What Love Does (And Doesn’t) Look Like


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Why do people who love you always lie to you and think it’s okay?

Why do people who love you try to change you?

Why do people who love you prevent you from doing what you love?

These are just a few of the questions I see pop up on my newsfeed every once in awhile, all with the same answer:

They don’t.


People who truly love you, do not do these, or other negative things to you. People who really love you will not betray your trust. They will not lie to you, especially repeatedly. Love is a product of honesty, trust, and mutual respect – without those things you cannot have real love.

This may be infatuation masquerading as love. This may be someone who is trying to control you by making you think that they love you. This may be someone you are attached to who you are trying to defend. But, this is not someone who loves you.

I believe one of the most important things that we can teach our future (and current) generations, is what love truly looks like. People who constantly hurt you and lie to you do not truly love you and we absolutely cannot allow decent human beings to continue remaining in relationships like this, while believing it is normal or right.

It’s not.


If you want more specific ideas of how a good person will treat you, you can take a look at the 10 ways to know you’re dating a true gentleman. This, to me, is an outline for every man to strive towards. A benchmark to set for himself, and those he loves.

And, just as importantly – it’s a benchmark for women to set as requirements for how they accept being treated in relationships.

If we want our world to improve, we must lead by example. We must pledge to treat our significant others with love and respect – and we must pledge to walk away when we are not getting what we deserve.

It is better to be single and only accept the love you truly deserve, than to commit yourself to negative relationships along the way that will make you feel worthless or unwanted. The wrong relationship will make you feel worse than being single does.


There is an inaccurate misconception in our society that tells us that people who are in relationships are automatically happy, and those who are single, are not. So, we often chase after any relationship that comes our way just for the want of being happy. We must set our standards higher. We must reward the right treatment, and punish the wrong.

It is not good enough to say it out loud, we must live by example. We must eliminate those from our lives who bring us down, and only accept those who lift us up. The number one way to begin doing this, is by being truly honest with ourselves about which people are which.

Life is too short to be surrounded by negativity, and it’s definitely too short to go to bed next to somebody who brings it to our lives.

If you enjoyed this post, please help me spread these positive messages by sharing this article on your social media channels. You can also connect with me on social media and ‘subscribe’ to this blog, by using the buttons on this page.

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  1. Ian Hoyt on December 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Great write up! Very much agree.

  2. Blair Smith on December 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    This is very reassuring to say the least.. Thank you sir.

  3. Jennifer on December 2, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    This post really hit home. I’ve been in mostly good relationships that ended simply because we were going different ways in life. But one in particular I stuck with years past realizing this person was not treating me well, didn’t respect me, tried to manipulate what I did and who I spent time with, and was basically an arrogant jerk to all my friends… I don’t know now looking back why. Maybe it was pity, or guilt, or the hope that I could “change” him or “save” him. There were days I laid awake at night arguing with myself about wanting to end it, but we lived together so I didn’t want to deal with that drama while I was starting my first year of graduate school in a new state. I decided to just suffer it out until the lease was up. I got diagnosed with depression, began taking meds, started seeing a therapist… A few months before the lease ended, it all finally came out that he had been cheating on me with an ex from back home for several months, as well as a new girl in the town HE had followed me to when I moved for grad school. “The wrong relationship will make you feel worse than being single does” hits the nail on the head. I would have been MUCH better off just being single and lonely in a town I knew no one, because then I could have made new friends and gone out wherever and whenever I wanted without worry. Instead I had a year of suffering and feeling terrible about myself because I KNEW I deserved so much better. The only good that came from it is I began turning to a guy friend for support and laughter and he was one of the only people who knew I was suffering through depression and why, and we became quite close. Once I finally purged my life of that huge happiness drain, he asked me to date him. And he has treated me like a princess and loved me completely every day since then. I have never been happier! So ladies, listen up and DON’T EVER ACCEPT LESS THAN YOU DESERVE, which is a true gentleman who loves you for you and wants you to be happy. And make sure that you are acting like the true lady that your gentleman will also deserve and want. Splendid article, thank you.

