The one who cares more always loses (and why that’s okay)

A while back I remember reading an article about modern relationships and the author made a bold claim: “The one who cares less in a relationship always wins.” I don’t remember much of the article, but that sentence has haunted me ever since reading it. The article went on to talk about how relationships are often a power struggle and the person who cares more about the other person is the one who is usually the first to have their heart broken, get hurt, or be let down. In a nutshell, it’s easier to be apathetic in relationships because you don’t risk getting hurt. If you don’t have expectations and you don’t care, you don’t have as much chance of being caused pain, heartbreak, or being let down. Simply put, caring less is better for you (or so this article said).

 Needless to say, this article resonated with me. Why? Because I often feel like, in the context of this article, I am the loser in relationships. I am always the one who invests more, cares deeply, and has great expectations of the people I meet. More often than not, I am met with hurt and pain and frustration from my relationships, realizing that I am not loved and cared for as much as I care for the people around me.

 For a long time this elicited a response from me that involved me telling myself “Take a chill pill, Jill. If they don’t care as much as you do, it’s pretty weird for you to keep caring so much.” Basically I backed down in my relationships. I didn’t fight for my friendships. I became a part of this vicious cycle of apathy. If they didn’t love me deeply, I couldn’t be bothered with loving them deeply. My relationships stopped being about how I could love others, but how I could love myself and not get hurt.

 I was sucked into this cycle of apathy for too long, and something didn’t feel right. I asked myself the classic question “WWJD?” (what would Jesus do). And that’s when it hit me – Jesus cared and loved more than anyone and lost harder than I could ever dream of losing.

 Jesus literally took on the flesh of man because He loved His fallen creation so much. His creation didn’t always love Him back (heck, even those who love Him still don’t love Him very well!) but that didn’t stop Him from giving and loving and serving. He wept for humanity, He had His heart broken by His children, but that didn’t make a difference in how He loved them. Jesus came to earth to love and lost so hard. He lost so hard that He died a humiliating death on the cross all because He cared and loved so much.

 In learning to love others, I choose today to look to the cross rather than looking to those around me. I understand that loving fully and caring deeply will often mean that I lose, have my heart broken, and be let down. But that’s okay. At Calvary, Jesus loved so hard that he became a loser, but still rose victoriously and is the greatest example of love to which we can ever look. Today I choose to “lose” in my relationships because I know love is worth it.

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