It’s evermore difficult to find true love, and there are many myths and misconceptions in place that prevent us from acquiring the true love we rightfully deserve.
For instance, many believe that they can’t help who they fall in love with yet, we often define true love according to what true love is not.
Instead what we deem true love is usually intense arousal in a drug-like state of infatuation and being swept up in the rush of lust where we are not able to discern what true intimate love really means.
I’ve had many relationships throughout my life but I’ve only ever been in love once- with my husband. Since I have gained this knowledge firsthand, I can make numerous comparisons from true love to the supplanted illusions of infatuation I’d fallen prey to in my past relationships.
There is a vast difference between true love and infatuation. The differences can be defined in the following ways:
- Dream/fairytale like image of the other person.
- Inability to recognize faults.
- Obsessive about the glamorous and superficial (sexual fantasies, external appearances, illusions of perfection).
- Unconcerned with the mundane day-to-day events in the relationship.
- Believing that the “rush” is what designates the relationship true love.
- Real intimacy (embracing one’s feelings in spite of any perceived flaws).
- Desiring a much more meaningful connection.
- Trust in that person’s willingness to be there in spite of the inevitable bumps in the road.
- Not putting too much weight on the “rush”- wanting to be in the relationship through the peaks and valleys.
- Falling in love with the very realistic view of the person- seeing who they are sans bed of roses.
- Less about expectations and more about loving acceptance.
The state of infatuation is what we choose to see in the other person. True love is seeing everything about that person and becoming closer because of it.
We must learn to pay attention to the early signals in a relationship that indicate whether or not we’re on the right path to true love.
Facing the Uncomfortable
The closest and most intimate experiences of my life have occurred with my husband only in my marriage. When I say “uncomfortable”, I mean horribly, horribly and completely out of sorts, where you feel as though any moment you could lose your sanity and complete sense of self under the weight of all the unknown variables- and ultimately realizing that person is determined to be there for you after and regardless.
It’s very frightening to venture into the realm of the sacred and unreachable and surrender our feelings to people we don’t yet fully trust (achieving complete intimacy is 100% about the ability to trust), and it’s even more frightening to imagine not being well-received or being rejected when we open ourselves up in an intimate way.
This is primarily why many relationships never evolve beyond a certain point- we become comfortable with the familiar “safeguards” and barriers we’ve put in place where we don’t have to share certain crucial elements of our lives out of fear. That is how our relationships stagnate and are unable to progress to deeper level of connection. Without intimacy, there is no sturdy foundation for true love to evolve in a relationship.
The general rule is, if it feels extremely uncomfortable, you’re on the right path. Breaking down emotional and psychological barriers is putting yourself right square on the path to discovering true love- and reaching a level of intimacy far beyond anything you’ve ever known.
Desiring a Deeper Connection
In wanting and needing to break down barriers, we acknowledge that we not only want love but that we deserve it. We seek intimacy when we are ready to receive love.
We feel the other person is worth the effort. We want to feel this person resonate within us in such a way that no other has nor ever will. When we need and desire more of a connection from that certain person, we do so because we are ultimately seeking love from that person.
I’ve been hearing a lot women using the all-too-common phrase “If he loves me, he will without my makeup”. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if he doesn’t love you in spite of all your flaws, he never will. He won’t love you when you wake up in the morning looking your absolute worst, when you’re doubled over with stomach flu nor will he when he sees your post-baby fat and stretch marks. This is precisely where infatuation differs from true love.
Infatuation disallows us to embrace faults. It is comprised of illusions that are irreparably shattered when intimacy begins to dismantle our ostentatious dreams of perfection.
In true love, a man will rush right over to care for you when you’re sick. In true love, a woman will want to be there for you on those days when you feel you can’t face the stresses of the world another minute. And neither will try and calculate the “perfect” time to declare love.
Infatuation is about perfection. True love is about what isn’t.
Finding Beauty in One’s “Faults”
I’ve discussed “fault-finding” on numerous occasions. Finding faults accomplishes three things that render people completely incapable of progress on the onward path towards realizing true love:
1. Whatever faults you designate the other person has are conditions that you will not be able to forgive- whether you want to or not.
2. It solidifies unrealistic views leaving you unable to see the human side of people- that can only be seen through compassion, empathy, and understanding. Finding faults creates distance and an emotionless human experience.
3. Fault-finding tends to, by default, outweigh the good by foreshadowing our inability to recognize what is good. If we only ever distinguish what’s bad, how will we know what to look for otherwise?
Infatuation is to rely on faultless beauty. True love is knowing there is incomparable beauty found only in one’s faults.
The path to true love involves risk. Risking letting the other person know that you desire from them a substantially higher level of trust and intimacy. You risk seeing the other person’s human side because that’s the part you inherently want to love.
It’s rather easy to believe the whimsical, dopamine-induced state of infatuation is true love because our judgment is clouded by hormonal fluctuations, unrealistic expectations and beliefs in perfection. It’s faults lie in not discerning what makes that person human and capable of giving and receiving love when it matters most.
The moments that matter most are those that occur far beyond the heated rush of infatuation.
Without risk, there is no basis to realize trust. True love involves trust while infatuation detracts from it.
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