Saturday, January 31, 2009

LOVE IS LIKE ANY OTHER EMOTION

Human beings experience a number of emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, jealousy, excitement, hatred, etc. These emotions are felt by everybody throughout the world, across different cultures.

The emotion of love (romantic love) is also something that is experienced by many people and is very common all over the world. People who are in love describe it as an amazingly satisfying feeling that gives them immense happiness. Many of those who are not in love desire to experience that feeling and wait for that one special person with whom they would want to spend their entire life.

There is this delusion of true love that some people have. They take the feeling of love as the ultimate thing in life and give it the utmost importance. Because of this they orient their whole life according to this feeling of love. They have the false belief that love lasts forever and that they can live happily with that one so-called special person for the rest of their life. This belief may not necessarily be true all the time.

Just like we fall in love, we also fall out of love. This means that love does not last forever and after a certain period of time the love that we have for a person may begin to fade away and eventually die out.

There can be a number of reasons for this. One of the reasons is boredom. Human beings always like change and dislike sameness. The qualities that a person likes about his/her lover may soon become something that is routine and run of the mill. A person might get bored with being with the same person and the same old qualities of that person that were once responsible for them to fall in love with each other. Those same qualities may also even begin to irritate that person to quite an extent. This continuing for a longer period of time leads the person to ultimately fall out of love.

It is not that once the love between two people dies out it is the end of the road for them. Things can be worked out between the two. Efforts can be made by both to recreate that magic when they initially fell in love. Due to their efforts they can once again fall in love with each other and thus try to sustain the love they had for their lover. Erich Fromm used the term “standing in love” for this. He says that more than falling in love it is standing in love that is important. This is the only way that enables love to last longer.

However, standing in love is not an easy process and is something that does not happen very often. Despite that due to the delusion of true love, even when the love between them has died out, people still prefer to be with each other. The individual tries to hang on with that person desperately because he/she believes that that is the only person in the whole world who is made for him/her. This further causes problems, both within the relationship and the individuals themselves.

There are times when the couple decides to end the relationship. But since they believed that they had found true love it becomes very difficult for them to accept it. They find it really hard to get over the break up that they had. Because of this they get into phases of depression and also begin to lose interest in many other things. This can further lead to irritability and frustration.

Trying to continue a relationship that has no future or not being able to get over a broken relationship might take the person away from the possibility of accepting other pleasurable opportunities in life. There is always a possibility to fall in love again with another person, but that may not happen if the person is preoccupied with his/her own false beliefs. In this way, the person may be unknowingly moving further away from happiness that he/she may be getting. The delusion of true love and that one special person is not going to take the person any where.

The initial feeling of attraction with another person is magnetic and pulls the person into believing that he/she is in love without even thinking whether the relationship can work or not. Attraction and liking each other is not enough to have a long lasting relationship. There are many other aspects that are involved to make a relationship work out for a longer period of time. Compatibility, the amount of time that they can spend with each other, their own goals in life, and their future prospects are some of the things that needs to be considered before finally getting committed to a relationship.

It is better to withhold ones flow of emotions, initially, before getting fully committed to the relationship. All the aspects of the future of the relationship should be analyzed properly. Once a commitment is made then it becomes too late. Before getting into the relationship, if suppose an individual comes to the conclusion that there are too many complications within the relationship and that it may not have a future then he/she can always move on. Here the person saves himself/herself from a lot of troubles, like ending up with the wrong person, by wisely making a decision that the relationship may not work out.

Besides this, there is a strong possibility that the initial feeling of love may not even be love in the first place. The tremendous flow of emotions that occur when we initially meet a person and begin to like him/her, can make us falsely believe that we are falling in love with that person. Therefore, by withholding one's emotions, initially, can also make a person buy out some time and analyze properly whether or not the feeling that he/she is developing for the other person is actually love or something else. If he/she decides that it is just a liking and not love, then the individual prevents himself/herself in making a wrong decision and thus avoids further complications.

