Is Admiration Always a Requisite for Love?
Psychiatrist Luis Rojas Marcos gives us this recipe for maintaining love: “Maintaining one’s admiration for another and complicity is ‘a shared project’.”
As in so many matters of life, if we opened a debate on whether or not love always involves admiration, we would encounter many different answers. Each of us has a set of values. A vision of life influenced by our genetic makeup, the education we’ve received and by our experiences which give us very different answers to the same question.
Today we’ll look at two convincing answers: one from psychologist and couples expert, Ana Villarrubia, to whom love always involves a great deal of admiration and the other from the successful writer and author of “The Market is Horrible” and the blog “Intersextions,” about relationships, love and indifference, Alena KH, who says that love does not always imply admiration. We leave the debate open to you.
For Ana Villarrubia, love involves a great deal of mutual admiration if we join it with another important factor in the relationship: intimacy. It is the beginning of what may be a true love story because admiration implies that we recognize the qualities in the other person that make them unique and different from others and that “something different” makes us focus our attention on our partner and makes them irreplaceable to us.
But to Ana Villarrubia, admiration must be mutual and it should not involve dependence or submission at any point. On the other hand, having a partner we can admire fills us with pride because it means we made a good call by choosing that person.
Thus, according to the psychologist, if admiration is lost does the love go away with it? Although one cannot affirm or deny it categorically, the fact is that if the admiration is lost, the couple may enter a crisis or even end up breaking up. We no longer admire them because our partner is no longer what they were or what he/she represented for us.
However, for the writer, Alena KH, admiration is an ingredient of love and is not absolutely necessary. To Alena KH, admiration might even reflect a lack of self-esteem. This low self-esteem has also made us idealize the person; leaning on them like a cane and when the first phase of love is surpassed, our ideal vanishes like smoke because it was not based on reality.
To Alena, time is the only thing that guarantees if there is love between the couple and this is essentially based on mutual respect and tolerance, which are based on a scale of values shared by the two people. Undoubtedly both visions are complementary and interesting.
Of course love is a mystery; a puzzle beyond all the explanations we can give based on the chemical that triggers it in us and in which there are a number of conscious and unconscious factors involved. But admiration, as something extended in time and not only in the initial phase of love, may be important in maintaining our love throughout our lives.
What can we do to make our partners continue admiring us?
If it’s true that admiration is the main ingredient of love, as suggested by psychologist Ana Villarrubia, the question we could ask would be what can we do to make our partners continue to admire us?
Here are some ideas we hope will help you:
- Love yourself. If we have a good dose of self-esteem, continue to better ourselves, and take care of ourselves on the inside and out, our partner will admire us the same way they did on day one.
- Help yourself. If we help ourselves, if we feel loved and supported, our love will grow and become stronger. And our partner will admire us even more than before.
- Listen to each other. If we are silent about everything we don’t like about our partner and we do not let them know, we will create a bad image of the person we once fell in love with. Do not fall asleep without resolving your differences with your partner. Do not let that stop them from admiring you and you from admiring them.
- Try to overcome the routine. It’s complicated, but surprising your partner with an unexpected kiss or dining out like you used to are some of the ways to escape the routine and maintain admiration.
Of course when something is meant to be, love is selfless and sincere; and you should always keep that flame that brought you together burning. Love is the most beautiful job if two people decide to team up and work together to maintain it.