Love lasts as long as it deserves

Elena MedvedevaLife
Love lasts as long as it deserves

Today we are going to talk about love once again. Although love is such a thing that no matter how much you talk about it, you still can't describe it in words, you can't understand it with your mind, you can only master it with your heart, and even then it's not always easy. Something happens to people in love that is difficult to define. I think each of you could tell something special about this state. Some people poetize love, saying it is the meaning of life, while others scold it, saying it is a punishment. And someone just lives and enjoys every moment. Each story is unique. Some can be attributed to misalliance, some to banal flirting, some to role models, but in general, they are just different scenarios of the same feeling. So what is love?

Well, let's not read poetry, although there is a temptation to do so, especially since on Valentine's Day one wants to think and dream only about the high, the perfect, the enchanting. Everyone is walking around looking so dreamy and solemn. And so do I. But scientists do not share my feelings or yours at all. They are just investigating what it is. Some time ago, there was a fake in the media that the WHO included love in the register of addiction-type diseases, like alcoholism, gambling, substance abuse, kleptomania, and item F 63.9 is supposedly called "Disorder of habits and urges unspecified." Common symptoms: obsessive thoughts, mood swings, self-pity, insomnia, intermittent sleep, rash, impulsive actions, blood pressure fluctuations, headaches, allergic reactions. Yes, there is such an item, but there is nothing about love, and probably the person who launched this "duck" experienced just such an "unspecified" but disturbing state.

Scientists study the influence of feelings and affects in the same way as love addiction. They pay attention to the psychology, physiology, biology, and chemistry of love. "I'm crazy because I love," you can hear from lovers. Psychiatrists consider jealousy mania or erotomania, while psychoanalysts, for example, talk about love in terms of drives, libido, neurosis, culture and family history of the subject, and relationships with others. It begins with the contact of an infant with its mother, because it is the primary other who gives this formula of love that will become the basis for the rest of life. It is the energy of attraction directed at an object. "Since love itself is a passionate desire and loss, lovers take care of themselves and their interests, but to be loved, to receive mutual love in return and to possess the object of love means to resurrect it again." This statement can be considered the key to understanding Freud's concept of love. The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan said that to love is to have the gift of giving, it is difficult to understand what, and it is unknown whether the object of love needs it, but a lover has no way of not giving. The beautiful Audrey Hepburn answered him: "Giving love is more important than receiving it."

Love is never the same, all life is like a passion-fest. First, sympathy, followed by passion, falling in love, then recognition, the phase of long-lasting feelings, the next phase is affection, a habit when you feel good around someone and don't want to change anything. This is ideal. Because many loves are shattered, and not only because of everyday life. The general reason (of course, there may be exceptions in each case) is simple. The inability to recognize that reality is unpredictable, and it does not want to fit into the Procrustean bed of ideas about "how it will be." And the bigger the ideas we build about the future, the harder it is for reality to fit into them, and therefore the higher the likelihood of breaking your forehead in a collision with the harsh truth of life. Conversely, the fewer fantasies we have, the sooner reality will turn out to be better than any expectations. So, one of the main problems with love is that expectations are terribly high at first, because love is an extremely important thing! People wait for love all their lives, and with each failure they raise new expectations, saying that next time everything will be just like in a fairy tale. Then a new relationship happens, and it seems: oh, finally, here it is, love forever! But time passes and reality disappoints once again. A reasonable person would look back and draw conclusions about the falsity of their expectations, but for some reason it often turns out differently: everything ends up with accusations of the other person of poor quality love, because it is easier than recognizing their responsibility for expectations and demands. Simply put, expectations of love are greatly overstated. Enthusiastically romantic ideas about love do not allow us to see the simplicity and naturalness of this feeling.

They say that you have to be able to love, and that not everyone is capable of this feeling. We can love things for years, but a person... Why? It's easier to love inanimate objects. A favorite dress does not require appropriate feelings, because it is not capable of them, and we do not suffer from it. We love it just the way it is, just for the fact that it is there, for example, I feel comfortable in it, it suits me, it is warm and cozy. But as soon as it comes to love for a person, some claims immediately begin. The dress does not owe us anything for our love, and the person should understand! A strange thing happens in the end - we treat our favorite things better and more carefully than we treat our loved ones. And how do we treat the shortcomings of our things? We don't get angry or offended, we wear out our favorite dress and still continue to love it. With inanimate objects, it's much easier to feel the same calm and unconditional love that everyone wants to find in a relationship with a person. You might say: "Well, you're comparing it to clothes or cutlets, that's not love! Love is human. Of course, but this comparison helps us understand it better.

We are all capable of love, but at the most crucial moment this ability fails, because in other people we see not a "thing in ourselves" but expendable material for our psychological arbitrariness. It's not enough for us to have a loved one by our side - we also want him to correct his shortcomings for us, to change his lifestyle, tastes, friends, interests, otherwise we might fall out of love with him. We don't love ourselves, we don't know how to accept ourselves, and therefore we are not able to accept another person calmly and holistically. Our love works only in simple cases of love for inanimate objects, where dissatisfaction with ourselves cannot be transferred to the object of our love. It is dissatisfaction with oneself that creates dissatisfaction with other people. The inability to recognize and accept our shortcomings as a given does not allow us to see the same given in another person. We see the other person's shortcomings and blame them for them just as we blame ourselves for our own. If we didn't have this inner guilt, we would perceive the other person in a completely different way, looking at them with the same bright gaze with which we look at our favorite things. You can love another person only by making peace with yourself. No one owes us anything for our good attitude, because it is our choice: to love or not to love, to care or not to care, and if this does not find a response from the other side, this is not a reason for resentment. To love or be loved does not mean to possess. In relation to your favorite things, you naturally maintain the distance that you have to consciously establish in your relationship with a person through your will. You can love things, but it's hard to go crazy over them. But in a loved one, we dissolve, and this is a pathology. Losing love is also painful only because of the same dislike of oneself. We are not obliged to be faithful to our things, we are not nailed to them with requirements, but without any external or internal coercion we return to them again and again. We are free from them, and so we remain faithful to them - where there are no chains, there is no desire to break them. Frederick Begbeder said it well: "I am not writing to ask you to come, I am writing to warn you: I will always be waiting."

True loyalty is not a moral category, but a necessary consequence of the pleasure principle: we always return to where we feel good, and no vows are needed for this. If it's good, we'll come back; if it's not good, we'll leave. If we talk about the "science of love" and the fact that true love is something more complex and higher than ordinary sympathy, then I think we must first learn to love a person "simply", without any reciprocal obligations, without any dependence, with sincere care. Are you able to love another person like that? To accept them as they are, with all the "holes and scuffs"? Are you able to take care of another person out of healthy selfishness, without billing them for your services? Are you able to love while maintaining your integrity and independence, without dissolving into another person? Although, as my practice shows, maybe this is what you are looking for - dissolution in each other, because this is your formula for love? Perhaps you call love the loss of personal boundaries when two lonely and unhappy people hope to become one complete whole? If so, then you need to get help from specialists. We'll figure it out. And it doesn't matter that most love lyrics are created by people who agree to sweet suffering. If there is a "true love" in life, it is natural love, the one that cannot be described for the same reason that it is impossible to bite a hole in a bagel. The absence of a stone in the shoe is not love, it is simply the absence of a stone in the shoe. Trust yourself and the other person. Chasing the ghosts of love takes all your energy and gives you nothing in return. And even St. Valentine won't save you.

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