As mentioned above, there are people, especially adolescents and young adults, who orient their whole life according the feeling of love. Their whole life is guided by this one emotion. They neglect many other important aspects of life because of their feeling of love. They are willing to do anything to be with their lover.

For instance, they even choose a career path that is suitable for their love without even thinking that a career is chosen on the basis of aptitude and interest and not on the basis of their love. Choosing a wrong career for love is obviously an absolutely unwise decision, considering the fact that the love may not even last long enough. In the long run, career matters more than love.

Due to their being in love, many people give very little importance and even devalue other relationships like friends and family. Love comes and goes away, but friends and family (especially parents and siblings) are always there. Giving more value to love can make others unhappy and may lead to moving away from them. At the time when love gets over the person might end up being all alone and then it will be too late to regret.

Thus, efforts should be made to value all relationships equally. Giving more time to love and thus neglecting others can make them feel cheated and sad. There should be such an understanding between all the relationships that a comforting atmosphere is created. Giving more importance to love compared to other relationships can become dissatisfying and extremely stressful in the long run.

There is no doubt that the feeling of love is immensely pleasurable. It is indeed highly satisfying. But this does not mean that it should be given such a lot of importance. There are many other extremely important things in life, probably much more important and satisfying.

If love is given utmost importance then it leads to a lot of stress and becomes quite problematic. It can lead to dissatisfaction, depression, and a lot of complications. Love is meant to give a lot of happiness and not make the person end up in a lot of problems and make life complicated. Therefore, giving so much of importance to it is simply of no use at all.

Love should be taken like any other emotion. It should not be considered to be something that is very special. It should not be taken so seriously that it leads to self-deterioration and other problems in life. After all love is just another emotion.

25 comments:

cutestangel said...

A very mature analysis on the theory of love. well written.

http://cutestangel.wordpress.com/

Rebecca said...

I really enjoyed some of the points you made! I liked that you mentioned that being in love is a feeling and feelings can disappear. It's not good to make a commitment to someone just based on feelings.

I grew up believing that love is an action, not just a feeling. Feelings can be deceptive. When the feelings wear off, that is when you find out how much you love someone...when it's difficult.

You also mentioned that it's good to value all relationships equally. I agree with you in that I've known a lot of people who start to date and lose their other relationships. They spend all their time in romantic relationships and forget about the others. It's sad really!

Great article! You made some great points and enjoyed reading it. Thanks for visiting my blog too, and I will check back again!

zooni said...

hey wow i really like ur views on this very complicated feeling love

Petit said...

nice and awesome site here. is it ok, ill be ur follower?

Stacey Juengst said...

I think the premis of this post "love is a feeling" is wrong. Love is a decision, followed by action, and maintained by commitment. Infatuation is strong feelings of passion and attraction, which drives one to pursue another's prescence at all cost. It is selfish. It is focused on the other person making me happy. Love is selfless. It is focused on meeting the needs of the other.

Anytime a person enters into a relationship to get something (happiness) from the other, the relationship is doomed to fail. There will be true love when two people enter a relationship to give to the other.

Saif said...

@ cutesangel
I'm glad you saw it in that way.

@ Rebecca
Its nice to know that you enjoyed reading my article. Yes, like any other feeling love also wears off after a certain period of time. And yes it is indeed sad when people give more value to their romantic relationships and neglect other relationships.

@ zooni
Good to know that you liked my views.

@ Petit
Its really nice to know that you like my blog. Yes, of course, it'll be a pleasure if you follow my blog.

@ Stacey
I agree with all that you say but i disagree when you say that the premise of this post is wrong. Love is definitely a feeling. Commitment and all those other things come at a much later stage and are accompanied with love.

If you look properly at my post, I have said exactly the same things that you say. You said, "Love is a decision, followed by action, and maintained by commitment" ... and this is what I have also mentioned in my post. I said that one should not rush into a relationship believing that he/she is in love. The decision should be made properly keeping in mind all the pros and cons and make a proper analysis whether the relationship has a future or not. Like you, I also said that infatuation and attraction is not enough to make a relationship work.

