How to tell if a person loves you: old goats and new goats

Today I want to explain to you how to tell if a person really loves you or not.

To do this, let's start from a fable of Aesop that I remember since I was a child and that has always remained very impressed on me.


A goatherd had led his goats to pasture when he saw that they had mingled with other wild goats. When evening came, he pushed them all into his cave.

The next day there was a big storm, not being able to lead them to the usual pasture, he took care of them inside, putting enough food close to them only to not starve them, and instead to the new ones by putting more food next to them, to appropriate even those.

When the storm ceased, he led them all out to pasture,
the wild goats, reaching the mountains, fled.

The pastor accused them of ingratitude, since they, despite having received more care, abandoned him.

And they replied: “But for this we are more on guard. In fact, if you have served us better, who arrived yesterday, more than the goats of before, it is clear that, if others will come closer to you from now on, you will prefer those to us. "

The story demonstrates that we must not gladly accept the friendships of those who prefer us, the newcomers to old friends, considering that if as we grow older, they make friends with others, they will prefer those.


The idea for this newsletter came to me when I read an email about a couple crisis in which "he" was being debated between the wife and the lover.

He says he he really loves her but who cannot close with his wife. Maybe for the children. So the doubt is: how to tell if a person really loves you?


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How to tell if a person really loves you

How to tell if a person loves you: old goats and new goats

I think this: if you love you don't betray.

If you cheat today, why shouldn't you cheat tomorrow too?

Not because you don't change, but because betrayal is probably not a "chance", but the choice of the goatherd who wants something more, that he doesn't really love his goats.

We delude ourselves that love is something that happens, a t-shirt that says "I love you". On this you can read the difference between falling in love and love.

Love is understanding and respect. Cheating is not very respectful towards my partner.

If I cheat on my girlfriend with someone else, the problem is not
is my current girlfriend, but my inability to love (and respect) those around me.

If loving is respect, then I should end my relationship before starting another one, take responsibility of my choices and their consequences.

To love means that I treat exactly the way I want to be treated.

If they betrayed you, would you think it was a gesture of love?

The lover who writes to me feels loved, but you think that the wife might say the same thing about her husband?

The lover would say: he is a loving and wonderful man.
The wife would reply: He is a selfish and disgusting man.

Who's right? 😀

Love is not relative. If I love you, and I don't love anyone else, I'm not really loving you either. Just you, like new goats, interest me, and therefore I treat you well for selfishness.

If the goatherd loved goats, he would not treat well all the ones he deals with?

If he makes distinctions, he is not doing it out of love, but out of convenience and personal interest.

Love is absolute. Either I love, that is, I act with love towards everyone, or I don't love, because to those to whom I seem to reserve my love, in reality, I offer only gestures and attention with which I hope to get something in return.

As well as the goatherd gives more food to the new arrivals just for conquer him.

And if I don't know how to love, I won't love the girl with whom I cheat and who today I call "true love".

How unfounded I was doing with my current girlfriend in the beginning of our history!

How to tell if a person loves you: old goats and new goats


So, if I haven't learned to love those around me, I won't learn it because I meet someone else.

In his book "The Art of Love" (you have to read it!), Fromm points out how it is ridiculous believe a man who, not knowing how to paint, says he will do it wonderfully well when he has found the right subject.

If you can't swim, will it be enough for you to find the right sea to “magically” learn how to do it?

No. And if you don't learn to love, a understand, to forgive, to understand, respect, give your best without asking for anything in return (love is unconditional or it is not love), it will not happen when you meet the "right person".

And as I have betrayed today, I will be able to betray tomorrow, because at the center of my behavior and my way of life there is no love for someone, but just myself, what I want today and that seems best to me.

The goatherd doesn't give a damn about goats.
He just wants more to have more milk, more merchandise to sell.

To have. Possession, selfishness. Not love.

The question is not whether people change or not, because we can all change.

The question is whether they want it, if they choose it, or if they believe they have changed when they do they just found new goats to conquer.

We can all change.

And if on the one hand it is essential to believe that the other can do it,
it is not wise to confuse an "interested" behavior with a sincere change that can arise only from the will to truly love.

Observe very carefully what others say, do, how they act. Don't mind simple behavior but try to understand the reasons that are behind it.

  • If I betray someone for you, it means that it is acceptable for me to betray trust from others.
  • If I use violence to defend you, it means that it is acceptable to me to use violence if I see a threat.
  • If I speak ill of someone with you, it means that it is acceptable for me to speak badly of others.

There is no guarantee that tomorrow it will not be you who will suffer what I have always considered, even in front of you, acceptable.

Always observe how the goatherd behaves with his goats because he who loves does not distinguish between old and new goats.

If you don't love me, loves them all.

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