Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and romance. Unfortunately, many of the popular beliefs confuse romantic love with true and enduring love.
Typically, romantic notions of true love mistake the magical feeling of infatuation with sustainable love. This conflation comes from classic literature’s portrayal of idealized courtly love. You know, the intoxicating experience of star-crossed lovers such as Romeo and Juliet. Sadly, these stories distort our understanding of what real love is. Worse, they have created unrealistic expectations for those who marry.
Today we are going to debunk at some common myths about love and, instead, provide some helpful suggestions to keep love alive.
Today I want to talk about a common problem which is, unfortunately, unnecessarily experienced by many folks: being “in love” with an abusive or unloving partner. A common misunderstanding present in these kind of destructive situations is a fundamental confusion about the meaning of love, i.e. where sexual thrills or emotional dependency is mistaken for a mature caring and devotion.
In working with individuals and couples for over 40 years, I have heard the word love used in many ways. Indeed, the Greeks had difference words to capture the many shades of meaning this English word can express.
When it comes to relationships, however, I have frequently observed a confusion between eros and agape or between mania and agape. You really can’t blame folks for being confused. To be honest, American notions of love and romance are a mess. They mush together a mixture of selfish and selfless personal experiences. For example, to be in love may mean feeling a powerfully exciting sexual sensation which is aroused by the person with whom one is in love or it may mean a deep and selfless concern for the wellbeing of the person that one loves. Confusing the two can be problematic. When a person thinks that s/he is in love in a mature way but in fact is primarily attracted to a thrilling sensation, or emotionally/literally is dependent on another person, good judgment is corrupted. Here is how to understand the differences.
Modern science has revealed the neurochemical components of Eros . Eros, which is sometimes falsely