Having just ended a re-bound relationship after having been divorced only 2 months, I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic.
Here’s a common weaponized version of love: I profess love for you, therefore you are obligated to do thus and such for me.
It’s as if saying, “I love you,” allows couples to take each other for granted.
I was married twice for a total of 36 years. The first for 10 years with a 3 year break before the second which lasted 26 years. I was absolutely faithful, a decent provider, attentive, and affectionate. Both spouses, however were not highly educated and spoke English as a second language. In the end I think it was the language barrier that became an insurmountable obstacle to overcoming the hurt I felt when it became obvious they were no longer willing to hold me above others.
It has been so refreshing to now date women who I can deeply converse with. For me to love a women now is too easy. If she is emotionally stable, educated, and healthy enough to enjoy sex, loving her is a given. I’m tempted to tell all woman from now on, as soon as those attributes become obvious, that I love them. But to also further explain that my love means little in itself since I easily love; and that what really matters more is the day by day loving behavior and all the other components you list in your article. I don’t want to be THE one, just SOMEone that is willing to be consistently loving in behavior; someone that will continue to strive to be kind, generous, and brave. However, I will no longer allow love to be used against me as a weapon. I need to be appreciated, considered, and respected. I don’t care anymore about unrequited love, only unrequited loyalty.