Train of Thought: Love and Indifference

First, I never been in a relationship so I'm far from being an expert on matters relating to them. This is more of a train of thought than anything.

Also, I felt compelled to write this because last night I was talking to a dear friend of mine about relationships and love and somehow we ended up talking about cheating and why people hurt so much over it. And so i thought about it, and thought about it some more.


When someone says that he/she loves you with all their heart and soul, you know they're lying when you find out the truth and they show indifference to the pain that was caused. At that instant, you know that the love you expected in return, the love you dreamed about and desired so much, doesn't exist and more than likely never existed. Once you have fulfilled the purpose your partner had in mind for you such as sex, attention, money, popularity, etc., this indifference is revealed more and deep down your heart senses it. As you may know, hate is not the opposite of love. Indifference is the opposite of love...

Imagine our hearts as cups that only can be filled with love. When it's filled, we're happy. On the contrary, when our hearts (cups) are empty (void of love), there's this huge sadness; it's an emptiness that in turn results in us longing for happiness, longing to be filled with love. This is most likely the pain one feels in his/her heart when his/her heart has been depleted. Now...indifference in this case would be the lack of concern, desire, or motivation to have this cup filled, whether it's your own or someone else's.

So what does this mean in terms of a loving relationships?

Imagine two hearts that pour love into each other (like cups) unconditionally. Emptiness isn't an issue in this case because no matter how much love you put into your own life, your work, your children if you have children, etc...there's always someone there that is more than willing to refill your heart and you in turn are always there to refill his/her heart as well. And so you and the person you love become this mutual and yet seemingly infinite source of each others happiness. Isn't that what we consider a true loving relationship? Isn't that the true love that we all seek? I still wonder sometimes...

But what happens when there is indifference? What does it mean? I sometimes struggle with what it all means myself and I'll try explain my idea of it.

Imagine that you form an agreement, a mutual agreement, with someone else to pour love into each others hearts  (again like cups). What happens when the one you love, the one you willingly and happily pour your love into, doesn't really care to fill your heart or to have you fill theirs? What happens when you pour your love into someone else's heart but they in turn pour theirs into someone else's? You get hugs in return, kisses in return, sex in return, and probably many other things in return, but the love isn't really returned. We often accept these forms of affection as objectifications of love, BUT that doesn't mean the love exist. What is there, however, is indifference; not the indifference you see when one doesn't care about politics for instance, but its the kind of indifference that mainly your heart notices and often feels.
Sometimes we deny what our heart is telling us because our minds interprets different forms of affection as love, and so according to our minds our hearts are being filled (or refilled) when in actuality it isn't. Simply put: your part of the agreement wasn't in line with theirs. They don't care whether or not your heart is filled with love and often times they particular don't care if YOU fill theirs. There's something else they wanted you to fulfill and often times it would be things that we interpret as love such as affection or even intimacy for that matter. So maybe they only cared about the sex, the attention, etc. And they may provide these things in return, but its not necessarily love. It doesn't mean they are pouring love into your heart. They don't particular care to do so, though they may care about your mind believing that they do...
And so because you're pouring your love into someone else's heart that isn't pouring back and is in fact indifferent about it, your heart slowly becomes empty and you slowly begin to long more for love. However your mind may interpret certain forms of affection as love and so you desire more and more those things that objectify love but don't necessarily equate to love. When you get these things, your mind tells you that your heart is indeed being filled and you fail to notice that quite the opposite is taking place; the emptiness is growing. You fail to notice that your source of 'happiness' is actually a source of pain, of bitterness, of anger, and most of all a source of sadness. When we discover our partners providing this affection to someone else and realize that this affection is not the love we thought was being poured in our hearts, is this the reason why we experience this huge pain in our hearts? Is it because we have just realized that the emptiness has taken place long before we discovered the truth about our partners (or ex-partners)? Is this what happens when the victim of cheating suddenly breaks down? I still wonder this as well..

What i do realize now after thinking about this is that maybe there are other sources of love.

I can remember the time I went to church (when I was much younger) and watching people that were just happy to praise God and the phrase that always stuck with me is "God loves us all". And no matter how hard life is, no matter how much love we pour into others and our surroundings, as long as we have God in our hearts, we are "saved". My grandparents told me that. I used to not care at first, but now I wonder...

Tummie Tummie
26-30, M
15 Responses Mar 1, 2009

This was a good post. Thanks for showing how messed up I am. I have an "empty cup" and I'm "indifferent" because my cup can't get filled. And I can't fill up anyone elses "cup". This is why I'm single.

