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In Love vs. Loving

Posted by JSYL on Friday, September 22, 2006 in
Old post dragged from the depths of my ancient MSN space...here you go Tim:



WARNING: if you are taken, the following may be considered offensive. But keep in mind its just a marriage counsellor's theory. I think its a bloody good one, but you be the judge. I tried to keep it as short as possible but there's so much more he wrote that really adds meaning to this. If nothing else (Henry and Navid) just read the thing in caps for some insight in what i'm trying to get across. Thanks to Kafrin for lending me this book and to Tim for trying to explain this theory to me ages ago bluntly. I get it now, aren't you proud? Happy Valentine's day by the way- love you all.


--Edited Extract taken from Chapman, G "The Five Love Languages" Strand Publishing 2004, pp 29-35

At its peak, the "in love" experience is euphoric. We are emotionally obsessed with each other. We go to sleep thinking of one another. When we rise that person is the first thought on our minds. We long to be together. Spending time together is like playing in the anteroom of heaven. When we hold hands, it seems as if our blood flows together...

The person who is "in love" has the illusion that his beloved is perfect. His mother can see the flaws but he can't. His mother says, "Darling, have you considered she has been under psychiatric care for five years?" But he replies, "Oh, Mother, give me a break. She's been out for three months now."

We have been led to believe that if we are really in love, it will last forever. We will always have the wonderful feelings that we have at this moment. Nothing could ever come between us. Nothing will ever overcome our love for each other...Our love is the most wonderful thing we have ever experienced. We observe that some married couples seem to have lost that feeling, but it will never happen to us. "Maybe they did not have the real thing," we reason.

Unfortunately, the eternality of the "in love" experience is fiction, not fact. Dr. Dorothy Tennov, a psychologist, has done long-range studies on the in-love phenomenon. After studying scores of couples, she concluded that the average life span of a romantic obsession is two years...Eventually we all descend from the clouds and plant our feet on earth again. Our eyes are opened, and we see the warts of the other person. We recognize that some of his/her personality traits are actually irritating...He has the capacity for hurt and anger, perhaps even harsh words and critical judgments...

We should have known better. A casual observation should have taught us that if people remained obsessed, we would all be in serious trouble...The shock waves would rumble through business, industry, church, education and the rest of society. Why? Because people "in love" lose interests in other pursuits. That is why we call it "obsession".

Such obsession gives us the false sense that our egocentric attitudes have been eradicated and we have become sort of a Mother Teresa willing to give anything for the benefit of our lover...but we are unrealistic. By nature we are egocentric. None of us is totally altruistic. The euphoria of the "in love" experience only gives us that illusion.

If falling in love is not real love, what is it? Dr. Peck concludes that it "is a genetically determined instinctual component of mating behaviour."...(Real love) is emotional in nature but not obsessional. It is love that unites reason and emotion. It involves an act of the will and requires discipline and recongizes the need for personal growth.

OUR MOST BASIC EMOTIONAL NEED IS NOT TO FALL IN LOVE BUT TO BE GENUINELY LOVED BY ANOTHER, TO KNOW A LOVE THAT GROWS OUT OF REASON AND CHOICE, NOT INSTINCT. I NEED TO BE LOVED BY SOMEONE WHO CHOOSES TO LOVE ME, WHO SEES IN ME SOMETHING WORTH LOVING.

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2 Comments


Feels like i've read this before.
Posted at 5.30am??? wth


Who's 'd'? Dan? Yeah this was on my MSN space but Tim wanted me to post it again, since he'd just read another extract from the book. And I'm never awake that early, I think the times are mucked up.

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