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Break Up of Relationships and the Question of Love

Article by Mark Partridge

People find attraction in one another and when that attraction is strong, there is quite naturally a desire to share more fully in each others lives. The ‘bonding’ has begun.

But being attracted to each other is not the be all and end all of what it takes to create a deep and lasting relationship. It is good to share common values and interests and to take pleasure in the same things, but of equal, if not greater importance is that the two minds involved think similarly.

All too often emotional attraction is mistaken for love, but this is not love, it is emotional attraction. The point I am making is that emotions of warmth, affection and sensual delight towards someone you find attractive are indeed expressions of love, but they are not the essence of love.

In general, people understand the concept of friendship far better than they understand the condition of love. This is because love has been complicated by romantic ideology which obscures loves’ simple beauty and tries to fashion it into an unreal state which cannot be sustained. This is why there is talk about “the first flush of love” which eventually fades with time, often before marriage can take place or within the first few years of marriage, never to appear again. The “flush” begins to turn into a dead hand (if you’ll pardon the allusion to card games) because it is fashioned upon a notion, an invention.

Love expresses itself in many ways but it is not in itself, those ‘ways’. It is the generator of those ‘ways’.

The giddy height of emotional attraction which is so often mistaken for love, is more akin to a physiological condition which is a little out of control. Love, on the other hand, is calm and deep.

Love is not flustered or easily swayed. It does not move in and out of mood- swings, likes and dislikes, nor is it deceitful or self-serving. It does not rely upon agreement, nor does it seek to manipulate and persuade. How many recognize this description of love? Is it not more usual to say that love is that funny feeling you get inside when the object of your attraction appears. Or perhaps, that love is never having to say you are sorry, or, “If you really loved me, you would do this for me.”

So what is love if it is not emotion?

It is a knowledge.

Building a lasting bond, must be founded upon the basis of that knowledge otherwise it will not be long before cracks begin to appear. Those cracks can be cosmetically patched but if knowledge of love remains absent, those cracks will reappear, deepened and more damaging. This often happens when we are young and very much want to find someone to love.

When you possess the knowledge of love you are less inclined to get involved too easily because you know that there needs to be time to get acquainted before making any serious move towards commitment. Sometimes it will be discovered that actually you do not have any real similarity of minds and that it would have been a terrible mistake to become involved. Often, this is discovered after the relationship is under way.

Passion is often considered to be an essential element of a relationship and is generally suggestive of erotica, but it is more likely to lead to disappointment and a feeling that something is missing than to being the cement of a strong union. Yet conversely, two individuals who can share passionately in something they hold dear, are drawn much closer to each other through the sharing of that interest.

The meeting of minds has far more to do with love than the thrill of physical union.

When ‘lovers’ quarrel and part, it should not be the physicality of their relationship which is first missed. If it is, they were never aware, in the first place, of what love is. But if one or both, miss talking to the other, or sharing in activities they both enjoyed, then there is hope for them and every chance of putting aside the difficulties which caused them to part.

There is a misconception which suggests that two people who fall in love, somehow become a single entity or that such a state should be striven for and this explains why you will see so many long-term partners who dress similarly or men who are dressed by their wives. The loss of ones individuality has nothing whatever to do with love. Love sets you free and even encourages you to be more of who you are. The best relationships are those in which the two who share the knowledge of love become greater as individuals (because of their union) than they would be if they had not met, but this does not mean that one sacrifices their individuality to the other.

In the end, knowing HOW to love, is far more important than ‘falling’ in love.

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