You are also contradicting yourself in your own comment. First you say that love is selfless (to which I agree, to some extent) and then you say that it is focused on meeting the needs of the other. How can it be both at the same time?

I never said that a person gets into a relationship to get something (happiness). I said that love is meant to give pleasure and happiness and not complications, stress, and many other problems. This doesn't mean that one expects a lot of things in a relationship.

What you're trying to say is almost the same that I have said. Probably you have misunderstood my whole post. I am in no way against love or speaking anything bad about love.

HalfCrazy said...

I agree with you about people falling out of love and one reason being boredom. In a relationship, I always emphasize space for each other. It's not like just because you are in a relationship, you have to close the world behind and spend more time with your partner and later on, boredom. You're right, human beings always like change and dislike sameness and repetition.

Love is just really complicated but perhaps the most beautiful word after Life. For me anyway!

I don't wanna promote my blog but in my latest post, I kinda stressed some points about respect and space for each other. If you have time, check it out.

A very well written post! I also enjoyed reading your previous post but didn't comment because I don't know what to say LOL.

Much Love,

Stacey Juengst said...

It is necessary to be selfless in order to focus on the needs of another before you own. It is impossible to be concerned about another's needs if you are selfish.

I am disagreeing with you that love is an emotion. I believe passion,the emotion you define as love, is only an element of love. I believe love is comprised of passion, as well as commitment and intimacy.

I know you didn't say people are looking to find happiness. I am implying this. Everyone enters a relationship with expectations, usually we just aren't aware of them. A gap between our expectations and reality are what causes stress and dissapointment.

Saif said...

@ HalfCrazy
Yeah you're right that giving each other space is a very important factor in a relationship.

I'm glad that you enjoyed reading both of my posts, even if you didn't know what to say about the previous one :D

and yeah, i'll definitely check out your post very soon.

@ Stacey
You're disagreeing with me because you are not getting the concept of emotions. You are taking emotions in a very limited way. You are underestimating the depth and power of emotions. Emotions is an umbrella term used to describe a subjective experience. Emotions are very broad in nature and it is our emotions that further lead us to certain actions and decisions.

I have no where defined passion as the emotion of love. Passion and love are separate emotions. They are related but yet they are different. Love, of course, has many elements and many more things are accompanied with it. But love in its basic element is just an emotion and the feeling of love is an expression of that very emotion. It is the emotion of love that guides other things, like commitment and intimacy (that you have mentioned). Commitment and intimacy are obviously elements of love, but they come into being at a later stage (as I mentioned before). The emotion of love determines commitment and intimacy.

You're right that "a gap between our expectations and reality are what causes stress and dissapointment". But that's just one reason for a relationship not to last long enough. A relationship can have a number of reasons for not to work out. One of the reasons that i mentioned is that the love itself may fade away and this creates problems because people have wrong notions of love.

Stacey Juengst said...

I think we will just have to agree to disagree. I do not think commitment should be guided by emotions, if that is the case it is not really commitment. If I followed my feelings I would not be in a happy intimate marriage of 11 years. Love stays in spite of feelings because of commitment in order to breakthrough to intimacy, and true love.

Saif said...

@ Stacey
That's the reason for our disagreement. I know that you are happily married (i saw your blogcatolog profile). Marriage is a very different relationship. A marital relationship has a lot more aspects to it compared to a romantic relationship. I have not mentioned anything about love between married people, because I know that a married relationship has a lot more depth. I am talking about romantic couples who are not married. I think you'll agree that there is a lot of difference between the love in a romantic couple and the love between a married couple. I somehow knew that may be you're mixing up both the aspects of love.

There are many different aspects to love. There's love between parents and children, siblings, friends, romantic couples, live-in partners, and married couples. There is love between all these relationships but we can't call it the same.

