Contributed by: kellyseal Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 09:21 am
It's easy to confuse real love with infatuation. After all, in the first heady days of romance, you feel like you can walk on air. Your boyfriend/ girlfriend is perfect for you in every way. What's not to love about that? But once it fades and you're left with warm feelings instead of instant fireworks, does that mean you've fallen out of love? Or is there something else going on?
Unfortunately, most daters are quick to judge a relationship based on instant chemistry, and then wonder what happens down the road when the romance isn't so charged and things don't go quite the way they planned. The truth is, falling in love is different from physical attraction or even chemistry. It's about something deeper than that - something that holds on even if you no longer feel the intense passion.
But we're told from the time we're young that there is a Prince Charming, a perfect partner out there just for us. And so - whether we realize it or not - we bring these beliefs with us into our adult lives, believing we deserve and will find the Prince Charming who carries all of these wonderful qualities, with no faults or baggage of his own. This creates a problem - we're constantly comparing the real men we date with the ideal in our minds that is not realistic. After all, you aren't Cinderella either. How can you expect perfection and endless romance from anyone else? Eventually you realize that you don't have that amazing chemistry anymore, and he's not as attractive or charming or wonderful as you thought. So you think you're not really in love or you haven't met the right one. But this isn't necessarily the case.
And if you follow your passion, moving on from one romance to the next as soon as your current love fizzles? This is not an effective search for real love. Passion and romance are only the precursors to a deeper relationship that isn't based on physical connection and chemistry, but rather a deep understanding and a mutual desire to bring out the best in each other. You have to get to a stage of recognizing your partner's faults and understanding passion ebbs and flows. If you're chasing a feeling, you're in love with that feeling, and not the person. Falling in love takes time, understanding yourself, and commitment to seeing your relationship through the more difficult times as well as the good ones.
Most importantly, real love doesn't look for happiness in someone else. Real love is understanding that you create your own happiness. Instead of thinking your partner should alleviate your pain, anger, or hurt feelings, you take responsibility for your feelings and find healthy ways of dealing with them and healing yourself. We all create our own happiness, and the best relationships take this and share it with each other.