We see romantic love portrayed all around us in television shows, films and advertising images. But what is it really? Is it the feeling of euphoria when you meet someone new? Is it the physical passion which often quickly follows? Is it the fluttery feeling which occurs when you think of the other person? Is it in fact an overwhelming feeling of warmth when you are with them?
Romantic novels make our hearts race and sometimes our tears fall as we experience falling in love through the eyes of our heroine and hero. The tussle which goes on as they resist their feelings which build despite their best efforts not to get involved until they each capitulate and find happiness in each others’ arms. So maybe this is the feeling we are looking for?
Of perhaps it’s because we want to feel like we belong; that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves; when two become one. A feeling of security and connection which feels like a relief when we find it. As if all is well in our world.
The truth is there are many elements to being in love and the satisfaction of each builds another layer of emotion until our feelings are so strong we feel they will last forever. That we have found ‘the one’ who makes us complete.
But let’s have a look at these layers and discover what’s really happening. You may think that the other person is creating the feelings of joy, euphoria, security and hope but in facts it’s you.
You are the one who is creating the feelings based upon your perceptions of what love is and how well what is happening fits them.
This is probably the most important thing to consider. How will you recognise love when it comes along? Surprisingly, it can have more to do with the things you are not aware of than those you are. It’s a bit like a game of pairs. You turn over lots of cards which do not match until the one which does is revealed. Similarly, you have a specific face which is made up of your beliefs, expectations and understanding of how a relationship ‘should’ look. It is these pre-existing markers which will determine the person you fall in love with even if they come in a package you do not expect. You will feel a connection to someone who fulfils the specific needs you have established even if you are not aware of what they are.
There are many needs which a person may wish to have met. They need for security, kindness, nurture, validation, acceptance, strength, beauty, absolution just to name a few. And within those, there are a myriad of meanings to each.
Let’s assume you are female and have a need for strength. This could be recognition of a strength you received from your father you wish to replicate. Or it could be that you saw your father as weak and are looking for the opposite. Perhaps you feel weak or powerless in your own life and feel the need for someone to take care of you. A partner who is decisive or powerful could be attractive to you. But if you are not standing in your own power, you may attract someone who is controlling and overbearing, ultimately making you feel even more powerless as they strive to meet their need for dominance because of their own sense of inferiority. What started out as an apparent match in fact becomes a nightmare.
Or perhaps you have a need to nurture. You may find someone who is down on their luck attractive as it brings out your maternal instincts. You may gain enormous satisfaction from assisting them to improve their situation and then be completely shocked when they do not show you the appropriate gratitude. But perhaps your nurturing had the effect of making the other person feel beholden, weak or emasculated.
The imbalance of power between the two of you created resentment and frustration leading to cruelty and despair.
These are a couple of examples which may appear extreme but the truth is we attract based on what we put out to the world. Like attracts like even if this is not immediately apparent. A bit like a magnet where positive and negative are attracted to each other. Two people with the same fundamental need but whose behaviour is opposite will be a match. The power of this recognition can be like a magnet which is almost impossible to resist. Your strongest need is being met and therefore you tell yourself love will conquer all. There is heartbreak ahead for each of you but neither of you recognises the truth because your connection feels so strong.
In fact romantic love is based on an alignment of beliefs, expectations and needs.
And the closer the alignment, or perception of alignment, the stronger the feelings will become. Standing in your full power ensures that you will attract someone who compliments you, equal to equal.
True love includes respect, kindness, independence, acceptance, equality and freedom.
Without these, a relationship will fail as the balance of power tips first one way and then the next until the perpetual motion creates a rift which cannot be repaired.
Learning to live in Power and Freedom builds these qualities in you and as you put these out to the world you will attract the same in return. As everything comes from you, the world is yours to create however you wish. Your perception creates your reality so get clear and attract the love you truly deserve.