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Enemies of Love

Updated on August 15, 2012

Love is Not Indestructable

The primary definition of love at is "a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person." In the famous passage of the Christian New Testament, I Corinthians 13:4-8,love is given this description: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

The former definition describes the feeling of love, the latter love's ideal characteristics. One might say that the New Testament description provides lovers with a picture of what love should be, that is, ideal love or "true love."

There some of the enemies of love are listed:

  • Impatience
  • Unkindness
  • Envy
  • Pride
  • Impoliteness
  • Self promotion
  • Anger
  • Remembering of wrongs
  • Lying
  • Hopelessness, despair

If I'm missing any in the passage, let me know. There are other enemies of love as well, but for now let's just deal with these.


Impatience is the unreasonable desire for a thing to be, now. Rule of thumb, unreasonability is an enemy of love. If you want love to grow and prosper, be reasonable.


This is an interesting one. If you love someone, why would you be unkind to them? One would think that if you loved a person, you would want that person to feel good. In dealing with your loved one, therefore, kindness, softness and deference are the key.


Envy is a dividing force. It implies, "You have and I don't." Love would say, "I'm glad you have. Enjoy." If it's something that can be shared, your loved one will probably share it with you voluntarily, provided they love you, too. Yes, you can love someone who doesn't love you back. And if you love them, you don't envy them, you are happy for them.


"I'm so proud. Look at my loved one, I'm so proud of her." What is s/he, your horse? "I'm so proud of my poetry." What if your loved one doesn't like your poetry? Is your pride then wounded? I would say it is okay to take pride in your work, to be proud of your children within reason, to be proud to be associated with someone as wonderful as the person you love. However it is wrong to let your pride lapse into any kind of proprietary feelings or to be a source of division. If you place the one you love above yourself, you will do just fine.


This is about respect. No one deserves respect more than the person you love. To be impolite or rude is to show disrespect. Disrespect and love are like oil and water. Always show the one you love respect.

Self Promotion

In this world, we often must do some self promotion to get ahead. In love, there is no need for self promotion because your love is your equal, has always been your equal, and will always be your equal. If you use a person you supposedly love to raise yourself above them, you are degrading them and therefore you do not love them. If you love a person, you will promote them, and in a loving relationship, you will always be promoting each other.


There are heated, violent arguments around this issue, ha ha.

I'm not sure we can completely free ourselves of anger. Yet an angry response is not a loving response. If you love a person you will leave before you deal with them in anger. You will deal separately with your anger and then come back with a cool head and give them the deference and softness they deserve.

One take on love and anger comes from another Broadway musical, Avenue Q. "The More You Ruv Someone". It's true that no one can push your buttons like the one you love. Keep a cool head. The most stupid things you ever say will be said in anger.

Making Lists of Wrongs

People make mistakes. If you love a person, you will tend to give the person the benefit of the doubt. You will wait for their explanation and will forget the wrong immediately after. Why? If you keep a list of the wrong things they did, the list will become a wedge driven between you.

Now, there are exceptions. Some things some people find to be unforgivable. There is such a thing as abuse. If you think someone is abusing you, it might be helpful for you to make a list of their abuses so that you can see them more clearly.

Ending a relationship is difficult, but often necessary. Abusive relationships must be ended.


Telling the truth is not always the best idea, but ideally it is always the best choice. I am not talking about the "does this look my ass look big" question. In general, if you do something wrong, you should own up. If you love someone, you should have no need or desire to deceive them. If you are sneaking around to have an affair, either stop yourself or talk to your partner about your feelings, why it is you feel drawn to this other person. It is better to hurt your lover with the truth than let them discover later that you lied to them.

Hopelessness and Despair

Nothing is as big a turn-off as negativity. Be positive! You're in love! Things are great! No matter what else is going on in your life, at least you have this wonderful person who loves you! So quit being such a downer and slap a smile on that mug. That's better.

