Have you ever fallen in love? Head over heels?
Then you’ll know what I mean about “love” in this context being like a strong draught of opiate-like euphoria.
“The Times” reported recently that “falling in love” has powerful pain relieving properties too.
But like any drug, falling in love, or “limerence” as it is known, has side effects.
Grown men and women have been known to sacrifice careers, families and even countries to this drug. Is “love” therefore a misnomer?
But one thing it does illustrate is this: the most important decisions are often taken emotionally. And justified intellectually.
Biologically you could say that falling in love ensures survival of the species! But do these feelings endure?
These intense feelings, if they are reciprocated, last no more than about two years.
If not reciprocated, paradoxically they can go on indefinitely. So what is then happening? How can I fall in love with somebody, strain to discern the slightest sign that they feel the same way, be frustrated, but continue in this state?
Is it like an addiction?
What was once a precious gift has now perhaps become a clinging-on. The desire to be wanted is the new mistress, a subtle masquerade of the former passion for another.
Unmasking these emotions, whilst a delicate operation, brings painful understanding and then some relief. The former druggie becomes a de-toxed health fan. Decisions become wholly wiser.
Then relationships improve. Slowly at first. And I’m not just talking about romance.
All relationships have that element of self. Rightly so. But when it becomes distorted, overly egocentric, at odds with another, it becomes its own obstacle to development, to growth.
“Big boys don’t cry.” No, but they weep, internally. To deny, is to pretend, to try and escape.
To feel is to grow. To grow is to be like a child. A grown child is an adult.