Is It Better To Love More Or To Be The One Who Loves Less?


“In amore vince chi fugge” translates from Italian to English as “in love, the winner is the one who runs.” Well I lost…and frankly got tired of chasing as I loved too much. But then again, according to the saying, I have also been the runner, and again I lost…I got tired of been chased when I didn’t have enough love to give.

The only true way to quote unquote “win” in love is proceeding in a steady and forward motion with a mate that matches your pace. Of course there will be times when one wants to walk and the other runs. Or one wants to stroll when the other wants to take a pause and sit under a tree. As long as there is an equilibrium of honoring each other’s pace and taking turns in determining the needs of the course, both win. But the beauty is that there is no finish line, but a continuous journey of self-growth and growth as a couple; forming an agreement to experience life as it comes together.

My grandmother, Mimi, would often impart the advice that it’s better to have a person who loves you a little bit more than you love them. I would often disagree with her and in retrospect I truly didn’t understand the core principle of this wisdom. I thought to myself why would I expect anyone to love me more? And moreover, why would I expect anyone to love me at all? After years of maturity, life experience, healing, and developing and maintaining a strong sense of self love and worth, my thoughts have changed. Why wouldn’t someone love me more (or at the very least, equally)? Why wouldn’t someone love me at all?

When one loves too much, it should be evaluated and determined if they are giving someone else too much importance and love to fill an internal void. Perhaps it’s a fear of being alone so they will do anything and everything to keep their beloved close. Or in fact, is all the love given a true reflection of positive self-esteem and freedom in loving and respecting a partner that reciprocates the same sentiments?

Then again, when one loves less (and perhaps runs and returns), this too needs to be evaluated in determining if there is resignation, settling, power and control issues, or lack of self-esteem of not feeling worthy to give and receive love. In turn, the walls don’t come down and there tends to be lots of indecision. Or in fact, is all the love given and received done with ease, from a place of being whole, yet is more reserved than expansive?

The exchange of love between each person or couple is truly unique and there are no set rules to follow. Black and white doesn’t exist as everything is colored through the lens of one’s life experiences. I have loved more and I have loved less. I have been loved more and I have been loved less. Both ends of the spectrum have their benefits and their disadvantages; it can wreck your heart and mind, but it can also make it that much stronger and clear. It brings insight into determining what it is you want and don’t want when forging a relationship and how much or how little you are willing to be flexible and accepting, opened or closed. Love at its root is neutral and kind. It’s people who shape, interpret, and define it.

While reflecting and writing during a Sunday afternoon in the piazza, eating an open air lunch in a medieval mountain town outside of Rome, two of the most beautiful things happened only within a half hour time span. A married couple in their thirties were sitting close to each other, talking in quiet voices as their eyes were interlocked. The wife was gently resting her arm on her husband’s shoulder and he rested his hand on her lap. Only when the waiter approached, did they straighten up and respectfully address him. They were truly the mirror to and for each other—with harmony. By the time I finished my tea, I observed an elderly couple strolling along. As they passed by, they supported each other with arms intertwined. Clearly, they determined this pace together. Smiling, they even made it look effortless while climbing uphill on uneven cobblestone streets. Perhaps both couples’ presence answered the question…it’s better to love with reciprocity and balance.

thumbnail image – Daria Nepriakhina