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Episode 128: What Is Love?

As a wise man once said “I’m in love, I’m in love and I don't care who knows it"
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Granted it was Will Ferrell in the Christmas film Elf, but the message still stands.
But how do I know that I’m actually in love? What is love anyway?

Is it even real?
Is it lust?
Is it simply habit?

A friend of mine wrote a wonderful play set in early 1900’s New York about the mixing of cultures and the expectation of holding onto tradition and heritage.
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One character has this wonderful speech about whether she leaves behind her Jewish traditions to take up with this devilishly handsome New York Cop.
But when talking about being paired up with the local Tailor’s Son simply because he’s Jewish she says,

”I wouldn’t fall in love with him; I’d simply get used to him over the years and eventually that would feel like love.”

Obviously the audience doesn’t want her to just have a marriage that only FEELS like love.
Arranged marriages don’t make happy marriages do they?
Or do they?

They might have fallen out of fashion over the last 50 years or so, but they still exist in some cultures and sometimes “They all live happily ever after” bit of a coincidence isn’t it? that the random person you were put together with ended up being your one true love.

Well, in the same way it’s a bit of a coincidence that the first woman who joined a charity I was working with at my local hospital 2 weeks after becoming single ended up being my soul mate.

Because it wasn’t a coincidence. The reason that random 19 year old, squash playing saxophone player became my soul mate was because I wanted her to be.

The circumstances we we’re in meant that I expected to fall in love.
In the absence of anything to dislike about her all I saw were the good things, if there was anything that annoyed me I overlooked it, and 20 years later i’m still doing the same.

I know it’s not very romantic to say that love is nothing more than a habit, that if you spend enough time with anyone then you will feel strange without them but it’s true.

But what we mean by love is actually what we would call being IN love. and i think that being IN love is more about care and respect than anything else.

If you care deeply for their wellbeing. If you feel moved by their pain and motivated to help relieve it, then you’re IN love.

It’s not very romantic but I do truly believe that you can be in love with anyone.

It’s actually the falling OUT of love that is the issue in relationships.
And in order to keep relationships going we need to make sure we don’t fall out of love.
We need to ensure we keep the respect for each other.

I think deep down we all know what we need to do to keep our relationships happy.
And we also know what would cause us to spoil it.

If we deliberately focus only on the negatives of our partner then we’ll make ourselves unhappy and spoil it.

But, meet them half way.
If our other half needs to see more about the things that are good in us, then make sure we show them, don’t wait for them to say,

“Hey I know it’s been 20 years, but this just isn’t working anymore”

Listen to them when they talk to you about their day, their thoughts, their friends their life.
Focus on the reasons to continue wanting them in your life.

After all, even when someone does something wrong, we shouldn’t forget about all the things they did right.

Episode List

Episode 138: Keeping Up With The Joneses
Episode 137: The Likeable You
Episode 136: Why It's OK To Be A Loser
Episode 135: The Psychology Of Extremism
Episode 134: Are You A Lobster?
Episode 133: Critical Thinking
Episode 132: There Is Nothing Either Good Or Bad
Episode 131: The For And Against Of Imagination
Episode 130: Loneliness & Social Networks
Episode 129: Letting Go Of The Past
Episode 128: What Is Love?
Episode 127: Procrastination
Ep. 126: Who Were You Before The World Changed You?
Episode 125: Stop Saying "Sorry"
Episode 124: Emotional Contagion
Episode 123: Patience
Episode 122: Building On Your Foundations
Episode 121: Dealing With The Critics
Episode 120: Being Assertive. Just Say No!
Episode 119: Inactivity
Episode 118: Social Functioning & Evolution
Episode 117: Unleash Your Inner Superhero
Episode 116: Goals, Values and Priorities
Episode 115: 10 Tips To A Happier Life
Episode 114: Lies And Confabulation
Episode 113: Confirmation Bias
Episode 112: Are You An Imposter?
Episode 111: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger
Episode 110: Are New Years Resolutions a good idea?
Episode 109: The African Violet Queen Of Milwaukee
Episode 108: Reframing
Episode 107: Spiders And Behaviourism
Episode 106: Practise Makes Perfect
Episode 105: Fear Of Flying
Episode 100 - 104: Happiness
Episode 99: Body Image And The Media
Episode 98: Evolution and Adaptation
Episode 97: Reflections And Regrets.
Episode 96: Dealing With Fear
Episode 95: Confidence
Episode 94: Enthusiasm
Episode 93: Tips To Relieve Christmas Stress
Episode 92: Dealing With Change
Episode 87 - 91: Self Esteem
Episode 86: Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
Episode 85: The Importance Of Being Lazy
Episode 84: Elephant Chains
Episode 83: Eating Bananas And Setting Goals
Episode 82: Ignoring The Media And Listening To Music
Episode 81: Awakening The Instincts
Episode 80: The Fine Line Between Love And Hate
Episode 79: The Best Medicine
Episode 78: A New Start
Episode 77: Time Distortion
Episode 76: Making Decisions
Episode 75: What's In A Name?
Episode 74: Pushing Ourselves Further
Episode 73: Conformity
Episode 72: Purpose
Episode 71: Perspective
Episode 70: Expectation
Episode 69: The Mind / Body Link
Episode 68: Overcoming Shyness
Episode 67: Mood Boosting
Episode 66: Sabotaging your goals
Episode 65: Self Talk
Episode 64: Money Makes The World Go Round
Episode 63: First Impressions Count
Episode 62: False Belief
Episode 61: Absolutes
Episode 60: The Psychology of feeling calm
Episode 59: Belief
Episode 58: Anchoring Emotions
Episode 57: Negativity and Perspective
Episode 56: Health And Happiness
Episode 55: Imagination vs Reality
Episode 54: Change