How to be Insanely SUCCESSFUL in LOVE
And only being in LOVE is not enough
Keanu Reeves nailed it perfectly when he observed.
“Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things.”
We often loosely use the word “love” and we mix “falling in love” with actually “loving someone”.
For someone who has fallen in love, you know the feeling — fluttering heart, excitement at seeing the person, non-stop thoughts about being together. Love is like a high — thrilling and exhilarating, making everything else in life seem irrationally wonderful.
This “falling in love” brings color to your life and everything seems so heavenly and bliss.
However “Loving someone” actually is a different ball game altogether.
Loving someone, on the other hand, goes beyond the physical presence. You desire to see them grow, you see past their flaws, you see opportunities of building into each other and together; you motivate, encourage and inspire one another.
You do not have to second-guess or ask before you step in to do so. Loving someone requires 100 percent commitment on your part.
And this selfless, giving-without-expecting relationship is the key to be successful in love.
Now the pertinent question comes, how to achieve this?
How to reach the pinnacle of Love?
According to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, Friendship is the highest form of love because great friends inspire each other and can even push each other to achieve their peak potentials.
Nietzsche saw friendship as the essential ingredient to succeed in Love. Relationships based on “love at first sight” stemming from sex or lust creates complications and the romantic feelings originating from such relationships are unlikely to last a lifetime.
And Nietzsche gives us the following tips to incorporate friendship in Love and make it enduring.
Don’t Fall in Love for Physical Thingies
Before rushing into love, Nietzsche advises the lovers to ask themselves this question: “Do you believe you are going to enjoy talking with this woman up into your old age? Everything else (perfect looks,6 packs, perfect pout, Smokey eyes) is transitory, as most of the time you are together will be devoted to conversation”.
For Nietzsche, a relationship based only on physical attraction is on shaky ground because it is fleeting: “Sensuality often makes love grow too quickly, so that the root remains weak and is easy to pull out”
Thus “being interested” in each other is more important than “being attracted” towards each other to sustain any relationship. This “interest” is the only sustainable factor that survives till old age.
Never promise “Everlasting” love
That is a blatant lie that stems from “falling in love” blindly.
Love, like any other feeling, is not within the individual’s power. Nietzsche’s argument is as follows: love is a feeling; feelings are involuntary; and a promise cannot be made based on something that one has no control over.
Instead, Nietzsche advocates to promise actions. In a loving relationship, actions are the consequences of love. Nietzsche recommends saying something along these lines: “For as long as I love you I shall render to you the actions of love; if I cease to love you, you will continue to receive the same actions from me, without any motive or intention”
Thus, in a nutshell, don’t promise a feeling(Love) which you cannot control and leads to disappointments and heart burns. Promise an action (I will take care of your health, I will involve you in every decision) which you can show and do it and prove your commitment. This commitment puts your Love on a strong and sure footing.
Make it Work
Only time can make your relationship stronger. Rushing amorously is always a disaster.
Nietzsche argues that people rush amorously into relationships and, when it goes wrong, it causes the couple as well as everyone around them a great deal of aggravation. “Just be honest”, urges Nietzsche, and say: “We love each other: let us see to it that we stay in love! Or shall our promise be a mistake?”
Starting with “low” expectations and building on the temp not only makes the root strong but also amalgamates the multiple facets of the couple (behavior, likes, dislikes, peeves etc.) into a common “whole” which needs some time and effort from both sides.
As the years go by, your relationship can withstand a lot more and can absorb any number of upheavals successfully without breaking.
Let him/her Suffer
One of the biggest mistakes made in any relationship is the removal of obstacles.
You don’t want to see him or her “suffer” and try to make life easier by removing obstacles. This creates frustration and robs the “sense of individuality”. Constantly overcoming the obstacles and challenges in life, proves the strength of character and could bring the greatest rewards and creativity.
Nietzsche says “You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?”
Don’t let your relationship “invade” the creative spirit of the individual. Because when that happens, the relationship enters into resistance mode and starts to “drift” way. Advise by all means but let him/her fight his own battle.
Be his/her BEST friend
For Nietzsche, friendship is the “ultimate ideal” of love. He admires the ancient Greek ideal of friendship and agreed with Aristotle that great friends could inspire each other.
This kind of friendship is neither about mutual benefit nor based on pleasure and enjoyment. While a great friendship may include all these elements, the key difference is that really great friends help one another to become better people through “a shared higher thirst for an ideal above them”.
Yet being a great friend is not an easy task. The best teachers are the harshest critics and should be wary of being too sympathetic towards the friend. Nietzsche says: “Let your pity for your friend conceal itself under a hard shell”
Friends do not unquestioningly uphold, reinforce and echo our attitudes but provide new perspectives and interrogate our presuppositions.
Indeed, sometimes great friends must be so ruthless that they are also the enemy If you want to be a friend, you must also be willing to wage war for him: and to wage war, you must be capable of being an enemy.
The best kind of Love propels us to be the best kind of person we can be. This Love needs selfless friendship to bring out the best in the couple.
Bringing it all together
Love is much more than chemistry exchanged between two people in a bar. Love is deep. Love is commitment. Love is selfless. Love is costly. Love is a choice.
Love is a game of chess which needs to be played keeping long-term perspective. Anybody can “fall in love”, but more meaningful is when we choose to “stay in Love”.
As Friedrich Nietzsche has rightly said.
“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”
About the author-:
Ravi Rajan is a global IT program manager based out of Mumbai, India. He is also an avid blogger, Haiku poetry writer, archaeology enthusiast and history maniac. Connect with Ravi on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
If you enjoyed this post, please share your comments and check out my other posts-: