Love and Romantic Attraction

Hola Everybody,
This blog might give you a headache!

The following is what I meant to write last week. It’s Relationship Thursdays, so take heed… LOL

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The English language is extremely inadequate for matters spiritual and of the heart. I realize that those who speak English only will find this hard to understand, but it’s true. This is not a knock on English, it’s my primary language, just an observation. Read Neruda in English, for example, and then read him in Spanish and you’re immediately confronted with the total inadequacy of the English language to express love.

Take the simple word, amor. Amor is the Spanish word for love, but it loses so much in the translation. Amor comes from the root word, alma, which means soul. So, to say in Spanish, te amo, which is translated as I love you, is woefully inadequate. It loses its essentialness. Te amo is a powerful statement, so much more than a mere, “I love you.”

In our culture we tend to use the word “love” for many different feelings. If we’re going to attempt to untangle the confusions and miscommunications surrounding our relationships, we need to look at this a little closer. I will submit that there three separate elements of our loving in intimate relationships: love, romance, and chemistry.

Of the three mentioned above – love, romance, and chemistry – love is probably the simplest to understand (and the hardest to practice!). Attempts at defining love has gone one since time immemorial, but I will offer today one of the simplest. Love is simply what is when your heart is open. Love is manifested in your body (and mind) as openness. Anger and hate is expressed as a contraction. Love = openness; hate = contraction.

Simple, right?

You could love almost anything or anyone. You could love your lover, your dog, your mother, your car, your sexual organ, painting landscapes, etc. When your heart is open you love whomever or whatever, in your life. Love is the union of you and the one you are with.

To do love is to open your heart. There is no loving with a closed heart and many of us suffer from closed and broken hearts, but I get ahead of myself. So, love is what is when your heart is open. If you’re waiting to feel love, as if some soulmate or Divine act of randomness will confer it upon you in the form of idealized “one,” you will be waiting for a long time. Oh yeah! And psssst: there’s no Santa Claus too! Love happens when you open up, whether that’s right now, or ten years from now.

Love has nothing to do with sex. You can love someone and not have sexual desire for them. In fact, and contrary to popular myth, you can extremely fulfilling and Grand mal seizure-inducing sex with someone you do not love. The fact is that you exist as love when your heart is unguarded and you cut yourself off from love when you guard your heart. In my view, you can actually learn, or increase your capacity, to love. It’s not something that happens out there in some mysterious way. This is the foundation of true intimacy.

Have you ever met someone and immediately felt an attraction for that person? You meet at a party, or some other social function and you both hit it off from the start. Sparks fly, you feel as if you have known each other for lifetimes. It’s hard to believe you have just met and you both feel as if you’ve known each other for a long time. The conversation is effortless, and you really enjoy being with this person. Maybe, you think to yourself, “Maybe this is “The One” Eddie is always laughing about. Maybe this is my soulmate, the person I’ve been waiting for all my life ::gush:: Have you ever experienced that?

You feel all giddy inside and then the two of you begin seeing each other regularly. You feel a certain “specialness” about the relationship, and you begin spending more time together. IMs, text messages, marathon telephone calls, blah, blah, blah…

You feel: This is meant to be!

This is romantic attraction, infatuation, “falling in love.”

Romantic attraction begins with this powerful feeling of oneness and of bonding, a feeling that you have always known each other. You have probably experienced this feeling for a person at one point in your life. If you have, you know that feeling doesn’t last. I know: I’m fucked up for saying this, shoot me. But it’s true: after several months, or if you’re lucky (or unlucky), several years, this powerful romantic attraction wears off.

Then the unthinkable inevitably happens. This magical person who was going to be “The One,” who was going to give you everything you ever wanted, who was going to bring endless love into your life, seems to turn into precisely the person who does not give you what you want.

Eventually, relationships based on romantic attraction always crash and burn and result in not getting the love you desire.

Why?

The reason is that romantic attraction is based on a script deeply imprinted in your psyche that was formed during childhood. There are a great many books, therapists, and workshops out there clearly explaining that those people to whom we are attracted are exactly those people who embody the qualities, good and bad, of our parents. Whatever our parents didn’t give us enough of (i.e., love, attention, praise, freedom), is exactly the ting we will not get from our romantically chosen partner!

The reason why you feel as if you “already knew” your romantic partner is because you did know him or her: the parental imprint on your childhood psyche! The reason for the “specialness” you feel for this person is that you unconsciously hope to continue the relationship you had with your parents and finally get the love you have always wanted, the acceptance you always desired, the fulfillment your heart has always craved.

In addition, because you have unconsciously chosen your parents as your partners, you have chosen someone who will not give you what you always wanted. In exactly the way that our parents didn’t. And here’s the kicker and what always gets my goat: even if your lover could give you what you wanted you won’t accept it because it’s not part of your script. The imprint on your childhood script doesn’t believe it’s real.

What happens is that as the thrill of being “in love” wears off, your love interest seems perfectly adapted to cause you pain. He or she has this amazing ability to push your buttons and hurt you. The person who used to bring out the best in you, now seems to bring out the worst, just by being herself or himself. And guess what? You do the same for your partner!

Because romantic attraction is based on qualities in your partner that you unconsciously recognize from your childhood experiences, you’re doomed to be as fulfilled or unfulfilled by your partner’s love as you were by your parent’s.

Love isn’t a feeling people, but so many people have had children as a result of a feeling! LOL!

There is a way out of the merry-go-round folks, but that’s for another day, another post.

Love,

Eddie

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5 thoughts on “Love and Romantic Attraction

  1. I was right along with you until you brought up parents then you lost me. I look forward to reading your follow-up I pray it makes up for being mislead into thinking I had discovered the answer as to what was missing from past relationships.

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  2. This is so interesting and makes so much sense. I recently had a gentleman tell me that he is not romantically attracted to me after weeks of dating. I did not understand what he was “trying to express” and I don’t think he understands himself either. I am a gentle, kind person who is sincere and open. I had an excellent childhood and have done well for myself. The gentleman I was seeing is divorced after 23 years of marriage. He lived with a woman for 5 years and both relationships went belly up. I soon became the target…I did not have this; I did not have that right down to “I’m not romantically attracted to you.” After reading this article, I pulled all of his comments together and realized that he was in love with the thought of being in love, but is too afraid to truly love again. He wants romance and wants it his way for a given length of time…unattached emotionally if you will to keep from feeling the hurt. This guy grew up dirt poor and has been rejected by two key people in his life. His parents had 14 children and he is the last. He never had a bed of his own and his parents were uneducated which he believes led to most of his siblings becoming incarcerated and drug users. As much as I would like to be angry with him for dropping this bomb in my lap, I concur with this article that people who approach relationships from a “romantic attraction” stand point, crash and burn quickly and will bail on an individual in a heart beat. In my heart of hearts, I think he loved me in his own way, but could not work past all of the garbage he has experienced and is afraid he will come out on the losing end again. At any rate, I am happy that this happend now and this article helped me to process what I could not make sense of. Thank you writer.

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  3. Addition to earlier post: This is so true:

    “Then the unthinkable inevitably happens. This magical person who was going to be “The One,” who was going to give you everything you ever wanted, who was going to bring endless love into your life, seems to turn into precisely the person who does not give you what you want.”

    This is exactly what happened. Promised everything…did everything and then turned into the person I did not want him to be. A liar, a time-waster; and then abandoned me emotionally and physically. It’s as if he had read this article or books related to romantic attraction. There is no doubt that he was told by his formers that they were not “romantically attracted to him” because of the way in which he used it. Almost “let me say it first before it is said to me.”

    Yikes…….and thanks again…

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