The Trap of Romantic Love.
This is the one of the best articles I’ve read on this subject, which is near and dear to my heart: romantic love versus actual love.
I have put the link to the article I am referring to at the end of this blog post.
Research shows that romantic love is addictive. It has a similar impact on our brain as cocaine. Studies show through brain scans that the brain causes people to behave much like addicts do while they are experiencing romantic love: obsessive thoughts, risk taking behaviors and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
The brain secrets enough dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which are hormones that increase the pleasure synapses in our brains. Much like cocaine does. The psychological effects from romantic love are invigorating from the hormonal boost. All seems so wonderful in romantic love.
Just like the high from cocaine, it fades, it is not humanly sustainable. Once everything gets back to normal and we have to deal with the daily normalness, good, bad and indifferent, this becomes the challenge for most people.
Returning to normal reality is when most relationships either begin to experience serious troubles or simply fail and end. The romantic love seeker must face this sense of inner emptiness and then deal with the withdrawal symptoms. Most often, they seek someone else or otherness to find that fix once again.
It is an unsafe self-delusion because romantic love is only transitory. The strongest of romantic feelings, lust and passion is not sustainable. We are human, not built to sustain such an intense way of being emotionally. Most partners make choices and decisions at this juncture that most often are regrettable.
It is important to recognize that romantic love is not real or lasting.
We can have actual love with some romantic love, but we cannot have romantic love without mostly actual love.
With the exception of clinical abuse, actual love requires real understanding from both partners, especially when times are hard. Understanding that no one, especially our partner, can “complete” us. The emptiness we feel inside is brought to the relationship and only we have the ability to fix that for ourselves. That can only be done with real self-love, not with romantic love.
If we cannot love ourselves then we are not able to love others. It is that simple. Love relationships that are healthy can truly only exist and survive when both partners come to it as complete people. Already fulfilled, enriched, with hearts full of self love and love for others. That is the only time we can build a truly healthy and happy actual love relationship and bypass the need to hold onto the romantic love part forever to feel happy.
Freedom must be at the foundation of actual love relationships. Freedom of time and space to take care of ourselves, our souls, our hearts, as we were made todo. Sharing all of that with a partner creates and sustains actual love, ot romantic love.
Most importantly, healthy relationships that survive on actual love, and not just on romantic love, require work. A lot of it. None survives without it. They don’t just happen, They are built with so much effort and mindfulness.
Regardless of how sgtrong, beautiful and special the relationship starts off, it will always need to progress onto the next stages which include hardships on some level. It is natural. Arguments and hard times require understanding and communication. Not judgement and a defeatest mentality.
The most important thing is to get that there is no such thing aaas a perfect relationship. That is the biggest pitfall in romantic love. They do not exist, because no person is perfect, therefore no relationship can possibly ever be perfect either.
Actual love recognizes flaws in both partners and does not allow those flaws to break down the love. Genuine love relationships are built on foundations of acceptance, honestly and understanding. Not romance. Romnce is a nice part of a healthy realtinshp, not the root of it.
Passionate sex and romantic walks have an important part in relationships. They cannot build or sustain an actual love relationship.
Keep your love real. Not romantic. Enjoy romance. But keep it real. Real is not perfect but it sure is beautiful.