course. Whenever people refuse to analyze relationships, refuse to look themselves in the eye for arrival at insights as to sources of breakdowns, they practice self deceit, refuse to learn from past experiences.
There always are rationales for breakdowns in relationships. A potential rationale? Pretense.
Let us distinguish love that is not pretentious (“true love”) from love that flows from pretense (“pretense love”). Prior to dissolution of pretense love into it’s true nature, pretense love appears to be true love. In absence of discernment of hidden motives, and prior to manifestation of hidden motives, arrival at differentiation between true love and pretense love inherently is difficult. Given motives are non-corporeal (invincible to the natural or physical senses), and require passage of time for discernment, there always exists some period of time within which SLAs can be evidence for either of true love, or pretense love.
Love is more than actions. Love is combination of motives and actions. While actions are seen, motives are non-corporeal, have to be inferred, discerned, deduced.
In absence of determination of motives, and prior to dissolution of pretense love into relationship breakdowns, deciphering of true nature of SLAs is difficult. With the realization in mind that, regardless of achievement or not of selfish motives, relationships built on pretense love break down, lack of capacity for deciphering of pretense love can be costly. In presence of pretense love, you end up spending odes of time on a relationship that, regardless of your character, treatment of others, or quality of your actions ultimately breaks down.
If you develop capacity for inferring of the true nature of SLAs, you save yourself odes of time on relationships that ultimately are destined to go nowhere.
Before we get into “how exactly to best respond to pretense love”, it is important to understand how not to arrive at mistakes in attempts at deciphering true nature of SLAs. While no one is absolutely perfect, understanding of basic principles always helps with avoidance of mistakes.
Whenever two people have opportunity for connection with each other, there usually is some uncertainty as to the extent to which desire for friendship is mutual. This uncertainty typically is evident in tentativeness. It is important to understand that tentativeness typically is not evidence for presence of pretense love. Tentativeness signals a person is sensitive to others’ desires, will not seek friendship at all costs, will not insist on levels of friendship you choose not to make available. Tentativeness arrives at friendship only if desire for friendship is mutual.
In an increasingly fragmented and heterogeneous world, tentativeness is evidence that a person understands friendship no longer can be taken to be a given, no longer can be construed to be part of the commonality of our existence. In ancient times, people did not travel much, lived on ancestral lands, neighboring families had known each other for generations. There was commonality, there was knowing of each other, typically there was uniformity of belief systems, there was understanding. In that world, and in context of formation of friendships, there hardly was need for tentativeness. Friendships were generational, already existed.
In today’s world, neighbors, coworkers come from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures, races, belief systems. In the United States, outside of rural areas, hardly anyone lives on ancestral lands. Even those who share the same faith have trouble finding friendship within their very own populations.
In an increasingly fragmented world, friendship no longer can be taken as given, no longer can be construed to be an inalienable right conferred by commonality of generational coexistence. In today’s world, in order to be enjoyed, friendship first has to be sought and found.
Evidence of tentativeness in a person with whom you have opportunity for development of friendship typically is not evidence for presence of pretense love.
Consider, however, essence of assertiveness. Assertiveness either attempts to convey essence of self, or attempts to take charge of a relationship. Whenever an assertive person attempts to convey essence of self, they talk about what it is with which they are comfortable or uncomfortable. They focus on helping others arrive at understanding of their boundaries, their likes, their dislikes.
Whenever assertiveness attempts to take charge of a relationship, it attempts to dictate terms of the relationship; attempts to dictate the when and how and what of relationship time, attempts to tell others how to live.
“Take charge” assertiveness can be evidence of pretense love.
Whenever there is uncertainty as to extent to which desire for friendship is pure and mutual, tentativeness is natural substitute for self disclosing assertiveness, is substitute for assertiveness that is evidence for presence of true love.
Tentativeness typically declares that, ‘self disclosing assertiveness for building of friendship will be reciprocated’.
In the quest for development of capacity for deciphering of true nature of SLAs, it is important that you do not yourself devolve into demonstrations of pretense love. If you devolve into pretense love, you are no better than another (aka, The (or a) Pretender) who has targeted you with pretense love. This of course implies you do not yourself come up with any dastardly pretentious plans against a perceived Pretender.
Brackish waterways never have been purified by increase in numbers of people throwing waste into courses of a river.
How then to deal with a Pretender? The best way to get rid of a Pretender is to signal that The Pretender no longer is welcome in your life. Now someone might say, but ‘why not tell it as it is’, ‘why not blow off a Pretender’, ‘why not burn the bridge’ that is connector of the relationship?
The problem with burning bridges is, typically you have to do something wrong — talk nasty, act nasty, hurt deeply — for bridges to get burnt. But if you hurt proactively, this while The Pretender still is winding up to end game of their pretense, still is engaging in SLAs, you become the villain of the story. Rather than coming out of the relationship looking like the person who inferred possibility of being taken advantage of, you become the bad guy or gal. Within context of your decision to hurt first, no objective telling of the story can characterize you to be the good guy or gal. The Pretender wins, characterizes you to have been The Real Pretender in the relationship.
How to blow off a Pretender? The best approach is to become unavailable for spending of time together. When you become unavailable for spending of time together, when you do not reciprocate visits, you signal dissociation from the relationship. Eventually without any wrongdoing you arrive at objective of dissociation from the relationship.
The best way to get rid of a Pretender is to adjust how you spend your time. Attempting to hurt a Pretender to prove you know they are pretending merely casts you as the bad guy or gal. Attempting to blow off a Pretender with words implies you have to get nasty — casts you as the bad guy or gal.
Perhaps you remain unconvinced, continue to believe ‘telling it as it is’, ‘blowing a Pretender off’, ‘burning the bridge’ is best response to suspicion of pretense love.
I ask then, “how exactly do we make the most of our lives?” I would hope you answered, “by choices as to what to do with our time.” If our choices as to how best to apply our time help us make the most of our lives, application of time reallocation to management of Pretenders is consistent with efforts directed at making the most of our lives.
When you muster rudeness for telling off of a Pretender, or when you come up with a dastardly plan for dealing with someone who has yet to hurt you, you allow allocation of your time to be determined by perceived motives of others. At end of the day, nasty words, dastardly plans, and reallocation of time all achieve the same objective — get a Pretender out of your life. Only one of those strategies simultaneously moves you further along towards achievement of life goals and objectives.
When you adopt time reallocation for management of Pretenders, your approach to management of Pretenders is integrated into overarching approach for management of your entire life.
Reallocation of time for dealing with Pretenders possesses an added advantage, which is, given you are not absolutely perfect, there always exists possibility of misreading of motives.
Suppose you infer pretense love, but are wrong, with outcome a supposed Pretender really does care about you. If you hurt that person with words or actions, with words or actions that never can be taken back, you lose a friend. If you reallocate your time, reallocation of your time will not cause the other person to want to hurt you, will induce understanding. The understanding on the part of that person that you seek to pull away (respect for your tentativeness) either becomes equilibrium of the relationship, or induces you to change your mind, induces you to recommit to the friendship. You have then that reallocation of your time either reinforces your perception of pretense, or can induce you back into a friendship. In a world within which friendship is not so easy to come by, the middle equilibrium — ignoring of evidence that a supposed Pretender in reality is not a Pretender —cannot be construed to be a good equilibrium.
Blowing off of people can feel good. Telling of things as they are can give momentary satisfaction. Succeeding at a dastardly plan against a person you perceive to be a Pretender can make you feel more cunning, more subversive. Reallocation of your time towards your objectives makes you feel truly, wholly alive, makes you feel in charge of your destiny.