I find the concept of love a little twisted. We all think and believe that love happens when you meet the right person. When Mister or Miss Right graces us with their presence, love just drops on our heart out of nowhere. Love is the magical sensation that captivates us when the right person appears. No wonder so many people are single!
Few days back I asked my sister to define love.
After much thinking and pondering she just said, “It is the feeling you get when you meet the right person.”
I asked, “What makes you say that?”
“I don’t know. That’s what my friends say!”
That is the teenage reality. I am not ashamed to admit that when I was a teenager, I thought the same. People believe that love is just a sensation that spontaneously appears when you meet the right person and also has the tendency to fizzle out when the magic “isn’t there” anymore. Doesn’t that sound a teeny tiny bit ridiculous? If love would have erupted on meeting only the right person then in my opinion there would have been no chance of love falling out. Love wouldn’t have hurt. No breakups. No falling in love for two or three times, and that too with different people!
Erich Fromm in his treatise “The Art of Loving” points out that there is no enterprise or activity that is started with so high hopes and expectations, and stills fails regularly, as love. The culprit behind failed love is the misconception with which we approach a relationship. It’s high time we understand what real and lasting love needs.
Chanakya said, “The fragrance of flowers spread only in the direction of the wind but the goodness of a person spread in all directions.” Love is directly proportional to goodness. Surprised? Well, love is actually the attachment that develops when you start appreciating each another’s goodness. You may have never heard of people falling in love enthralled by each other’s ethics. But in a real life study of long successful marriages, Judith Wallerstein found that the value these long-term couples place on each other’s morals was just outstanding.
It’s a human instinct to see the good in others. We are created to see the good in us and regret our wrong doings. We seek the same thing in others too. Good looks, charming personality, bountiful talent and sharp intelligence are bound to attract you but it’s the goodness in the other person that motivates you to love him/her.
If love is about seeing the goodness in others, then you don’t have to wait for love to bounce up and happen – you can make it happen! In reality, this is what happens. We keep waiting for the right person with no clue on why he would be the right one. We don’t decide what qualities our right person needs to have intact. It also happens in most cases that the people we fall in love with do not even have a single quality we idolized. We just fall in love and start believing that he/she is the right person. But what’s actually happening is that their goodness made you love them and you didn’t even realize! Well it’s a long road from creating the foundation of a concrete love to actually building that profound love, which specially happens in marriages. But starting your love journey by seeing the good in an individual is a good start for an eventful love life. Love is choice. If you choose to love someone, you ain’t doing anything wrong.
Now that you have learnt to love someone, how can you deepen it? Most of my guy friends have this ridiculous notion that if you are in love and in a relationship then you have to give a lot to make that person stay with you and deepen the love. By giving they imply gifts, taking out for dates, etc. But I don’t believe it’s true. That’s not love Bro! That’s bribery!
So what exactly is needed to bring profound love to your relationship? The first ingredient in a long-lasting love recipe is care. Show profound concern and interest in your partner’s life. Show them you care. The second is responsibility. When you are in a relationship you should have an essence of responsibility imbibed in your life. Remember the things important to your partner. Sometimes they may not express their wants. You have to know what they need. The third ingredient is to have respect for them. Everybody wants to be idolized and respected. You should have the ability to see people as the way they are. You have to understand your partner’s individuality. You may not always agree upon their thought process and you can disagree politely. But sometimes you should put yourself in their shoes and try to see it from their perspective. This makes them feel confident about their views and they might also ask you for personal inputs. Trust me, this makes the bond of your relationship strong.
Every relationship has ups and downs. If there’s no problem in your relationship, something might be terribly wrong. Whenever there’s a conflict you have three choices to deal with it. You can either choose to leave and turn your back. Or you can stay in a loveless relationship. Or you can choose to love your partner. I would go with the third one.