The daily prompt asks this question today: How far would you go for someone you love? How far would you want someone else to go for you? Which leads to the question, why would you even ask that question? How is love measured in the distance or “far-ness” one will go for someone? And is there a reciprocity expected when someone does something for “love”? I’ve seen way too many relationships fall apart because of someone who bends over backwards for their significant other only to seethe in resentment because the other simply doesn’t “appreciate” all that they’ve “done” for them. The clichéd exclamation of “Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for you!” isn’t cliché for nothing. It’s because we’ve all either witnessed or experienced it on one side or another.
And the response to that is, generally, “I didn’t ask you to do anything. You did it on your own!”
“Because I love you!”
Plug the conversation into any scenario… villainous, workaholic spouse, a spouse who’s kept a disease to themselves until they’re on their deathbed, even someone who simply threw a big, over the top party for their significant other only to have that partner not appreciate their efforts or say, “I never wanted a party.”
I had a friend when I was going to college in Mississippi. We were joined at the hip for nearly two years. The town we lived in was about a three hour drive from anywhere of significance. I had an okay car, my friend had a piece of junk. One day, my friend decided that he was going to drive to Memphis in his piece of junk car. I found this out because I got a phone call around two o’clock in the afternoon asking if I could come pick him up in BFE Mississippi because his car had broken down on the side of the road and he had no way to get home. So, I drove two hours to pick his happy ass up, waited for the tow truck driver to get his car, tow it to the nearest town, and drove two hours back to our small town. Two weeks later, when his car was ready, I drove him back to get his car and followed him back to our little college town. I may have asked him for gas money because I was broke and we would have never made it back without filling up the tank, but that was it. I didn’t say, “you owe me.” because that’s not what friends do. I didn’t file it away in a ledger of “things I’ve done for this friend that I can call him on when the time comes” because that’s not how it works. There is no length I would go for the people I love — including my friends.
If either of my older two children called me tomorrow and asked me to do X, and X was within my power to do, I would do it. Well, depending on what X is… I’m not blinded by love. I don’t do illegal things, nor do I aide and abet illegal activities. But that’s a different story. Neither has spoken to me in years. But they are my children, and I love them. I don’t hold the seven years of silence against them. Because it doesn’t work that way. There is no far-ness that I can measure my love for someone, nor do I expect a length of people to do things for me. People do what they can, and go as far as they are comfortable… I would never ever say to someone, “If you loved me, you’d do this for me.” Because that’s unfair. It’s manipulation and it does nothing but breed resentment. There shouldn’t be an expectation of how far a person will go for love. No line in the sand, no lengths and measures. I’ll go as far as I can for the people I love, and they can go as far as they can for me.
That’s how it works. That’s how it should work. If anyone says different, they’re selling you something.