Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love Is More Than a Dare

Love is a funny thing…it’s probably the strongest feeling we can experience, yet no two people experience it in the same way.

It can keep us up all night because of a fiery-hot, erotic/ludic/manic attraction to someone, or it can keep us up all night because of a child who is fiery-hot with fever.

Everyone carries an internal map of “love,” a “list” of those components that make up their one-of-a-kind definition of love. If all goes according to plan, our love partner knows each aspect of our love map (and how it was written), and pays careful attention to our unique characterization of love.

If at any point in time any part of our love map is violated (intentionally or not), the love relationship is threatened. This is why it’s so crucial to know one another’s love map—it’s impossible to meet a partner’s love needs if we don’t know what “love” is to that person!

It is from the earliest of all relationships—our parent-infant relationship and the attachment that takes place—that our ability and capacity to love (and allow others to love us) is shaped and molded.

And remember: Since love is a process that undergoes change over time, your definition of love is constantly under construction!  To experience consummate love, lovers need to every so often remind one another of their love maps (not during an argument. That would definitely fall into the timing-is-everything category!).

Let’s look back to the story of the young woman in the hospital, because this real-life story really has everything that an enduring, long-lasting, love relationship is all about.