Everyday in my counseling practice I meet youngsters headed towards separation or divorce. The number is increasing at an alarming rate! And yet generation after generation we keep our focus on that feeling of ‘flutter’ created by someone in our heart- call it love and believe that this one would be the “ever- after” one.
Falling in love is great but do we really understand what love is? It is a feeling agreed but certainly it is not the one that creates the flutter in our heart and brings out all our mushiness. That, friends is attraction. Love starts after that flutter is settled. Love starts when we get to know each other and would last if we can still feel a lot of attraction mixed with respect and a desire to see that person happy.
Practically it is not possible to know anyone fully in the initial days of our interaction. Both of us would be at our best during the courtship period. The meetings are less and spread out and driven by a powerful force of attraction. We see only the best in them.
With the passage of time, we do start seeing things that we are not comfortable with, but the flutter overcomes it. In many cases, more unacceptable traits come to fore. By this time both are over the fear of losing the other person and hence insist on proving that we are right. Then the clear signs of incompatibility start showing up.
Unfortunately, by then we have launched our entire array of survival emotions- “ego, self- esteem, desire to prove our decisions right, fear of shame by friends and more” on to this one relationship. And that is when we can see but loose the vision of the future.
I see people willing to risk entire life fighting the ‘cat and dog’ fight with an obvious incompatible partner and not willing to risk the ridicule of friends or face the fear of coming out of the comfort zone of being with a particular person- even though being with that person is an everyday hell.
We need to become aware. We need to talk to our youngsters too. We need to talk that love does not guarantee compatibility or understanding or mutual respect. Those things need to be developed and if it still doesn’t work, it is ok to let go of a relationship before you get into a marriage. It would hurt for some time, but know that all the people we like do not have to be like us. For a long lasting happy relationship, we need to look for someone more compatible- flutter or no flutter.
alling in love is great and it is easy too. It is remaining in love and living in love that is challenging.
**Originally published in13 June '16 edition