A reader recently asked me this question – ‘Does Love happen only once? Is everything else a compromise?’
This person requested a post on it. I think it is worth a thought.
At first, I thought I will start by defining love, but then, how can I. It is such a personal experience.
The problem with defining love
Love is a feeling that each one of us individually experiences. As we experience it more and more we start giving it a meaning and definition. So, for an individual, at any point in time, the idea of Love is a work in progress. What you think it is today may be very different from what you understand it to be, in 10 years from now. Different people will have their own, changing definitions. Though it still stands that these definitions will be influenced by a lot of societal factors, especially for those growing up.
For most young people these days, the idea of love is strongly influenced by what they are seeing on TV.
The role of TV in defining Love
There is a big entertainment industry that runs on providing people with what they are likely to see again and again. Businesses run on profit and pay less attention to the long term effects of their products. In certain ways, entertainment products are no different from manufacturing cigarettes or the very Indian ‘Pan Masala’. It’s legal but then, how good is it?
Whole generations are coming up, repeatedly seeing a rosy picture of love(read Romantic love) where 2 good looking, young people come together. They might have problems but they always get together in the end. This strengthens the idea, especially in a young, impressionable mind, that, no matter what, we have to make our first love work.
We see hardly any cases where the hero and heroine realize that they are probably not a good match and decide not to stay romantically involved. Even if they do, they mostly get back together and realize they are ‘meant for each other’!(sometimes I feel I can be a good script writer, I just have to change the problems these good people are going to solve before coming back together again)
Use Self Inquiry
There is no need for you to believe in this definition without questioning. Try some other perspectives as well. Try the process of self inquiry .
Law of Attraction dictates that if you believe strongly in a particular definition, it will start appearing more and more true. You will find all the proofs for it.
Then why believe in such a limiting definition? Change it to give you hope, change it to empower yourself!
Love, to me, is very different from the TV version. It is a feeling of oneness at a very deep level. And this feeling cannot be restricted to one person or a group of people. It is essentially a feeling of oneness with everyone and everything.
Love is also not of the ‘wanting kind’. Love lifts you, it does not make you weak. Love does not have expectations, and love does not cry out of fear or guilt or longing. Love is not weakness, in any form. Love is strength.
Love is not selfish, because it does not see a difference between self and others. And since love doesn’t see it’s own profit as separate from that of others, it never feels fear or loss. It only feels concern, for self and for others.
Romance is based on physical attraction and it can be a very nice experience! It makes you feel very good and it is one of the best entertainments around. But, romance is NOT love and, romance is not the only good form of entertainment either.
At a young age, your hormones run high and when you like a person, your liking is heavily influenced by the attraction factor. In fact, it is this strong sense of attraction in young people, that prompt the industry to make glossy entertainment packets that focus only on romance.
Can we enjoy a second(or a third, or a…) romantic relationship?
Now this is a more interesting and apt question.
Let me ask, haven’t you had different friends growing up? And don’t you love the new ones? Then why can’t you love a different person? Doesn’t a mother love her second child as much as the first one?
Life is a learning process and so are relationships. It’s very possible and normal to realize that you are not compatible with someone you liked a while ago. While this does not mean you have to hate that person or abandon him/her totally, this also does not mean you have to keep hanging on to a stifling relation for the rest of your life.
It is normal, and healthy, to discuss differences and sort them out. It’s normal and healthy to change the structure of your relationship or, to abandon it completely if that seems good. As the need may be(and your understanding of it), you may become just friends, acquaintances or leave the person altogether. There are no right and wrong choices here for you(or your partner) and there is no need to feel stuck. Just keep your focus on growth, happiness and learning. Do remember to take whatever lessons you can from your relationships, even if they go bad. Try again with this improved knowledge. Keep trying and someday you will find yourself in a positive, romantic relationship.
Happiness. Happiness is something that totally generates within. Once your primary survival needs are met, you don’t need anyone or anything to be happy. Although the drive to look for a mate and procreate has been put in you by Nature, there is no reason why you cannot stay happy while you are on this search.
Happiness is just a decision. You can decide right now to be happy. Constantly be aware of your feelings and keep reminding yourself to be happy. Over time, it just becomes your natural state. Be happy and you will find that other happy people start appearing into your life of their own. Neither you will seek your happiness in them nor they theirs in you. And when there are no expectations or a tendency of dependency, healthy and loving relationships flourish.
If you fail once, keep looking. Mostly success in any thing takes a lot of trials. It’s OK to fail. Don’t compare with others. We all have different lives. Someone else might find success quickly or it may seem some people are almost unfairly lucky. The overall number of good opportunities are same in every life. No one can always remain happy just on good luck. We all have to make an effort, sooner or later, to maintain our happiness. You might get success in Romance later, but that does not define what happens in the rest of your life. Keep trying, there are a lot of good fish in the pond 😉
You might want to read these related posts for further information on finding your partner :
P.S. What is so Roman about being Romantic? Any thoughts?