Hypothesis of love: Love is involuntary, Brain science tells us it’s a drive like thirst. It’s a craving for a specific person. It’s normal, natural to “lose control” in the early stage of romance. Love, like thirst, will make you do strange things, But knowledge is power. It’s a natural addiction and treating it like an addiction can help you.
Mark Manson said; Love is a wonderful experience. It’s one of the greatest experiences life has to offer. And it is something everyone should aspire to feel and enjoy. But like any other experience, it can be healthy or unhealthy. Like any other experience, it cannot be allowed to define us, our identities or our life purpose. We cannot let it consume us. We cannot sacrifice our identities and self-worth to it. Because the moment we do that, we lose love and we lose ourselves.
In 1967, John Lennon wrote a song called, “All You Need is Love.” He also beat both of his wives, abandoned one of his children, verbally abused his gay Jewish manager with homophobic and hostile slurs. Thirty-five years later, Trent Reznor, wrote a song called “Love is Not Enough.” Reznor, despite being famous for his shocking stage performances and his comically and disturbing videos, got clean from all drugs and alcohol, married one woman, had two children with her, and then cancelled his entire albums and tours so that he could stay home and be a good husband and father. One of these two men had a clear and realistic understanding of love. One of them did not. One of these men idealized love as the solution to all of his problems. One of them did not.
In our culture today, many of us idealize love. We see it as some lofty cure-all for all of life’s problems. Our movies and our stories and our history all celebrate it as life’s ultimate goal, the final solution for all of our pain and struggle . And because we idealize love, we overestimate it. As a result, our relationships pay a price. When we believe that “all we need is love,” then like Lennon, we’re more likely to ignore the fundamental values such as respect, humility and commitment towards the people we care about. After all, if love solves everything, then why bother with all the other stuff — all of the hard stuff? But if, like Reznor, we believe that “love is not enough,” then we understand that healthy relationships require more than pure emotion or lofty passions. We understand that there are things more important in our lives and our relationships than simply being in love. And the success of our relationships hinges on these deeper and more important values.
THREE HARSH TRUTHS ABOUT LOVE
The problem with idealizing love is that it causes us to develop unrealistic expectations about what love actually is and what it can do for us. These unrealistic expectations then sabotage the very relationships we hold dear in the first place. Allow me to illustrate:
1. Love does not equal compatibility-just because you fall in love with someone doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good partner for you to be with over the long term. Love is an emotional process; compatibility is a logical process. And the two don’t bleed into one another very well. It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who doesn’t treat us well, who makes us feel worse about ourselves, who doesn’t hold the same respect for us as we do for them, or who has such a dysfunctional life themselves that they threaten to bring us down with them. It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who has different ambitions or life goals that are contradictory to our own, who holds different philosophical beliefs or worldviews that clash with our own sense of reality. It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who sucks for us and our happiness . That may sound paradoxical, but it’s true. When I think of all of the disastrous relationships I’ve seen or people have emailed me about, many (or most) of them were entered into on the basis of emotion — they felt that “spark” and so they just dove in head first.
2. Love does not solve relationship problem: while love may make you feel better about your relationship problems, it doesn’t actually solve any of your relationship problems . The roller coaster of emotions can be intoxicating, each high feeling even more important and more valid than the one before, but unless there’s a stable and practical foundation beneath your feet, that rising tide of emotion will eventually come and wash it all away.
3. Love is not always worth sacrificing yourself. One of the defining characteristics of loving someone is that you are able to think outside of yourself and your own needs to help care for another person and their needs as well. But the question that doesn’t get asked often enough is exactly what are you sacrificing, and is it worth it?
In loving relationships, it’s normal for both people to occasionally sacrifice their own desires, their own needs, and their own time for one another. I would argue that this is normal and healthy and a big part of what makes a relationship so great. But when it comes to sacrificing one’s self-respect, one’s dignity, one’s physical body, one’s ambitions and life purpose, just to be with someone, then that same love becomes problematic.
A loving relationship is supposed to supplement our individual identity, not damage it or replace it. If we find ourselves in situations where we’re tolerating disrespectful or abusive behavior, then that’s essentially what we’re doing: we’re allowing our love to consume us and negate us, and if we’re not careful, it will leave us as a shell of the person we once were.
“You need more in life than love. Love is great, lobe is necessary, love is beautiful but love is not enough”.