I Love You, but I’m not “In Love with You”

i love you but i'm not in loveHow often do we hear that phrase; in the movies, books or any other “romance” related piece of media?  It is usually the line given just before someone walks out on a relationship.  It is usually done such that we feel sympathy for whichever party we are meant to feel for in that context.

If it is the person saying, should be really feel any sympathy?  To answer that question we need to have a look at what we mean by being “In Love” and “Loving someone”.

If we buy the idea that we have to be “In Love” with someone then we have reduced ourselves to victims of the chemical rush; the pheromone lottery that comes with meeting someone.  In truth we have just wrapped up lust in a respectable package to make ourselves feel better.  Okay, perhaps it is lust with a little bit of I like these things about this person.  But whichever way you look at it you are ignoring the “bad things” about the other person.

So what happens when the ‘two year’ honeymoon starts to wear off?  Well, we start to ease of on the bombarding the other person with every language of love and start to settle down to our own native language.  Guess what, so does the other person.  Now if you talk different languages both of your emotional batteries will start to wear down.  As that battery runs low you become intolerant of the other persons flaws and you stop being “In Love”.

Maybe you still see lovable aspects to the other person, so you can still “Love” them, but you’re not “In Love” with them.  Now you have to make a choice; are you driven by you animal nature, a victim of chemical reactions; or are you going to love the person with those flaws AND maybe the amazing positives?

If you choose to stay and put in the effort to be “In Love” the person then you are in a state of “volitional Love”.  When we look at the great writings on love this is the type of love they are talking about.  Love where you have chosen to exercise all the attributes they talk about; not the drugged up phase of “being in love” where it seems to happen by default.

This is not an easy place to be.  It takes work; from both parties if it is going to succeed.  But the rewards are far greater.  When you know the other person has chosen you; all of you, including the flaws; and is making an effort to speak your language, rather than come at you like a junkie looking for their own next self-serving fix.

This may explain why arranged marriages have worked in cultures that frown on being “In Love” and place more value on “Love”.  Sure, there may be underlying socio-economic forces, but you can still choose whether you are going to emotionally engage with that person, or not.  Maybe we need to decide if we are going to love someone, or run away for the next easy fix.

 

 

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Drunken Language

love cocktail fireI often speak of the languages of love, and having finally read the original book cover to cover I will be making posts in detail later. However, while chatting to someone about the 5 languages of love and they raised the point of how we behave when we’re drunk. Needless to say that got me thinking.

One area in the book that is difficult is finding ways to truly work out what your “language of love” is; and liking sex does not make it ‘physical touch’. Gary Chapman proposes several ways to decipher your preferred language. However, for some, we may have stumbled on a simpler method – get drunk.

Alcohol initially suppresses the areas of the brain that control or ingrained social mores and conventions that prevent us from taking certain actions. For plenty of reasons we choose not to be overly expressive of love when sober. Put alcohol in the mix and let the brakes off of that part of your brain and BINGO – the truth will out.

 

Words of Affirmation – stumbling around telling everyone that you love them; no, really love them.

Quality Time – following that centre of your love around; often to ‘inappropriate places’.

Receiving Gifts – ask for a sip from other people’s drinks or people to buy you a drink.

Acts of Service – making sure other people have a safe way home; buying everyone a drink.

Physical touch – grabbing your buddy in a head lock and telling them, “I’m doing this because I love you.”

 

I’ve tried to quickly match the drunken behaviour with the love language. I’d be happy to hear if others have a different opinion. Maybe it’ll just get you watching your friends (or your own) drunken behaviour a little more closely.