I am indifferent, & empty. I am married. Sad.

Thanks :) Wow! It's been awhile since I wrote this post lol. If I remember correctly, I was typing this while the thought was still processing in my head.

Wow I think you could have shortened your talk.However I also believe you hit it on the nail mostly

"And so because you're pouring your love into someone else's heart that isn't pouring back and is in fact indifferent about it, your heart slowly becomes empty and you slowly begin to long more for love."<br />
<br />
I couldn't have said it better myself...!

you have a brilliant perspective, and.. in someways spot on.

Thank you for your response Tekkamaki. And once again I feel like I'm learning more and more about love as I continue to receive feedback on this post.

Great story. Thank you for this!<br />
<br />
Love doesn't need first hand experience to understand though. Sometimes thinking we need to know first, it leads us to have expectations and expectations lead to limitations to our love. And then our love becomes conditional. Sure there are conditions to showing respect and kindness but love is best unconditional. That means that two people already know they will respect and care in the relationship. That needn't be questioned. But sometimes it is...<br />
<br />
Because sometimes we get hurt in life. We lie to keep each other. We hide so they won't see all our bad sides. We run thinking someone would catch us. We play with love as if it were a game...then we all end up getting hurt in the end.<br />
<br />
It is true. Hate is not the opposite of Love. But neither is Indifference. Love is the ultimate origin of life and death. Every emotion and definition is a variation of lack, absence, mutilation, or obsession with love. It's sad that it gets suppressed to being an emotion or represented in little cartoonish heart pictures. Love is much bigger than what people give it credit for. Some people call it God. Some people call it Life. Some people call it Pain. But what it is, we are all here for.

Thanks tendereyes for your kind words. I hope one day I will understand love and that it will become more than just a desire

Thank you dee :) A lot of this is starting to make sense to me now.

"How much love can we actually give and in what kind of circumstances?"<br />
<br />
I would say, the love we have to give comes from an infinite source.. it cannot be measured in any way. The circumstances and possibilities are endless, and are all waiting as pure potential (this is what Deepak Chopra says) :)

EricS: I agree. I think when I wrote this, I was more angry or frustrated than anything.<br />
<br />
Dee67: "It's something that flows from within outward, and not the other way around (this is how I've come to understand it)." I'm glad you said this because that's the conclusion I think I'm coming to. How much love can we actually give and in what kind of circumstances?

Excellent post. Some good observations, considering your self acknowledged lack of relationship experience. Impressive. <br />
<br />
The one thing that I will note: in relationships, love etc. No formula, theory, thought or whatever, ever holds up. Love in all of its definitions and incarnations is the ultimate variable. It can't be dictated, ruled, or even properly analyzed. It just is. <br />
<br />
Heartbreak, loss, love, passion, joking, silliness and all the various feelings that come with it are almost impossible to fit into metaphors and analogies. <br />
<br />
What is important is: that you love someone, in your own special way. What happens after that is the undefinable.

Gem.. I have a few thoughts about this. First of all, we often run into trouble when the mind gets involved with matters of love. What we commonly see as love (particularly romantic love) is often something quite different, or at least mixed in with much baggage and misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Much of romantic love has a lot to do with the ego, it seems. Another thought is, that while love is seen as something we receive, it is actually something that we give, and we feel love by giving, not by getting. It's something that flows from within outward, and not the other way around (this is how I've come to understand it). So when we experience love as hurt, it's not love itself that is hurting us, it is our own interpretation that is causing the pain. And we can find that when we are hurting because of a lack of love, it is actually there all along, from within us, we just aren't recognizing this. Often we need a *someone* to help us find this, help us find the love that we have inside, and release it. But it is always there, no matter what. We always have infinite love to give, including to ourselves. And ourselves is the *most important* One to give to, because if we can love ourselves, we are truly better able to love others.

Thanks for the comment Yea. At first I thought no one would comment because I thought it may have sounded a bit angry. Like I would read stories and hear some friends accounts of being cheated on and such, and I get angry because I can see the hurt.

I think you're on point with everything you said. I don't think, at least relationship-wise, that hate is the opposite of love. After being cheated on, I didn't hate the guy. I was hurt, indifferent and numb, but I didn't hate him. <br />
<br />
Love does render you blind sometimes and you need to look at what's really going on, and if you think something's up, the only thing to do is to address it, then you make a move based on that. But I think I just stated the obvious :P <br />
<br />
And I think what you said is the reason why we experience pain in our hearts after we realize that all the "love" wasn't real love.