What Is This Thing Called ‘Romantic Love’
I wonder what is this thing called ‘Romantic Love’.
‘T’hink it starts with a pretty face or a clever personality?
‘I’sn’t it merely an exchange of value wherein two people ascertain what they individually bring to the table and if it’s of interest to both parties - they fall in love?
‘N’ever will people tell you that they are afraid of ending up alone, so then, do they confuse love with companionship?
‘S’ometimes, can love be purely imagined? It’s like falling in love with the idea or concept of someone - pretty much like Daniel Day Lewis’ character Newland Archer falling madly in love with the idea of Ellen Olenska in ‘The Age of Innocence’?
‘T’he trick is to grow together at the same rate in a relationship and constantly keep learning from each other, is it then that people can truly cultivate love?
‘C’an love really last a lifetime or does it diminish with reduced levels of the ‘Love Hormones’ in our body? Are there any telltale signs that can help gauge the longevity of love?
‘R’eally, what is it that keeps people together? Love or the idea of building something together, perhaps a family?
‘L’ove is a ploy carefully crafted by our genome to perpetuate life, would you agree?
So in a nutshell, T(here) I(s) N(o) S(uch) T(hing) C(alled) R(omantic) L(ove) - at least not one without a shelf life.
And, people need to be intentional about enhancing the shelf life of this thing called love or else, in the words of Ariana Grande ‘Thank U, Next’.
- People change all the time so they are no longer the person we fell in love with. So to extend the shelf life of love, we need to keep reminding ourselves why we fell in love with them in the first place. What ‘promise’ did we first see in them.
- It’s about never getting complacent / smug in a relationship and constantly trying to keep winning the affection of the other people through random acts of kindness or through our own personal achievements.
- Love is not a state of flow but rather a sinusoidal curve. We may love our partner at one stage and feel totally dispassionate about them at a different stage.
- After a while, it’s natural for two people to not be in love with each other at the same time. Sometime, one person might be riding the trough of the sinusoidal curve and the other is sitting on the crest.
- Politeness goes a long way in a relationship. Always mind your Ps and Qs with your significant other - we often show our worst selves to them so purposefully watching our tonality and choice of words is key to sustaining love.
- Physical attraction is integral. It’s important to feel that fluttering in our heart when we see our partner from a distance - almost looking at them how we’d look at a beautiful stranger. And taking pride and joy that they are MY lover.
- From a biological standpoint, Dopamine, which happens to be one of the most critical love hormones, needs to be flushed out by our bodies so we can keep that feeling of love alive. Turns out, surprises or unexpected situations trigger dollops of Dopamine. So don’t shy away from being a bit of enigma for our partners by continually surprising them and acting out of character every now and then.
- Before loving someone, we all need to love ourselves so we can find inner joy within ourselves. Otherwise, we are burdening the other person with the responsibility for our happiness and as we set them to this high standard, they will inevitably end up letting us down.
P.S. - Upon the insistence of my best friend, this is my first attempt at writing on such a profound subject like love. I am not an expert by any means but I do hope you enjoy reading my random musings on this topic.