Anxiety Is Love’s Greatest Killer

Anxiety Is Love’s Greatest Killer

Anxiety Is Love’s Greatest Killer

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to expand on the famous quote by Anais Nin directed at desperate men: “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer.”

First a quick update:

“What Is The Difference Between Feminine and Masculine Energy?”
“Why is it so difficult for women to have a discussion about femininity without feeling weak? By and large, most men prefer feminine women, which can often be a challenge because it often involves the idea of submission. Many black women have not had the luxury being “girly,” like white women have, but I find that they often desire that but have no idea how to do it. Any advice for them?” Read my answers or listen to the audio here:

“How To Succeed with Effective Communication & Relationships”
Success cannot be achieved without strong relationships and effective communication. You need people to build teams to create success; you need others to help you succeed; you need someone with whom to share your success! Watch the video and learn about the need to communicate in person, spend lots of time with your people and how texting and emailing damage relationships. 

Now, let’s talk about the famous quote by Anais Nin directed at desperate men: “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer.”

Anaïs Nin (February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was an essayist, author and memoirist born to Cuban parents in France; she lived in France, Spain, Cuba and the United States. Over a period of 60 years, Anais Nin wrote journals, novels, critical studies, essays, short stories, and erotica.

One of Anais Nin’s famous quotes is “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It creates the failures. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”

The quote directed at men seems self-explanatory, with 2 key points:

1. Your anxiety will destroy relationships; it will kill love because it makes you clingy and desperate and makes you cling to your partner, dragging her down and suffocating her.
2. You can’t help someone who is dysfunctional and needy, and you should stay away because you won’t succeed; his anxiety and panic will only harm you as well as him.

However, this quote possesses greater meaning and significance when it is analyzed in its full context.

The quote actually comes from a diary entry by Anais Nin, around her 44th birthday – February 21, 1947 where she contrasts the strong, proud man from the weak, desperate man:

On my birthday there was a snowstorm…Pablo came to fetch me at eight-thirty that evening. We went to the Haitian Carnival. In my Spanish dance costume I danced all night. The Haitians did not allow me to sit out one dance. My birthday was a dance with men whose desire is open, strong, proud, whose bodies are alive, flowering, exuding power and passion.

From there we went to the Soho Café. My mood changed as we watched a drunken who had once been a singer, an actor, a Master of Ceremonies. He appropriated the microphone from the French singer and sang brokenly, lurching all the while with vestiges of past wit and past linguistics. His eyes were sad, childishly pleading for applause, for one more drink, humble before the authority of the proprietress. A week before he had come to her, sober and said, “Will you promise to send me a Christmas card? No one ever sends me a Christmas card. I can’t bear that.” She kept her promise. He came back a week later, sober, to thank her. He works at the morgue. He kept saying all evening, “I must go to work.” He was nicknamed “Cold Cuts” after he had described minutely the nature of his work. He kept saying, “There will be no corpses until 6 o’clock. It is too cold for suicides.” He drank down to his last cent, and the owner gave him a quarter for carfare.

I went home and could not sleep. “Cold Cuts” haunted me. I had to write about him.

Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It creates the failures. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic. – The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 4 1944-1947: Vol. 4 (1944-1947)

With seeming purpose, Anais Nin starkly contrasts the strong, proud, passionate, powerful men she encounters at the Haitian Carnival (who openly display their desires) from the weak, childish, sad, broken drunk man who in his sobriety, anxiously pleads for validation and love from both the audience and the Café owner even as he drinks away his last cent.

Anais Nin also contrasts the freedom and lust for life that the men at the Haitian Carnival exude versus the prison and the darkness that the drunkard has created for himself.
Anais Nin is also reminding herself to beware of her natural, nurturing and caring response and desire to save the drowning man: she can’t save him and he will drown her and him in his treacherous waters of anxiety.

While it is clear that Anais Nin is writing specifically about men and her experience with men, the principle that anxiety kills love is applicable to both men and women. Anxiety always leads to an attempt to control others, particularly the person whom the anxious one seeks healing, security and validation.
In another excerpt from her diary, Anais Nin clearly states the man whom she finds both magnetic and complementary:

“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman…I hate men who are afraid of women’s strength.”

If you need assistance to overcome anxiety, gain self-confidence or to rid yourself of the desire to rescue victims – book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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  1. […] As I explained to my client, people do things for their own reasons and often they have little to do with you. Further, sometimes you cannot get the exact answers that you expect or expected. And the more that you push and pull to try to get these answers, the more obsessive your behavior becomes and eventually your desires control you, and you end up in a state of self-perpetuating anxiety. […]

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