Thursday, April 28, 2016
2nd Report: Love
Dr. P. Oliver
Certain aspects of love are often misunderstood or forgotten. I’m not talking about the issues of love for inanimate things. Loving your country or your motorcycle is fine, however, what bout the love between humans. Specifically, on romantic love.
However, just so we’re on the same page, one of the best quotes I’ve ever read answering that first question. From Jubal Harshaw in the book Stranger in a Strange Land:
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
First, let’s acknowledge the fact that humans are a social animal. Individually, our craving for interaction varies in strength. Some need a lot of companionship, while others are happier with less. But in the end, we all need a certain amount of time with others.
The most interesting aspect of this fact is that we will find friends and love in almost every situation. Even if a racist or feminist were to be stranded in a country surrounded by the exact people they dislike, they would end up in a relationship and find the ability to justify it.
Love and the desire to be with others is something that can’t be removed completely. However, there is an aspect of love that almost everyone tries to suppress, even if they don’t realize it.
To explain better, let me move from romantic love, to family love.
Let’s say you have some brothers/sisters. One day, along comes your mom to say that she is pregnant again.
So the question is, with the addition of another sibling, will you have to reduce the amount of affection for the others in order to have any to spare for your new baby brother? No matter how many people enter your family you will love them all (some less than others, but love them nonetheless).
With family, and almost everyone else, it is understood that love or any emotion per say isn’t fixed in quantity. To suggest that anyone could not love a sibling or family member due to some head count would be hilarious. Even with friendship, we understand that meeting and gaining a new friend does not reduce the feelings we have for our other friends in the slightest. Frankly, we can even gain a new enemy without losing any of our hate for those we already dislike.
And yet, in the realm of romantic love, the usual rule is two people, one love. No more, no less.
This “ideal” is so ingrained in us, through stories and real life, that peopl never even question it. And yet, falling in love with multiple people happens much more often that anyone cares to admit. We are in love with someone, and then meet someone else that we “click” with.
So what usually occurs when this happens? We are forced to “choose which one we really love”. The very concept presupposes that we can’t possibly have feelings for both of them. And yet, that’s exactly what did occur. You found two people you care for.
If you or your mate ends up in this situation, I truly believe the best response is to ask “Does your feelings for them affect your feelings for me in any way at all?” If they can be truly honest with themselves and you, the answer will easily illuminate the path ahead. Once this real situation can be acknowledged, relationship problems can be fixed, because you can address the issue that affects your relationships: Time.
When our love finds they care for others as well, it’s not love and affection that we are in danger of losing, but TIME. If you love multiple people, there is almost no way you can spend as much time with each one them if you had only one lover. It is this reduction of enjoyable time spent together that threatens most current relationships, not the loss of love itself.
At this point, we need to make sure we understand a completely different issue that appears similar on the surface. But what if the issue is a reduction of feelings? What if, for some reason, your lover is simply losing interest in you and by natural extension, finds someone else to fill the void in their needs? Or perhaps it is you that finds a reduced emotional tie. In order to best serve those you love, you must be honest about the depth of your feelings, as well as the reality of the quantity of them.
For example, what if you still love your exes. I mean most people usually keep in contact with some. Even if they’ve moved on with their lives and have others to spend their time with. Anytime you hear that they are happy, you somewhat feel joy. You truly are glad they live good lives, even if it’s not with you. And that is love. It doesn’t affect how you feel about your current mate one bit.