Are You Afraid of True Love?
We have relationships that last a night, a few hours, a day, or a month. Nothing we have to commit to, nothing that makes us feel anything beyond desire, nothing that involves showing love, feelings, tenderness, or affection. Are we afraid of true love?
We invent all kinds of excuses to protect ourselves. I don’t have the time, I love my freedom, I want to be single, I don’t want a commitment, I don’t want to distance myself from my friends. But what’s really happening is that we’re afraid of ourselves.
Discover what true love really is
According to psychologist Walter Riso, we should distinguish between good love (healthy, consistent, and constructive) and bad love (unhealthy, inconsistent, and destructive). True love always has three elements, and if one of them is missing, the relationship is bound to suffer.
“There is only one true, authentic love. But there are many facsimiles of love.”
-François de la Rochefocauld-
The three elements of love are Eros, Philia, and Agape. Eros is sexual desire, which manifests as possession, infatuation, and passion. This is the most selfish facet of love. Philia is the friendship in the relationship, which allows each person to transcend the ego and share everything with each other. Agape is the selfless, tender, and delicate part of love.
Throughout the relationship, one element might be more dominant than the others, but all three should always be present. On a related note, scientists from Stony Brook University in New York have discovered that love really can last over time.
The researchers scanned the brains of various couples who were together for at least 20 years, and others who were in the beginning of their relationship. They compared the results and found that one out of every ten mature couples showed the same chemical reaction in the brain as the new couples. This shows that it is possible to maintain the same level of love over time.
Reasons why we fear true love
When we’re reluctant to try things that are new, that involve exposing ourselves, or that could make us suffer, we get paralyzed, and this prevents us from discovering true love. It’s evident that some relationships work, and others don’t, and that there will always be some level of risk.
“It’s enough to look at you to know that you will permeate my soul.”
In our society, everything is so rushed. We don’t stop to get to know people, and we go from one relationship to another without letting ourselves feel anything for them or enjoy learning about them. This is due to various causes, which include the following:
Starting a new relationship makes us feel insecure and vulnerable because we have to expose ourselves to the other person, and sometimes it’s easier to expose our bodies than our souls. We feel a lack of control over what could happen in the future, and this scares us.
“May we have the courage to be alone and the courage to risk being together.”
We don’t yet know the other person, which can lead us to distrust them. However, getting to know someone and starting a relationship with them always involves a risk. Saying what you feel and expressing your desires is important to create a foundation for true love.
Not wanting to get hurt again
Everyone has gone through breakups and complicated situations, but the heart heals over time. However, when a new person comes along, we relive the pain in a certain way and fear getting hurt again.
This baggage can prevent you from being yourself with the person you’re now getting to know. When you only show them a part of who you are, you prevent them from getting to know your true feelings.
Love involves suffering
Many people identify love with suffering, and so they don’t want to start a new relationship. When someone shows interest in them, they run away. You have to eliminate limiting beliefs from your mind that might be distorting your reality and keeping you away from true love.
Fear of losing the other person is an impediment to a healthy relationship, because it leads you to try to own them instead of love them. This desire for possession can end up creating suspicion, distancing you from your partner, and deteriorating the relationship.
Having less time for friends and family
Many people don’t want to be in a relationship because they think it will distance them from their friends. But balancing a relationship with friends doesn’t have to be that complicated. These two areas of life can complement each other without creating any conflict.
It’s the same with family. Many people think that starting a new relationship will break their ties with their family, which leads them to run away from commitment. Overcoming this erroneous belief and integrating all the important people into your life can make you feel complete and happy.