Monday, April 7, 2014

"True Love" Is The Problem

Why do so many people's relationships end badly? People who professed their undying love to each other end up leaving the relationship and professing their undying love to someone else. In many cases this is a serial behavior... one after another... time and time again.


I think that true love is the problem.

Of course, true love is also the ideal of romantic fancy. Somewhere out there is the one person who is your true love. The goal is to find that person and in that relationship find the perfect joy of absolute fulfillment that results in "happily ever after." Songs and books and films and children's storybooks all promote this ideal.

But how does one recognize one's "true love?"

Well, you just know, of course. Somehow you recognize your true love and your heart sings and you are completely, head over heals, without reservation, sure that this person is your true love.

But this "true love" experience is very much like simple infatuation. The new person is exciting. There is sexual attraction. There are interesting mysteries and stimulating conversations. There is the thrill of having another person interested in you. And there are very few known foibles that will irritate you later.

"Happily ever after" ends up being much less exciting than the initial relationship. Now there are the foibles - the bad breath in the morning - the chewing with his mouth open - the uneven sharing of household duties - the competing interests.

Eventually, true love doctrine leads to the conclusion that you've made a mistake. This person was not really your true love. You could never be irritated by your true love. You could never be disappointed in your life with your true love. Your true love must still be out there somewhere! You must look for him or her... over and over again.

True Love (so called) is actually sensuality - living by your feelings. As long as the other person makes you feel really good - they are your true love. But if they fail to make you feel really good - they must not be your true love.

REAL Love, on the other hand, is commitment. In our culture there must be some basis for initial attraction and some level of compatibility in beliefs and values. But there is also a realistic understanding that the other person is imperfect. There should also be an understanding that both of you will change over time as you have good experiences and bad experiences. You will struggle as you deal with stressful situations and you will fail each other on many occasions.

But real love says, "I am committing myself to you, no matter what happens, no matter what changes, as long as we both shall live. Riches or poverty, health or sickness, success or failure, pleasure and pain are all the different fields on which I will prove my commitment to you. You will be my one and only. I will prove my loyalty. I will never give up."

That is real love. That's what you want.