I Hate the Word ‘Adore’

“People who do not love themselves can adore others, because adoration is making someone else big and ourselves small. They can desire others, because desire comes out of sense of inner incompleteness, which demands to be filled. But they cannot love others, because love is an affirmation of the living growing being in all of us. If you don’t have it, you can’t give it.”

Andrew Matthews

Note saying I adore you
Picture Credit: Jessybakker on deviantart

I have many guilty pleasures, mostly involving embarrassing music, eating cereal for lunch, or bad, bad TV shows. One of these truly awful shows I used to watch avidly was…. ‘Made in Chelsea’. (I know, I know, but please don’t stop reading, I have a point.)

At one point, there was a  story-line going on with Jamie – one of the originals, basically known for his long list of girls, bright blond hair, and puppy friendship with Spencer Matthews – and his love interest Frankie. It involves the fact that she was struggling to trust him because of his past, and because (it’s Chelsea) there were rumours and past stories about him constantly coming out of the woodwork. She finally agrees to be his girlfriend and they agree to trust each other, but then in the ‘next week on’ preview, you see him admitting to sleeping with another girl.

When you saw Jamie then pleading with Frankie to forgive him, he kept using the word ‘adore.’

“I slept with this girl but there is no one I adore more than you,”

“I adore you so much, I treat you like a princess.”

This made me feel uncomfortable, as if he expected this word to wipe out his actions.

Letter of adoration
Photo source: A Cottage in the City

I have always had some sort of problem with the word ‘adore’. I don’t like the connotations, and I can’t even fully put into words why. There’s nothing wrong with the definition:




love and respect (someone) deeply.”he adored his mother”

synonyms: love dearly, love, be devoted to, dote on, care for, hold dear, cherish, treasure, prize,think the world of, set great store by

This just equates it with love, with a greater idea of love, more love, more intense love. What would be wrong with that? But I just feel like the word adore suggests a complete sacrifice of yourself to another person, it implicates an inability to live without them, to survive without them, that if they were not there for you to ‘adore’ you would cease to be. (Am I reading too much into this?) Jamie’s use of the word especially just gets me on edge. It feels emotionally manipulative, or almost like the beginnings of mentally abusive tendencies, as he tries to guilt trip her into forgiving him. Because no one could ever ‘adore’ her as much as he could.

Or those emotionally abusive stories you hear, where they can be dicks to you, but if you try to leave they claim they can’t possibly live without you, and manipulate you until you can’t get out. “But” I adore you = “but” I have an excuse for what I’m doing. He hasn’t said “I love you,” though, because love is ‘too real’. The word ‘adore’ is like a smoke screen, while ‘love’ is more substantial, a foundation (god that’s cheesy), a window. You look through and you trust what you see, but smoke screens are designed to confuse you and be easily wafted away.

My ex boyfriend used to say that he adored me, and I was so enamoured with him that I started to say it back, forgetting how much the word made my stomach turn. He promised me it, and, he turned around and cheated on me, so, I guess he really did ‘adore’ me. Just like I’m sure Jamie adored Frankie.

Adoration just isn’t real love. Love is accepting someone, including their flaws, adoration is a refusal or inability to recognise any flaws, it is claiming to put someone on a pedestal. Adoration is ‘fangirling’ over celebrities, punishing anyone when they say they could possibly do wrong. When my ex and I broke up I said this to him, that he put me on a pedestal, and he didn’t deny it. He adored me so much that the moment I did something wrong, everything broke. Love hangs on, but adoration doesn’t. Adoration is easily manipulated and changed.

The quote at the top by Andrew Matthews (yes I googled quotes) I think sums it up nicely. When you claim you adore someone, maybe it is because you have to pour all the love you should spend on yourself into someone else, so much so that all you can see is flaws in yourself, but no flaws in them. Love is an act of two people, adoration is one sided. But in the same idea it is kind of sinister. Adoration can be very possessive. For example, I know my ex was reasonably possessive over me, and always insisted he would never tolerate cheating from me, and yet was able to go off and cheat on me. He didn’t love me as much as he adored me. The idea of me.

Jamie was so intent on locking Frankie down into not dating anyone else, and when he succeeded, he promptly slept with someone else. He definitely adored the idea of her being his girlfriend, of her being his, but he didn’t love her. And because he ‘adores’ her, he tries to use that as an excuse. Well I, for one, will never fall for that one again.



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