Fr Jim Cogley
In his little book Jonathan Livingston Seagull Richard Bach has a much quoted saying that ‘If you love something you set it free. Only if it comes back to you is it yours forever and if it doesnt it never was’. The measure of love in any relationship or friendship is not the intensity of profession but how free do I feel in relation to this significant other. True love does not permit any form of ownership, control or having any rights over the other. In fact no one can be forced to love another and so any form of coercion is counterproductive. This is why jealousy and attempts at control serve so effectively to destroy the very object of affection. We have an instinctive inbuilt defence mechanish to back off when someone who is refusing to take responsibility for their own neediness and who looks to us to fill it. Even if such neediness served our ego needs in the initial stages of the relationship it quickly wears thin when we begin to feel suctioned into the vacuum of the other persons unmet needs.