Love is a subject that philosophers, poets, writers and many intellectuals have spoken of. It is a mark of how complex a sensation it is, considering how few people can explain it. Love is not a sensation in itself, but rather, a set of beliefs that you associate with someone or something. It is characterized by a whole set of emotions that you feel when you come across a loved one.
What is love really?
From a psychological perspective, you are conditioned into it. This should not take away the profundity of the feeling and somehow reduce it. This understanding ought to be used to help make better life decisions. When two people find themselves in love with each other, it is important to be circumspect when trying to envision a life together.
Emotional vulnerability is an inevitable outcome of loving someone. The question many people fail to ask themselves is; why do I feel this way about this one person?
If you were to think about it, you will start to discover aspects of your lover that made you associate certain ideas with them. Perhaps it is an admiration of their personalities, their looks or any other aspect of their being. At the end of the day, love is about respecting someone for who they are.
How do I know I am in love?
The character or physical traits of the one you love makes you want to attach to them. This is an act out of love. Unfortunately, the symptoms of love are also symptoms of obsessions or infatuation. This is why mindfulness is suggested when you get into a relationship with someone.
Although it may be difficult to tell the difference, the actions coming out of an obsession or infatuation will always differentiate the feelings from love. The human mind, from a philosophical point of view, is a set of beliefs about the world and yourself. These beliefs will determine your goals and the ways you will use to achieve those goals.
Take a moment to think about it; if love is actually feelings of respect and admiration, why would it ever lead to destructive behaviors that we see in relationships? The simple answer is; either it was not love or maybe the two partners refused to think of each other as worthy of respect.
In a truly loving relationship, the two partners may argue and disagree. However, their disagreements ought to also result in compromise and understanding coming from a position where you value your other half. At the end of the day, respect is not the outcome of love; rather love is the outcome of mutual respect.
Azizeh Rezaiyan at Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling has years of experience as a counselor. She is fluent in Farsi and specializes cross-cultural marriage counseling, premarital counseling, sexuality for couples, infidelity, same-sex couples counseling, etc.
You can reach her at Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling in Palo Alto for more information or for a free 20-minute consultation.