Emotions Mismanaged



I had a conversation with one of my friends a while back. She asked me, “Have you ever been in love”? I responded, “I don’t know. I’m not certain what love feels like”.


With a confused expression, she looked at me.


She began to ask about my perspective on some of the emotions surrounding the idea of love. But love, to me, is a strange concept. I’ve analyzed what people claim love feels like. I’ve done some research on how love is defined and if it can be measured. I’ve never found an interesting, objective definition that has specific attributions. One person describes love one way. Another person describes it in a completely different way. Therefore, there's no objective definition of it--at least, that's what I believed at the time. I’ve come to see love as an ideal. I’m not saying the ideal is bad. I think the opposite is true. But I like to live in a realistic world rather than an ideological world. Personally, I think the idea of love comes partially from mismanaged or misunderstood emotions. For example, I’ve met men who meet a girl and claim to instantly love her. However, upon further questioning, the reality seems to be a deep sense of physical attraction to her.


They’re very lustful.


Yet, they’ve never really analyzed their feelings in order to distinguish what counts as lust and what counts as love...or what counts as neediness or general attraction. Because of this, they mistake lust for love. I think similar occurrences happen in women. They meet a guy and attribute their encounter to the cosmos or something mystical. They confuse ideology with reality. Perhaps he was hard to get or came across as the right balance of aloof and interested.


She might confuse the accomplishment of getting his (artificially valuable) attention with the idea of love. These are simple examples but I think common examples. I believe the idea of Love at First Sight also plays a part in our idea of love. Personally, I think it plays a more harmful than beneficial role.


It conditions us to believe that, at some point, one day, we’ll stumble upon the ideal partner. I think this ultimately hurts the relationship of anyone that believes this notion. Personally, I believe that the purpose of a relationship is to fulfill a role. It’s to bring two people together so that they’re collectively greater than their individual parts. However, I think any two people can accomplish that task. On a planet of over one billion people, I highly doubt there’s only one person that’s a perfect fit. Especially once you factor in geography and how much humans change over time. My belief is that love can be built but it requires work. It may require at least a year of learning about your partner to make sure your values, goals, and future align. Again, this is why I dismiss love at first sight or most modern-day interpretations of love. They’re far too idealistic and simultaneously unrealistic. It’s unlikely you’ll wake up on the beach one day and meet a girl that looks perfect and checks every box. It’s unlikely you’ll meet a man that has every trait you admire besides a bad temper but is willing to be changed. It’s far more likely you’ll meet someone with a few similar interests or a similar perspective for the long term of life. I think this kind of person is more likely to share the core values that matter most and, because of this, is willing to compromise and meet in the middle over time. Once that occurs, that’s when I believe Love truly begins to develop. This is the closest conceptualization of Love that I’ve been able to come up with. What are your thoughts on this perspective? Does it make any sense?


 

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