Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Five Love Languages... Chapter Three

Chapter Three: Falling in Love

First of all, let me say that when I hear "falling in love" I think about a couple things. I think about "movie love" where there's a music montage full of first kisses and flowers in the park and ball games where you're dressed alike... you know, movie love! I also think about annoying middle schoolers, or high schoolers that act like middle schoolers, or come to find out there's college-aged people that do the same thing- & that's "fall in love" on day one! They're saying "I love you" and posting the date of when they started dating (a week ago) on every Facebook status. They're just so annoying. A month later there's a new date, and a new name, and a new false "I love you" being proclaimed. I really just want to shake some sense into people sometimes! But anyways... ;)

Everyone agrees that being "in love" is the necessary foundation for a good marriage. Now, that, I agree with. {Well, I don't agree with the fact that everyone agrees, but I agree that you're marriage is going to be pretty shotty if going INTO it at least you wouldn't be able to say you were "in love."}

Welcome to the real world of marriage, where hairs are always on the sink and little white spots cover the mirror, where arguments center on which way the tissue paper comes off and whether the lid should be up or down. It is a world where shoes do not walk into the closet and drawers do not close themselves, where coats do not like hangers and socks go AWOL during laundry. In this world, a look can hurt and a word can crush. Intimate lovers can become enemies, and marriage a battlefield. What happened to the "in love" experience? Our problem was faulty information. The bad information was the idea that the "in love" obsession would last forever. We should have known better. 

First, falling in love is not act of the will or a conscious choice. No matter how much we may want to fall in love, we cannot make it happen.

Now...I am not knocking those of you who truly believe you are in love! For some of you, I believe you are too! That is a wonderful thing. Embrace it! The point of this chapter, and something I firmly agree with, is the fact that that feeling will not last forever! There will come a time when you will fight, be hurt, second guess, say things you don't mean, or just simply act selfishly {which is human nature, by the way.} That doesn't mean you give up, or you do not love the person anymore, it just means that that infatuation stage has passed, and it's time for REAL love {so that's a good thing!}

We should recognize the in-love experience for what it is--a temporary emotional high--and now pursue "real love" with our spouse. That kind of love is emotional in nature but not obsessional. {Nobody likes an obsessed person.} It is a love that unites reason and emotion. It involves an act of the will and requires discipline, and it recognizes the need for personal growth. Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct.

 I need to be loved by someone who chooses to love me, who sees in me something worth loving. 

That kind of love requires effort and discipline. It is the choice to expend energy in an effort to benefit the other person, knowing that if his or her life is enriched by your effort, you too will find a sense of satisfaction--the satisfaction of having genuinely loved another. It does not require the euphoria of the "in love" experience. In fact, true love cannot begin until the "in love" experience has run its course.

Now, I can see how you fellow hopeless romantics out there may not like this chapter. Where's the shooting stars, the balloons, the deep emotions? What about the spirit of anticipation, the twinkle of the eye, the electricity of a kiss, the excitement of sex? What about the emotional security of knowing that I am number one in his/her mind? Well that's what the book is all about. Meeting each other's need to feel loved, bringing back that infatuation {maybe back, maybe not} into the relationship, to stay, for good! :) If you keep your love's love tank full, you'll be good to go!!

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