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Emotional Stinginess

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My dear Jil, there’s such a thing as emotional stinginess. You can’t be emotionally stingy in your relationship. You want a boyfriend who fawns over you, telling you he loves you… But you deliberately hold back on reciprocation. You don’t want to be emotionally forthcoming, or even gracious, just so you’ll be in control of the relationship. It smacks of meanness, borders on coldness, manipulatedness and hardness. It’s a narcissus complex. If the guy adopts the same self-induced emotional constipation what do you think will happen? 

There’s that ding-dong between boys and girls – who’ll blink first, who’ll say “I love you” first, who’s turn it is next… The artificiality of emotional metrics thus unleashed says a lot about the quality of such relationship! A deliberate suppression of emotions evinces insecurity. There’s no sincerity. Yet you expect sincere expressions of love. Can’t you see the selfishness? This is not about playing hard to get. It’s all about control, being in charge. Control, manipulation, insincerity, selfishness, pretentiousness, calculatedness… These are not relationship words. You want to collateralize affection first, be sure, secure. Then you’ll decide to consider. And you can’t see despite! The guy must totally commit to your terms and satisfaction first, before you’ll even consider the relationship. You want him at a disadvantage in a prospective relationship. A prospective relationship! You actually believe you’re doing the guy a favour. This despite your counter-factual circumstances. You’ll wait long! Such disposition reeks of “smartness” – taking others for a fool? Of course you’re smart!

You’re delusionally self-important. And you can’t see why the resultant relationships don’t lead to marriage. The kind of man you want is the emotionally generous type. But such men also want an emotionally generous woman. One who volunteers affection. You defeat your quest by being parsimonious and penurious with your affection and emotions. Even if you succeed in snagging this guy you’ll eventually destroy the marriage. You’ll rob it of emotional nutrient. Withholding of affection is one of the leading causes of divorce. Those who withhold affection are often reacting to somebody or something in their past. It’s an ideological stand. And here’s another thing you may not know: stinginess has an aura. And it’s off-putting.

Your emotional stinginess is why your promising relationships become terminal. The men don’t want to be locked down in marriage with a self-centered and emotionally stingy person. You subscribe to the philosophy of he who loves less controls more; only you fail to examine the yield of that philosophy. (This is hard stuff I’m writing, but someone has to tell you the truth. Better me than life). You won’t get the kind of love you want or need pursuing that philosophy. There is a reciprocity embedded in love. It’s designed to be reciprocated – elicit responsiveness. If you breach the fundamental nature of love it’s no longer love. The fundamental nature of love is generosity of heart.

Stinginess is stinginess, be it material stinginess or affection stinginess. Love is openhearted and open-fisted. Despite its genre, emotional giving is still regulated by the law of sowing and reaping. It regulates all givings. The level and quality of emotional generosity you mete out to others is the level and quality you’ll receive. It’s not because people won’t want to love you, it’s because your nature will block it. The stingy always deprive themselves. They can’t see it because generosity is too big for a Lilliputian world.

At some point the guy will get the game, and he’ll start feeling cheated though he may not say a word. But he’ll get to know you and define your disposition. You become predictable to him. He’ll perform his obligations but he’ll relate to you like one shaking his head from an inner knowing. And if he has a choice he’ll get out of the relationship – because he knows you can’t begin to understand. How’s he going to show you you when you don’t even have a mirror for self-reflection? There’ll be arguments.

Giving can’t be one-way in a marriage or relationship. That has consequences. And the quality of the gift counts as much as the disposition of the giver. A generous giver gives the best gift. A relationship does well when both parties are generous with each other, to each other. But you can’t keep taking the other person for a fool. Or you’ll marry a fool. And then you are! On your birthday you receive all these wonderful gifts and effusiveness of praise through cards. He doesn’t send one card, he sends several bearing various tidings of emotions of love. This apart from his generosity with affection through text messages – loving texts that give you a sense of well-being. But then comes his birthday and you resort to tokenism. You give him just enough to mark his birthday. It’s just a fulfillment order. You’re doing the obligatory, fulfilling all righteousness. What if things were reversed? Would you like to be so treated? So why do it? You can’t even control yourself again!

“Would you like to be married to you” is a valid question we must all begin to ask ourselves. How loving are you? A selfish love is an oxymoron. You stand a high chance of losing such a wonderfully generous man. And you’re hurting yourself. He won’t complain because of his giving nature, but at some point he’ll question his choice of you. Now he may resign himself to your relationship, but that would be for private reasons. But he’ll be pained every time you do stuff. He won’t understand why you hurt yourself so much.

There is something about sincerity of heart in a relationship. What is a relationship without it! The thing about manipulativeness is that those contrivances actually alter personality. Your prettiness makes you an attractive proposition, but your pettiness makes you a repulsive proposal. You can’t want commitment without being willing to give commitment. It’s a contradiction in terms. You need to renounce that philosophy of stinginess. It makes you emotionally light in spirit. Think about what that means.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Dating, Relationships, Selfishness
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