Fig. 3.6 “Romantic Couple” by Ambro (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Let us start with a short story of a man who had mental reservation or lying when he didn’t tell his girlfriend that he is already in love with another woman while still in relationship with her. This can be considered a form of deceptive love:
I had a boyfriend for five years and seven months. His name was Anton and we were deeply in love. At least I’d like to believe that he was in love with me, too. We had dreams of getting married in the year 2000 and we agreed to name our first baby girl with both our mothers’ names.
For five years, my life focused on Anton. He was my world and my life, and he always came first. My friends, family, career and even myself came after. My heart and mind were already set on having him as my husband–my lifetime partner. Nothing and no one could change that. His family and friends knew about us and accepted me. They were all kind to me and treated me well. I remember his brothers and sisters introducing me to their friends as “our future sister-in-law”. Everyone thought it would be Anton and me in the end.
Third quarter of this year, we began having frequent fights over small things like where to eat, what movie to watch and whether he would see me or not. He’d tell me he was under a lot of pressure from both his work and his relationship with me so I proposed we “cool off” for awhile. I told him that in the meantime, I wouldn’t call him or see him as often as I wanted to, but I’d always be around if ever he needed me.
Without a second thought, he accepted my proposal and told me to just end the relationship. Joe, it was as if he had just waited for me to initiate the breakup.
I was shocked and surprised. The man I love and gave my life to was letting me go. Though it hurt, I accepted the idea because I thought he was just tired from work and confused. I thought that after a few days, we’d both realize that we really need and love each other.
When we parted ways, I couldn’t help but cry. The following day I called him and asked if we could still talk about it. I asked him the real reason and he told me that he was tired of my demands. He was tired of being committed and just wanted to be alone for awhile. I told him I’d change but Anton remained firm in his decision.
Twenty days after our breakup, we agreed to meet in our old meeting place for dinner. However, he didn’t show up despite my numerous pages reminding him that I was waiting. When the mall closed, I decided to go home and on my way, I saw him with another woman. What made it even painful was that he just ignored me, as if he didn’t see me. For two days, I was absent from work, I didn’t know what to do. I was so confused. I didn’t know what was happening, why he was with that girl when he was supposed to meet me–that same girl my friends saw him with minutes before our breakup…. (Source: http://sobrangcheezy.blogspot.hk/2010/03/joe-dmangos-love-notes-time-to-move-on.html)
Not all forms of romantic love are sincere and honest. Some are deceptive. Romantic partners can appear as angels but deep inside they are motivated to take advantage of the other. Having your heart broken is the easy part; knowing when to move on is the challenge. One must be careful not to enter into a deceptive love relationship. This type of love is based on lies and deceit. And the innocent victim of this type of love will end up frustrated and broken hearted.
Deceptive love is a fake type of romantic love where one or both partners either consciously or unconsciously mislead the other in an effort to dishonestly establish trust and intimacy. The person who engages in this type of romantic love follows a sort of “catch and release” pattern. He or she is more interested in catching more fish (lovers) than in staying in love and maintaining a long-term relationship. His or her intention is ‘to collect” more girlfriends or boyfriends and enjoy whatever social, emotional, and sexual benefits he or she can reap while in intimacy with their partners. But he or she would eventually break up with some of his or her partner/s if he or she becomes dissatisfied with the relationship. This is the case of a person who is tagged as a “playboy” or “playgirl”, a person who likes to establish multiple romantic relationships with other people without serious intention of establishing a lasting relationship or true love.
This is an unhealthy and functional type of “love”. The person falls in love with another for selfish motives. This is common in the social media where anonymous individuals, using fictitious identity, establish romantic relationships with other users through chatting and other digital means of communication. One woman in the Philippines became a victim of this type of love on Facebook. She fell in love with a man she only knew through the social media. After establishing romantic relationship, the man requested her nude photo. Then he extorted her money, demanding that she should give him a certain amount or else he would post her nude picture online.
In the study “Understanding the Routine Expression of Deceptive Affection in Romantic Relationships,” deceptive affection means that an individual in a romantic relationship chooses to express affection he or she does not actually feel. According to this study, non-married individuals expressed deceptive affection about three times a week to romantic partners.
Couples who are not in good terms with their partners usually use deceptive affection to save face, avoid embarrassing their partner or sidestep a situation that may land them in hot water. This can include lying about one’s own feelings or feelings about a partner and expressing affection instead of negative feelings. Some studies showed that couples use verbal and non-verbal affection in hopes that a sweet caress or profession of love will mask their true feelings. The use of affection to lie appears to be a regular activity in romantic relationships. Thus, people can be extra sweet with their partners to gain material favors such as owning a new car, house and lot, or signing a pre-nuptial agreement to gain an inheritance of the wealthy partner. Deceptive affection can actually help maintain a relationship in some cases. But affections in deceptive love are only a facade of the selfish motives of some romantics to take advantage of their partners.