The definition of love is often used to refer loosely to the emotional bonding between two people. Love is actually a complex set of behaviors and feelings characterized by emotional intimacy, desire, intimacy, commitment, and reciprocity. It typically involves caring, proximity, loyalty, affection, trust, and romance.
Love is one of life’s greatest blessings. It has been said that “love is blind,” and that we don’t usually see love because we are too close to it. However, this is only because we are too busy trying to make love. What if love were as simple as a feeling?
We would all be falling in love with one another all the time. The problem is that love lacks the words, the intimacy, the feelings, the complexity, the passion, the attachment, and the substance. Instead, we simply translate it as romance. Romance, for most people, simply means another person being with us romantically.
While romantic love is important to forming and expressing relationships as well as for fulfilling our own needs, it simply does not have anything to do with or contribute to our well-being. Romantic love, according to the best research, is actually nothing more than an addiction, especially within the context of a dysfunctional relationship. People in romantic love relationships crave emotional intimacy so much that they are willing to degrade their personal well-being in order to satisfy their partners. Unconditional love is similar, though the context is reversed.
If you want to experience real, positive emotions throughout your life, you need to learn how to cultivate your intimate partner, rather than turn them into your sexual object. Emotional intimacy can be nurtured through erotic love, but erotic love is not necessary for healthy, loving relationships. Healthy, positive emotions come from knowing and liking another person deeply and being connected to that person deeply – without dependency. Healthy, positive emotions come from relating to the other person fully, rather than merely satisfying some “need” to get the physical satisfaction that our instincts dictate.
So, in the end, it comes down to this: we must learn to move away from our “sense” of intimacy and focus on our “feelings”. It’s about being connected and grounded in our true self. If we can do that, we will no longer be limited by our “sense” of intimacy. And then, just a small step away, we can start to experience true, positive emotions. Then, and only then, will we truly become free and powerful!