You would know better that a married relationship is guided by many more things apart from love (i don't intend to say it in a negative manner). A marital relationship is quite stronger and has a lot more depth, whereas a romantic relationship can be more fragile compared to a marital relationship. There's a lot of maturity in a married relationship, which may or may not be there in a romantic relationship. My post is about the love in romantic relationships and the false beliefs that people may have within that context. And this is very different than what happens in a marital relationship.

Love in a romantic relationship is an emotion. The relationship may lead into a marriage and that of course needs to take other forms that are different from emotions.

I also feel that you need to reform your views about emotions. You are using emotions and feelings interchangeably. Both are different. Feelings are the expression of emotions. Feelings are temporary and emotions last for a relatively longer period of time. Emotions are more stable than feelings. I believe you are taking emotions in a very light manner. But contrary to what you think, emotions have a tendency to do a lot of things. Emotions come first and then the other related things follow.

Cursed♪♫ said...

Hi!
Just came across your blog. Nice post. THough I haven't read it full ! Keep Blogging ! :)

Walt said...

Love is everything, it is only in the way, and how we define love; that sets it's limitations. As I perceive it, Love is the key to all of creation. That here in our universe, all living things and man, are not self-existing entities, but the artifacts of God, the Supreme Creator. We are all created by Him and to Him we will all return. Love, not knowledge (intellectual), is the bond between God and man. From God's love proceeds only what is good, and even when He allows us to experience the harsh disciplines of life, This kind of tough love is also inherently good. God's omnipotence is not merely infinite in time, but also in intensity.

Shalini said...

Hey u really write so well. The discussion on this post is getting longer and this is really refining the things you are trying to convey.
I hope this is a very good article for adolescents to read, and understand the real meaning and need for identifying our true (genuine) emotions.

Saif said...

@ Cursed
Nice to know that you liked it ... would have been better if you had read the whole post :)

@ Shalini
Thanks for the appreciation. yeah, i hope the things that i want to say are conveyed properly :)

Iti said...

Lot to learn here...
Like your blog a lot.

"In Search of.." said...

really good !!!

@Saif :- somehow you helped me to understand it well the feeling called "Love"

you said "love is a decision" ,I normally say "happiness is a decision" .. now i m really sure that Love is a decision based on your feelings,emotions,commitment ,compatibility and understanding !!

second point u mentioned was "standing in love after being committed" nice perspective !!

I really njoyyed this !!!

Saif said...

@ In Search of ...
Yeah, I feel that instead of rushing into it, one should think carefully to come to the conclusion that he/she is in love.

About the "standing in love", you should thank the psychologist Erich Fromm (I mentioned his name in the post) for that, because it is he who gave that term :D :)

Yiting said...

Saif, I learned a lot from this article. Thank you!

In particular, treating love equally amongst emotions is rather new concept to me. I'll work on it :)

Saif said...

@ Yiting
Well, yeah I always feel that people take the emotion of love too seriously and this is what makes things complicated ... love, is after all, just an emotion, like any other one ...
Thanks for the appreciation :)

Anonymous said...

I like your article ..it feels like love which is supposed to be one of the biggest emotions in life is explained to so easily out here..it seems to be nothing more than any other emotion we feel...its not that any emotion is complicated but its the human mind which is playing games and deceives our own emotions..
But yes about emotions being stable i would disagree to it..as they are the ones which makes a person looses his stability..many times we react using these emotional factors.

Saif said...

@ Anonymous
Yes, i agree that emotions are not stable ... at times the emotions become really overpowering and it causes the mind not to function in the way that we would like to do so ... another post of mine concerns similar issues ... its about emotional hijacking, where i have written about how emotions over power our cognition (http://lifepsychologyandalotmore.blogspot.com/2008/11/emotional-hijacking.html)

Thanks for liking this article ...

iulia nastase said...

After all love is just another emotion...loved the article! Thank you!

Saif Farooqi said...

Thank you Iulia. Nice to know that you liked the article. :)

iulia nastase said...

My pleasure!:)

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