Growing out of infatuation

Love is the one weird feeling that subordinates all others, leaving humanity in a sense of absolute happiness and serenity, or throws us in front of a twelve wheeler (our emotions, that is) waiting to be annihilated. But love changes as one grows older, and (hopefully) wiser.

It changes from the emotional rollercoaster of one’s youth, characterised by moments of ecstasy, despair and co-dependency to an underlying feeling of safety and care, like the tide of the ocean. It sets the foundation for healthy interdependence where two human beings support each other in their respective walk of life. Co-dependence versus interdependence and respectiveness.

The problem? Infatuation is the status quo of love.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me give you the somewhat dull but honest storyline of Romeo and Juliet, and let’s discuss why this commonly used example of love is completely nuts.

  • Juliet is supposed to marry Count Paris, whom Juliet isn’t exactly thrilled about.
  • Romeo and Juliet meet each other at a party (FYI, Juliet’s dad were expecting Juliet to fall in love with Count Paris at this very party), and instantly fall in love. Unfortunately, Romeo’s and Juliet’s families despise each other.
  • Shit goes down between the families, and Romeo has to leave the city. This makes Juliet lose her shit, and she poisons herself to fall asleep for a while, in order to fake her own death.
  • Things don’t go as planned, and Romeo thinks Juliet is dead. As of this, Romeo decides that the most rational thing to do is to kill himself. So he does.
  • Juliet wakes up, just to realise that Romeo is dead. Unfortunately, Juliet did share the same kind of rational approach to the problem as Romeo, and decides to kill herself as well.
  • End of story.

Without even starting a conversation, I’m quite sure that both of us can agree that this, in fact, is completely nuts. I argue that this sense of love is the reason for why so many people feel confused in the face of love, and why so many lose themselves in the process of nakedly opening their heart to another human being. We aren’t psychologically primed to fall in love in a healthy way with another human being, we are primed to fill the void of the missing 50% of ourselves.

Same goes for just about every movie, book or series that we consume on a daily basis. They all tell us that we are lacking, we are missing, we are incomplete in the face of loneliness that goes hand in hand with being single. The pursuit of just about every Disney character is to become complete in the name of a relationship with the opposite gender.

Not only does this sense of love limit our sense of completeness and contentment in solitude, but it puts unreasonable expectations on the partner of your choice. We do not only expect them to carry themselves in high regard and live a purposeful life, but they are also to help us complete ourselves. Take a moment to reflect upon how many unsaid expectations undermine our modern relationships. Limiting, indeed. Luckily, many of us come to realise this as we grow older.

Growing older is about finding peace, serenity and space in your own space of mind. It’s about coming at peace with your emotional inner climate and accepting whatever appears. It’s the background noise of contentment, gratitude and safety. This goes for love as well.

Let’s make each other a promise and spread this sense of love to the youth of tomorrow, and slowly make the mind-numbing affliction of Hollywood love perish. In a world where things are moving faster than ever before, they deserve to find love within themselves rather than outside of themselves. The latter is incredibly hard to control and sets a definite path for confusion and neediness.

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