Mature Love Is a Balance Between Autonomy and Commitment
As we grow up, most of our beliefs change, including our perspective on love. Growing up involves seeing love in a different, deeper, and often simpler way. Mature love responds to an intense need that requires a long period of growth to be satisfied.
Everybody has their own idea of love and what’s important in a relationship. Preconceived notions and personal beliefs play a fundamental role in the way we experience love.
There are two kinds of love: mature love, which is described as a loving friendship that involves affection, trust, respect, loyalty, and intimate knowledge about each other. And then there’s passionate or infantile love, which is a wild, emotional mix of feelings and emotions like tenderness, sexuality, joy, pain, anxiety, and jealousy. Studies indicate that this type of love is limited to between 6 and 30 months, with the possibility of resurfacing from time to time.
Time teaches us to see with the heart and appreciate authenticity. Our experiences lead us towards mature love, making us more free to experience our feelings and be able to recognize the other person’s deepest feelings. Thus, we can see through more eyes than just our own.
“All love like all knowledge is remembrance.”
A fundamental concept in mature love is autonomy. It might seem contradictory to talk about the union of two souls and autonomy at the same time, but the thing is, autonomy and self-esteem are inseparable. Autonomous individuals understand that others don’t exist simply to satisfy their needs. They know that however much love and understanding there is between two people, each one is ultimately responsible for themselves and their own happiness.
When we mature, we value our experiences more and accept people’s virtues and flaws. In mature love, we learn to value the person’s true essence. Conversely, selfish and childish love seeks to hurt or screw around with the other person.
Love satisfies the eager yet tender desire to be wanted and appreciated. If love constitutes a special type of actualization, being loved is the reward. We choose our partners based on the interaction between the other person’s characteristics and how much they appreciate ours.
Loving and being loved isn’t the only type of pleasure in a mature relationship. There’s also satisfaction in protecting, helping, and guiding the other person, as well as having a sense of security and trust.
Maturity is the ability to handle uncertainty.
Why do we live life in partners?
In the last decade or so, a standard of love has been established from adolescence up until mature adulthood, in which a typical developmental process is outlined. In this standard, in the transition to maturity, we commit ourselves deeply to the important aspects of life, such as love, and we disconnect ourselves from prior influences.
In this stage, we feel more prepared to commit ourselves to an intimate relationship with another person, formalizing the relationship, living together, and getting married. We seek partners out of the need for security, self-affirmation, distance from our parents, and to achieve the life goal of loving and being loved.
Most relationship problems come from inflexible demands on the relationship that stray far away from the foundations of maturity and objectivity. These distorted ideas about passionate or childish love can be dangerous even in couples who are a really good fit for each other.
In short, mature love is nurtured through shared experiences, despite the internal conflicts and threats that may occur. The true wisdom of this type of love is found in its own evolution, despite the cracks and scars that come with emotional relationships.
Existing is changing, changing is maturing, maturing is creating oneself.