To Love or not to Love…

For a long while now I’ve been pondering about the existence of love, true love, unconditional love between two people. Not the love you feel for your family; which the world has proved it’s not always a given.

When I was in college a teacher once told the class something that stuck on my mind, but I didn’t really understand it until now… “There’s a big difference between being in love and loving a person. When you’re in love you’re having a chemical reaction in your brain that creates hormones that alter your state of mind, which –if you’re lucky- lasts for several months, but it eventually ends.  So how is it that a lot of couples stay together for many, many years? Well, sadly, the main reason is fear or habit. Don’t be discouraged, there are a few people, conscious people that have the will of loving a person, waking up every day and deciding they WANT to love.”

Now, after a few years and more experience, I know that is true, but it’s only half of the truth. The path to love, the real love, not the one we see in movies, or are told by others, is not only loving yourself and having the will to love. Because you can choose to love the “wrong person”, and well that’s OK if that’s what you really want, nothing is really right or wrong, but that person may not have the same definition of love or may want to live a different path. You can choose to love him/her but don’t expect anything. And there is what’s missing on my professor’s speech, aside from WANTING to love that one person, you have to choose correctly. And, only the “will to love” won’t carry you through the years, you have to understand two important things:

  1. The only person really responsible for your happiness is you; you can’t depend on your loved ones to make you happy. Of course, being around a happy person can help! But still, as long as you don’t put the responsibility of making you happy into someone else’s hands then you have a highest probability of having a long, healthy love. Knowing you’re responsible for your own happiness will also help you to avoid jealousy and other negative sides of “love”.
  2. No one is here to fulfill your expectations AND you are not here to fulfill the expectations of others. There are relationships that are based on complementing your own defects and deficiencies with another. That is healthy for a work group, you find colleges that can do what you can’t, but not for your life-partner.

The rest of the “basics” of a relationship we’ve been told all of our lives: trust and respect. So, the next time you don’t trust your loved one ask yourself why is that. Is it really because he/she is doing something wrong or because your own fears are telling you not to trust him/her? The next time you make fun of your loved one ask yourself, do I really respect him/her?

The truth is no one ever taught us how to really love; we are all trying our best and depend on our own family history to open or close to love. When you find someone, or if you’re in a relationship, be very aware of what’s a result of your own emotional baggage; what fears or assumptions you have because of how your parents are. History does repeat itself as long as you don’t learn from other people’s mistakes (and yours). Don’t be afraid to love, but be true with it; don’t hold back because you’re afraid of what might happen. Choose wisely.