In Children of Eden, a musical by Stephen Schwartz based on the the book of Genesis in the Jewish Torah, the lyrics say that "the hardest part of love is the letting go." Yet if you think about it, letting go is a no-brainer. If you love someone, why wouldn't you let them do what they want to do and go where they want to go?

It's the possessive quality of love that gets us into this kind of trouble. That's where all the jealousy, suspicion and betrayal come from. A great deal of this possessive quality comes from the idea that a person can only be in love with one other person. There is a very good case for this, but it is not always true.

You have to ask yourself, "If I love this person, don't I really want them to be happy? If not with me, then with someone else?"

I know this is a lot to ask, but what is better? To go from love to hatred and blame, and live feeling that you were wronged because someone's feelings for you changed, or weren't what you hoped they'd be?

I think that it is better to love than to hate and better to forgive than to blame. But maybe that's just me. What do you think?

Does love die when a relationship dies, or is love forever?

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    • Madison22 profile image

      Madison 8 years ago from NYC

      Great hub tom!! Nice how you broke it down...I really enjoyed reading it.

    • Zollstock profile image

      Zollstock 8 years ago from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW

      What a great way to unravel this passage and identify the enemies, Tom. Maybe the true value and strength of love are defined by how we deal with those very enemies when they come and tap us on the shoulder?

    • profile image

      Iphigenia 8 years ago

      The enemies of love list is a great check list to bear in mind - and so I shall.

      Romantic Love is complex - but I don't think it can die when it is "over". The feeling that dies was probably not love in the first place - but a combination of neediness, affection and lust.

      Love for people other than those with whom we are romantically involved can be much more straight forward.

      Love for our children can create hostages to that love - we have to let them grow away from us as they mature in order for the love to keep growing.

      I love love.

    • jayb23 profile image

      jayb23 8 years ago from India

      Great points tom. These are indeed enemies of love and unless and untill we overcome them love cannot succeed.

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 8 years ago from australia

      Thank God love dies when it is over. For me it does if I am hurt in the relationship. Pain turns to anger then anger turns to indifference for the pain and anger I went through.

    • Jodi Hoeksel profile image

      Jodi Hoeksel 8 years ago

      This is a great hub topic, Tom. I really like how you described love. I feel it depends on how the relationship ends to know what, if any love remains afterwords. At best if love shall not remain, hopefully a neutral feeling and appreciation for the time.

    • AsherKade profile image

      AsherKade 8 years ago from Texas

      I clicked this hub rating reminds me of a nice and sweet way to address domestic abuse...

    • blue.lotus profile image

      blue.lotus 8 years ago from Cali

      I really enjoyed your topic... and as for the last question, maybe it depends on each particular relationship as it looks like your votes are pretty much even between both sides.

      As for me, if I've truly fallen in love with someone, that love will continue. However, I think sometimes we think we loved this person in our lives, but look back 10 or 15 years later and see what really stands out.

      With some who have been in my life, I shake my head and think "oh, honey, that wasn't love. I'm not sure what the hell it was, but not love."

      Can't wait to read more of your stuff!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 8 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Miss Jamie!

      Thanks for the interesting reference, Fishskin!

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 8 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      I love how you look at love:) So sweet and honest, I adore those qualities. Thanks for the hub. Amazing as usual!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 8 years ago from United States

      Thanks so much, Shibashake!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 8 years ago

      I love this hub and I love you for writing it! :) I can't say that I am successful at following all your excellent points, but I try my best to stay on the road ...

      All the people you love are very lucky to have you in their lives.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 8 years ago from United States

      Why thank you, Wesley.

    • wesleycox profile image

      wesleycox 8 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

      Great hub Tom, very good topic to discuss.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 8 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Ivan.

    • Ivan the Terrible profile image

      Ivan the Terrible 8 years ago from Madrid

      I am fortunate that the love of my life and I remain togather, often in the face of adversity. If we parted I would still be in love with her, and I believe, she with me.