This Is How To Understand And Maintain Romantic Love

credit: Marisa DeMarco
credit: Marisa DeMarco

When we have feelings of strong affection or perhaps full-blown infatuation is what creates a bond that feels unbreakable towards another. It’s a chemical reaction, an all-consuming sensation, with thoughts and sentiments that become fixed upon the person of our desire. We often confuse these feelings of chemistry for “meeting the right person” because we follow our intuition, our hearts, and because it may simply feel “right”. But there is one fatal flaw in allowing one’s self to throw all caution to the wind and become swept away. There isn’t the use of logic that serves as a healthy balance to help us truly think things through and see the person in front of us with clarity. Instead, we become blinded by what we perceive this new and exciting “love” to be rather than evaluating it for what it is really is—a crazy chemical cocktail.

Media, society, storytelling, and history reflect the process of falling in love as something that moves mountains, makes people act and do courageous things to protect and obtain it, along with convincing us that one special person is out there. We are either waiting until they find us or that we find them. And when this encounter happens, “all falls into place”. So many times we put pressure on ourselves and others to have these experiences—that makes us weak in knees, spins our world upside down, and renders our vision of life more beautiful through rose colored glasses. This is not to say that one shouldn’t experience the intensity of “falling in love” or rather such infatuation. By all means, it’s these beautiful and life changing moments that actually teaches us more about ourselves and the person we have an incredible affection for because something inside of us breaks open. We become most vulnerable yet brave and most scared yet immersed in the thrill. It’s in these moments that our hearts actually expand and we form bonds of attachment with another. However, if one is suffering from unrequited love, of course the landscape changes as it’s one sided and there is no reciprocity.

“Falling in love” within the infatuation stage of the initial start of the relationship is what may very well bind two people together—giving them the force and spark to progress their relationship forward. Perhaps it may even be to the point of life long commitment and/or marriage. It may also be a white hot romance that soon fizzles out when one or both parties realize it’s not what they really want or the feelings are only skin deep.

But what happens after this period passes over several months or at best a couple of years? Either both people realize they made a positive choice based upon lifestyle and compatibility in the midst of such heightened emotions or in fact they absolutely don’t even know the person they are sharing a relationship with. Things that were once beautiful together become even more beautiful or more dreadful. Personality traits that seemed to be positive now become even more praiseworthy or unbearable to tolerate. It’s not that people so much change, but rather the perception of them and the situation does. We are who we are at our core. Yes, we certainly continue to evolve on a daily basis if we so choose, but for the most part our dispositions are set.

This is when love becomes a choice once the intense chemistry fades and real life sets in. This is when two people actively work to maintain mutual respect, understanding, compassion, and become each other’s biggest champions while growing both individually but together. If in fact one or both doesn’t have the will to make the choice to love in its purest form—of acceptance and trust, things fall apart and perhaps the relationship gets reevaluated and possibly dissolves.

With age, experience, maturity, and common sense it’s possible that at some point or another we certainly can reach a higher understanding that we may not be able to control our initial attraction to someone. Then we can choose to take a step back and see them and ourselves with a new set of eyes—that are wide open rather than closed. We become more self-aware, decisive, and active in our decision making if in fact the person we are with is a good fit for the lives that we already have and the lives that they are living. This is not to say that one shouldn’t follow their feelings, but it’s also about tempering the experience with thought, too. As always, when there is balance one sees clearly…and in this case one sees with both the heart and mind. TC mark

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