How Real Love Feels

· April 6, 2016

If you don’t call me or can’t be with me, I’ll think that you’re busy. If you don’t tell me you love me, I’ll think that you’re afraid to commit. If you don’t kiss me, I’ll think you’re sad. And if you don’t sleep with me, I’ll think you’re tired. And I’ll think all of this without realizing that if I don’t feel your love, it’s because it doesn’t exist.

When you can’t feel love then that love doesn’t exist and is no good for you. It’s very complicated and hard to be realistic about this. But it’s totally necessary if we wish to have somebody by our side that will make us happy.

“Stay with a love that will give you answers and not problems. Security and not fear. Trust and not doubt.”
-Paulo Coelho-
couple sitting on a rainbow

Incomplete vs. complete love

Sometimes we long for someone with all of our heart. We can’t hold back the desire to kiss that someone, to have them and make them ours. But there’s something missing. In other occasions, we feel a great caring and friendship for someone, but we don’t long for them. We don’t feel that strong sexual impulse of desire. And other times, we feel very close to another person, so much so that we know how they feel, but there’s no desire, though there might be friendship.

Love is complicated, because not only do all of the elements that compose it need to be present, they also have to be present at the same time for both people in the relationship. We have all longed for someone who doesn’t want us, loved someone who doesn’t love us back. But we don’t have to suffer. Love is not meant to be full of suffering. A complete and full love has three basic elements:


Eros

Eros is sexual desire. It’s the manifestation of possession. In this phase, the most important thing is us. It’s a completely selfish phase that is expressed through phrases like: “You’re mine.” “I want you all to myself.” But Eros, by itself is not enough. It is always missing something. Though if it is handled correctly, it can lead us to the next element of love.

Philia

Philia refers to the friendship within a relationship. Here, “I” is still the preference, because friendship can be understood as a way of loving oneself through one’s friends. While the sexual desire fades and revives throughout the years, philia is reinforced with time, if all goes well.

Ágape

Ágape is the delicacy, the tenderness. It’s not the sexual desire that runs through everything, which seems like it can do anything, that can’t be stopped. It’s love that allows us to feel what the person we love feels. We feel their joy, their pain.

These three elements are fundamental in any relationship. If they aren’t present at the same time, the relationship won’t work. It will always be lacking something. And sooner or later, one or both of the people involved will suffer. There is not one love, but three, and they all need to happen at once.

“If you want to understand a person, don’t listen to their words, observe their behavior”.
-Albert Einstein-
boy kissing girl on cheek

Qualities of a love that is felt, one that exists

Love must be felt in the skin, in one’s heart. You’ll feel it when the other person desires you and shows you. When they steal a kiss, when they seek you out to show you their love, when they call you to worry about how you are, when they hug you tightly when you don’t feel well…

A person that cares for you will do anything to see you, to spend time with you, to do things with you, to enjoy things with you. A love that is felt is solidary because both people are present during tough times. No one discredits the other person or the relationship itself. They will both continuously fight for their common goals.

It’s not about belonging to another person, or making our “me” disappear to fade into the other person. It’s about participation in a relationship in which we’re ourselves in and out of the relationship, with respect and honesty, sharing and enjoying.

And if you don’t feel this, if you aren’t loved by another, the best thing is for the relationship to end. Because it doesn’t provide you with anything, it doesn’t make you happy. Because you deserve to be loved for who you are. You deserve to feel the desire, friendship and tenderness.

“If they don’t love you, don’t beg or get on your knees. Love isn’t begged for or demanded, it just happens. If it doesn’t happen, you walk away with dignity towards other things.”
-Walter Riso-