True Love

A blogger with more compassion than I have entertains a question from the audience about love:

“I know God loves me, but sometimes I get really lonely…”

Weight has never yet been a problem for me, but it’s not just fat girls that get lonely. As regards to feeling lonely I sympathize with the letter writer, and I know that the emotional weight is not lifted by knowing the “right answer” (most simply, the love of God is enough). Nice theological answer but useless and unhelpful.

However I would find it very difficult to say anything encouraging to this person. First, although it’s not stated, it seems from what is mentioned that the only reason someone might be lonely is an unattractive appearance. This is inconsiderate of the people who are just plain normal and lonely, or the people who are very attractive and lonely because they are only appreciated for their looks. It sounds like a great problem to have, but if you really think about it, it’s far better to have one friend you know is loyal and true than to never know if people like anything other than the pleasure they feel looking at you. When you have no friends, that’s lonely; when you have a million friends but none of them know you, that is desperately lonely.

Second, reinforcing the point above, the positive quality offered is having a “pretty face.” Great, glad you like it. Let’s not be hating on the people with ugly faces. Bluntly, if you want to be liked for your pretty face you deserve to be judged by your appearances. A lover would no doubt love your face, but that is not all he would love and he would not love it less if it became disfigured through some accident or disease.

“Don’t fat girls need love too?” Well that depends entirely on what you mean. If you mean a sexual partner, the answer is no. Neither fat girls nor anyone else “needs” a sexual partner. People have been reliably proven to survive celibacy. If you mean love in its essence, yes, of course everyone needs love. But it is quite possible that you are already surrounded by people who love you. Yes, not in the way you would like; but just because you can’t have a cheeseburger doesn’t mean you are going to starve to death. It’s human to want something and there is nothing wrong with wanting; but don’t exaggerate the effects of not getting what you want.

“Are all guys shallow?” Again, the answer here depends entirely on what question you are asking. The easy answer is yes, they all are. The love of God is deep; the love of man is shallow. Very, very shallow. But if you mean “will men only marry a woman with a body that is advertised in our media as sexy?” the answer is no–obviously no. Women in all shapes, sizes, and conditions are happily married. Look around you. Look at everyone. Stop looking at only the sexy people.

“I want to know the honest (brutally honest) answer to this.” No you don’t. That is the big problem I have here. Loneliness? Yeah, that’s problem. It’s no fun. It affects a lot of people…including normal people, attractive people, and married people. Yes, married people too. “I am like in love with my best friend but he doesn’t even know I’m there because of my weight.” What if it is not your weight? What if you are the one being shallow, focusing on your own appearances? From what you have written it sounds as though you are interested in a man and what you really want to know is if he doesn’t love you in return because he is a morally reprehensible person.

That’s not fair.

The kind of romantic interest you are looking for is not supposed to be always-on, available to everyone. You don’t need to be romantically attracted to someone for a reason and there doesn’t need to be a reason why you are not. Any possible reason to love someone can be matched, later, with an equal reason to stop loving them. Love IS the reason; it is the first cause. Reasons tag along after. In true love, in Godly love, you do not change to become loved; you change because you are loved.

Lonely? Sure, I sympathize. But this way of thinking about loneliness, as though it all depend on your appearances, reinforces, supports, and perpetuates all of the problems it is complaining about.