  4. everythingfabb on December 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Reblogged this on The Truth- Fashion, Beauty & life and commented:
    This is such a great post written by James Michael Sama. He knows what he’s talking about. Many people don’t know the difference between love and infatuation unless it is pointed out to them. The same goes for healthy and unhealthy relationships. Read his post to to understand what love is really like and if it’s anything other than that, you shouldn’t continue it unless you want to waste your time and continue to be unhappy.

  5. brenelliott05 on December 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    This so needed to be said. Thank you for saying it and saying it so well.

  6. […] What Love Does (And Doesn’t) Look Like (jamesmsama.wordpress.com) […]

  7. Matt on December 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Absolutely one of the best blogs Ive ever read on here. I’ve had to humbly admit that my loving relationship failed after 4 years because she kept trying to change who I was, didnt like my career love (fixing BMWs Porsches among others), and me being stubborn and turning negative ultimatley pushed us apart and led me to attempt to see someone else 3 years in. Got caught, admitted fault, she forgave me and we did our best to make it work and communicate better, but she emotionally withdrew. I was crushed as I was planning to ask her to marry me, but I was so blinded by love I didnt know who I was anymore…the guy she fell in love with, all the chivlary and the aggressive, definitive personality that had her hooked disappeared somewhere. Complacency breeds contempt they say, which I guess is what happened here (along with several other issues).

    Ive been slowly coming to terms with the fact that we were just going in two different directions in life….I adjusted to suit her goals and never once questioned her ambitions and supported her in everyway possible, but sacrificed myself in the process. Like you said, we all deserve someone whos willing to see us for our faults and our goodness, and I expressed this to her one night…she said she would take me for who I was (guess not lol). While I still want to reconcile and give it a try in the future (im 31, shes 26), I have to accept the outcome she may never speak to me again.

    It has been a huge relief Im realizing to be single again (3 months now), new stable career dropped into my lap that I will retire comfortably in, and best of all my friends who I pushed away in the relationship all took me back and have been taking me out every weekend to help me get past it all and build my confidence again. James, you always hit the nail on the head in your blogs, looking forward to more of them.

  8. […] Credits: James Micheal Sama […]

  9. anna on December 6, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Great articles none of that generation Y trash! Very classy elegant and with taste. Thank you!

  10. Caroline on December 6, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Ah, can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to explain this to friends who make bad boyfriend decisions.

    This always needs to be said!

  11. […] What Love Does (And Doesn’t) Look Like. […]

  12. […] it wasn't that, it would have been something else; the remainder of our relationship was built on lies and infatuation, not love. This entry was posted in Written by Rachel Walden. Bookmark the […]

  13. Danielle on December 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Amazing post, thank you for always articulating such important ideas.

  14. Jennifer Natividad (@miei) on December 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    HI, your article is great… just want to get your opinion…Do guy really “fall out of love” ? This happen to me twice and I feel like my current relationship will end the same… the guys are nice.. score 8 out of 10 as true gentleman…just want to know your thoughts about “falling out of love” thanks…

  15. Meadow on January 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I would like to ask you, and the other readers, for some advice. My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years now. I have been through a lot of health stuff in that time (dialysis and transplant), and he has always tried to be there for me. I have been trying to encourage him to get his GED, go to school and get a better job, in whatever order he wants to do it,. I don’t care as long as things improve. Education is very important to me; and I know he can do better than he is, I have great faith in him. I love him very much but sometimes I feel like I am trying to hard to change him and sometimes I feel he does not want any better. I have been considering ending our relationship because we seem to be so far apart when it comes to the things that are important to me. Please leave me your thoughts.

  16. natalie on March 8, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    this is just the simple honest truth. thanks for your writing. it is a gift and i am enjoying your blog and being in love finally.

  17. Katie on June 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Your Daily Verve and commented:
    Great article!

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