Is it for real or are you being played for a fool?
In the story, the J. Paul Getty Museum was offered a kouros and hired a team of specialists to verify its legitimacy. After 14 months, they purchased the statue for $9 million. But, as it turns out, the JPG Museum probably paid for a fake. And $9 million is a lot of money.
But the stakes are even higher for you and me in the relationship world when it comes to spotting fakes and phonies.
You and I operate in a currency much more rare and valuable ... our time and our emotions.
Fourteen months of investigation by the world’s greatest experts didn’t protect them from being hoodwinked, and often everyday people (like us) find themselves in a similar situation in love: Fooled by what they thought was real.
The reason we're fooled is the same as by the Getty's experts were fooled ... our brains tell us what we want to believe.
The statue experts wanted to believe they’d found this rare statue. What a find! The person in love wants to believe their love is real. An even better find!
To protect yourself from the greatest forgery in the world: false love, ponder these three questions to be sure the love you’re invested in is REAL, not fake:
1. Is your partner 100 percent on your side?
Your partner may not condone all your behavior or your choices (if you’re getting high every day, spending your weekends playing computer games, or spending all your money on shoes) but they should be on your side even though they might want more from you.
The best way to gauge this is by how they treat you with respect to the expectations of others. As an example, if their parents or friends criticize you, does your partner stand up for you? They should.
2. Do you FEEL your partner’s support when things are challenging?
At work or at home, with colleagues or with the children, do you feel relief from stress in your partner's presence? Or does their energy, reactions, or expectations feel like another pressure?
3. Can you talk to your partner about anything, or are some topics off limits?
Certainly some topics are easier to talk about than others. It’s easier to talk about your upcoming vacation than it is to talk about how you’re going to deal with the conflicts in your relationship, but open communication about all topics is still necessary.
The good news is ... REAL love allows you the room to talk about any of it.
If your love doesn’t pass the Fake test, you may be still be able to save it.
Like the dross that is lifted from gold, you may be able to get rid of the trash in your relationship. Have a conversation and be up front. 9 million dollars is a lot of money to spend on a fake, but it doesn’t compare to the time and emotions you could waste if the love you’re investing in isn’t real.