There is something deeply special, even magical about being in love. When we meet someone attractive and interesting, someone who catches our eye, we start to think about them more and more often, we begin to imagine scenarios where we’re together, we even start to obsess about them!…
We hope and pray that our feelings are returned, we imagine sweet future that awaits us in the arms of that one particular person. We beg fate for a sign that they feel the same, that we’re loved back.
The torture of uncertainty can move us quickly from beautiful images of mutual bliss to depths of despair of a broken heart.
What if we’re rejected? What if they don’t love us?
After all, how often do you meet someone as amazing as them? And having met them, how can you ever imagine spending your life with anybody else? It’s a torture to even suspect that you might need to carry on living without them…
To a perfectly reasonable, level-headed person, this emotional state can seem like insanity. Who in their right mind would ever want to suffer this way? Who would ever sign up for this kind of obsessive madness? This isn’t just about a temporary emotional turmoil. This state can last weeks, months or even years, restricting our ability to act as reasonable human beings. The in-love obsession can pull us away from our tasks, chores and daily routines, ruining our focus and limiting our sense of joy in life.
Yet, the amount of songs, books, poems, etc. devoted to romantic love is mind-boggling. Humans seem to have an uncontrollable need to express either the depth of their love towards someone special or the depth of their despair over a broken heart.
So, what should we make of this?…
Falling in love is a part of our human nature. What varies from person to person, is the strength of this obsession and how much it affects the rest of our lives. On one side of the spectrum, there are people who are profoundly romantic and can lose themselves deeply in this state – tormented, distracted and deeply melancholic until the uncertainty of their feelings is removed. This uncertainty is removed either by being loved back (in which case the romantic obsession can turn into a much calmer, safer version of love) or by loss of all hope. It’s also important to remember that here what will be important is the perception of the person being in love about reciprocity or about its lack. To an outsider, the case might seem clear but it needs to be the one in love who feels that the uncertainty is gone.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who do fall in love but whose romantic feelings do not affect other areas of their lives. To these individuals, someone madly, obsessively in love can seem like a crazy person, a maniac who lost all his senses and is spending his time longing after someone and sighing on end.
I recently posted this quote on social media, asking whether others agreed with it:
“A fleeting touch on the cheek from the one I adore, will be worth more than six hours in thirty-seven positions with someone I do not.”
I was expecting a mixed response, yet the comments were overwhelmingly positive – yes, we do prefer that fleeting touch!
Oh wow, in the world that represses eroticism, where most people I speak to would love to have more sex than they do now, even in that world we’d still choose romantic affection over sexual abundance…
Are we mad? Are we crazy? Or are we lying?…
I think not… I think that romantic love is mysterious and I think that it’s complex. I think that human beings have this incredibly special ability to love romantically which separates us from other species. And I also think that being in love is a state quite unlike anything else we ever experience.
It can send us to heights of ecstasy. It can make us plummet to depths of grief. It can drive us crazy. It can consume most of our thoughts and attention and be detrimental to almost everything else in our lives.
And despite all that, I truly believe that romantic love is deeply and incredibly beautiful. And that it enriches our lives, even if only temporarily. Besides, can you imagine our world without all the love songs and romantic movies?
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