A few months ago, my father sent me an article from the Jewish publication, Aish.com. He sends me a lot of things during the week to ponder, but this one especially resonated with me. As you may be aware, I was not exactly having the best time dating or meeting the right type of guy. I had just undergone a hell of a heartbreak and had basically sworn off true love and marriage. I resorted to telling myself I would adopt some sweet needing baby when the time came.
After reading the article, it became clear to me that my focus and ideas about love had been totally off. Movies and TV have skewed what “love” is. We believe it is some sort of magical moment that happens and suddenly we just “know” this is “it.”
This is how many people approach a relationship. Consciously or unconsciously, they believe love is a sensation (based on physical and emotional attraction) that magically, spontaneously generates when Mr. or Ms. Right appears. And just as easily, it can spontaneously degenerate when the magic “just isn’t there” anymore. You fall in love, and you can fall out of it.
Perhaps this is why our divorce rate is as high as it is? People are falling in love with the idea of love. The grandiose, romanticized movie kind of love (which just does not exist, my friends). When our grandparents and even some of our parents got married, they held that vow as something sacred. They chose that other person to be their mate, their partner, their rock.
Because deep, intimate love emanates from knowledge and giving, it comes not overnight but over time — which nearly always means after marriage. The intensity many couples feel before marrying is usually great affection boosted by commonality, chemistry, and anticipation. These may be the seeds of love, but they have yet to sprout. On the wedding day, emotions run high, but true love should be at its lowest, because it will hopefully always be growing, as husband and wife give more and more to each other.
I’m not suggesting that love is not a feeling. I do believe, however, that love is a feeling coupled with a choice. Perhaps reading those fairytales as children may not have been the best idea. We’ve tricked ourselves into being lazy about love. We think that it’s something that should just “happen” to us. In reality, love and relationships take constant maintenance just like your car or home. Love is a choice we make.
I sent that article to as many of my friends as I could in hopes that it would speak to them the way it has with me and now I’m sharing it with you. Since receiving this… I must say my love outlook has certainly taken a positive turn.
from “HEAD TO HEART” by Gila Manolson