Is there permanent love?
Lasting love begins where falling in love ends
Last update: 04 October, 2017
When are you no longer in love? When does one speak of love and no longer of being in love? The key to understanding lasting love is "transitioning" rather than "switching" from one to the other. In this way we can understand why many love relationships survive when idealization ends, and why that means the end for other partnerships.
We shouldn't think that being in love ends and love begins, but that it is a path that leads from one to the other.
- The phase of being in love is characterized by the idealization of the partner: We don't see the other person as they really are, but project all our ideas and wishes onto them. All that we see in the other is what we want to see.
- When we begin to see our significant other with their weaknesses and mistakes, we experience this “shock of reality” and have to consciously decide for or against accepting these differences. At this point we begin to truly love our partner and from here we can speak of love.
So we can find and understand lasting love if we manage to see the transition and adjustment to the circumstances and the time. Our partner does not have to be perfect, he should be real and always there for us so that love lasts for a long time.
Sternberg's theory of love
This author talks about love as a feeling that is based on three pillars:
- intimacy is to be understood as the closeness between two people who get to know and discover each other. In this way they can build trust and reveal their own soul to others.
- Passion is the feeling of desire and physiological activation.
- Commitment includes the choice made by both of them to stay together forever.
Perfect love would therefore be given if all three components were equally present, although there are also phases in which intimacy, passion or commitment are more important so that the couple stays together.
For Strenberg, perfect love is easy to find, but difficult to maintain. If we now take these three pillars and evaluate them according to which one is important, we will recognize different types of love:
- Please: Only intimacy is present here. There is closeness and understanding.
- Be in love is characterized by passion. There is a physical and a sexual attraction. This is a very quick love, but it goes away just as quickly.
- Empty love is based on commitment. A decision has been made to stay together and the relationship is based on that promise alone.
- Romantic love is characterized by passion and intimacy. Commitment cannot be found with this kind of love.
- Love as a society: This model is characterized by intimacy and commitment. One could understand it as a promised friendship for a long time.
- Imaginary love is to be understood as a union of passion and commitment, but without intimacy. The partners don't really know each other and it's difficult to keep that relationship going in the long run.
When we understand these kinds of love we can also understand that love and relationships are dynamic and changeable. Thus, according to the different phases of love, or when one of the pillars wavers or solidifies, we can move from one type of love to the next.
Is it healthy to always be in love?
Many describe the falling in love phase as an insane phase, as it is during this period that we usually distance ourselves significantly from what is true. We idealize our partner and we find it extremely difficult to be objective. Therefore, what we feel is not true love. To love someone means to know them inside out, to know what others like and dislike for them, and precisely because of this, to make the decision to want to stay by their side.
When we fall in love, our brain releases the hormones serotonin and dopamine. Their release triggers feelings of happiness and joy in us and we become “addicted” to this person, since serotonin and dopamine create euphoria and pleasure in us, like a drug that is consumed. But these overwhelming feelings subside over time, giving way to other, more rational and in some cases less intense emotions.
However, our brain is guided by the passion and happiness of the moment when we are in love, almost as if we were animals. But when our brain truly loves, it does so in a rational way, making judgments, making decisions, and choosing the other from a more mature and human point of view.
We should fall in love every day, but most of all we should learn to love every second when the inevitable happens and falling in love comes to an end. Enduring love means making certain sacrifices that we were not aware of in the beginning and striving for what was so easy for us in the beginning. It is we who have to decide whether the other is worth it or not.
Nothing suits a person better than love
You're probably a little skeptical already
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