What Do Love Relationships Represent For Us?
When we think about love, or our pursuit for love… very often, we think about the benefits that love will bring to us. We also think about the benefits that loving those who are near us will have… but that’s where our “love reach” usually stops.
Yet, there is soooo much more to love that we often don’t think about, talk about or much less, SEE that can help us understand way more about life than we ever realized.
And you know how it is… often, we can “see” things more clearly when they’re absent from our lives than when they’re present.
So let’s go there for a bit.
Think about your life.
And let me ask you something.
Why aren’t you the FULL person you know you’re meant to be?
(Listen to your own response).
Ask yourself the question: Why?
(Listen to your own response).
Ask yourself again: Why?
By now, (most of you) should have gotten to a pretty similar understanding as everybody else.
When you think about your first limitation, or excuse you ever came up with for why you aren’t the FULL person you’re meant to be or asked yourself the series of questions I just posed to you, most of you said that you haven’t been able to reach your absolute full potential because you were wounded as a child and you didn’t receive enough love.
From your parents and caregivers. And for better or for worse, these are the two people whom we have our first love relationship with… or in many cases our anti-love relationship with.
And while it’s not necessarily cool to “blame” other people… there’s absolutely NO DENYING that parents play a HUGE role in how “click” or “don’t click” with this world.
Even if you haven’t gotten to that conclusion yet, but you keep on digging for the very bottom of your own reason by asking yourself “Why?” as many times as needed, you will realize that you pretty much lacked something in childhood.
- If your lack or wound happened before age four, you probably don’t recall what it was exactly that happened or who did it, but you feel a void or a negative feeling when someone in your present triggers an emotional response from you when they do something (but you’re often unsure why you’re triggered). This is because we have emotional memory up to age 4.
- If you were above age 4, you know what you were lacking is, because by then, your event memory had already developed and you remember the things that happened (although this may be sooner for some people)..
Even now, regardless of what your age is, you wonder things such as:
- What would my life have been like if my parents got along better?
- What if they never separated?
- What if they hadn’t gotten divorced?
- What if my mom had been nicer?
- What if my dad would have been more present?
- What if they were more affectionate with one another?
- What if love would have been the number one thing that our parents gave us in our every day life, on our vacations, and on special occasions?
- How would my love relationship with my partner be if my parents had truly had each other’s interests in mind instead of their own individual (selfish) needs?
- How would my relationship with love be if my parent’s own marriage had been better?
- How did my less-than-perfect household environment shape me into the person I am today?
From what I know, it doesn’t matter how loving or perfect your parents were… deep down you feel that your life would be better if they were better.
And it’s no wonder!
If families are the nucleus of society… parents are the nucleus of families…. and if something is “off” in your parent’s interaction it most certainly will affect you either consciously or subconsciously. (Although most of you have already felt the effects of the things your parents could have done better consciously).
And by affecting you, I mean that either your childhood will be a light load that you can easily accept and move on with your life as a result. OR your childhood will be a dark, scary, I-don’t-want-to-even-think-about-it-too-much time in your life that weighs a lot on your shoulders and that either propels you to be excellent no matter how much the odds were against you or brings you under like emotional quicksand.
So Why Talk About Love Relationships?
Many institutions, religious or otherwise, state that the condition of society starts with the family.
And as painful as it may seem, countries that lack the most peace have the most amount of broken homes.
It’s not poverty that breeds violence. It’s how parents react to hardships such as poverty that create violence.
Regardless of what the difficult situations that parents face are, EACH parent has a choice about whether to focus on the solution for the hardships they face or the problem.
- If they want to focus on the solution, they use their creativity, will, hard work, connections, resilience and LOVE to get themselves and their family out of the situations that they’re in.
- If the parent wants to focus on the problem, they think about how hard life is, how useless their actions are, how sick and tired they are of how things are, and choose to engage in violence, addictions, isolation, alienation, bitterness, depression, pessimism and apathy towards those who are around them and need them.
And as you can see while the reaction of each parent is their own choice… it’s not very beneficial when one parent is giving their 110% and the other parent is only giving 20% to their family.
In my opinion, it’s better to be a child that has ONE parent giving 110% alone… than to have TWO parents and seeing day in and day out how unwilling that second parent is to not make YOU their priority.
It brings the energy, peace, joy, and love of the family wayyy down. Even mathematically speaking, that person who doesn’t give it the best they can, brings the average enjoyment of the family way down.
So if one person be this detrimental to a family, imagine what billions of people not giving their relationships their all does to the world. Just thinking about this can make this topic seem hopeless, but it’s useful to think that these people are just ONE choice away from bringing more peace to their family. Either they wake up and look alive or they continue living like zombies that sadly, in their disinterest towards love and relationships, they will NEVER, ever, ever be fulfilled as human beings. They may lie to themselves and think they can do with their life as they please, but the truth is, they will never be pleased.
What Is a Love Relationship?
Part of the problems that we face in love relationships is that we don’t know what love relationships are.
We think that it’s something that we commit to in order to feel loved. But in reality, according to Harville Hendrix a love relationship expert with 40 years of experience, a relationship is comprised of two people, and the space between those people. It’s important that the space between the relationship is safe. This safety is non-negotiable because even when our conscious mind can think that we’re safe, our subconscious mind is wired to detect when we feel unsafe. And when there is anything in the relationship that makes us feel unsafe, the relationship doesn’t allow us to thrive, but only survive.
In order to feel the greatest sense of safety, it’s important that you adopt a “no-negativity” policy in your love relationship. This doesn’t mean that you won’t get hurt, but it at least means you won’t get hurt on purpose. And for those times that you are hurt not on purpose, couples need to have a system in place for soothing this hurt sincerely (we will be discussing this system in upcoming posts).
In the meantime, what I want you to remember is this. If you really want to have a great love relationship, the primary prerequisite is that you have to have a love REALationship… one in which you:
- feel safe enough to be you,
- can allow your partner to be safe enough to be them
- feel safe enough to have your children in and raise children in
- one in which you REALLY do see yourself and your partner adding love and positive values to your children and to one another
- one in which you can really feel and be fulfilled and
- one in which you can be real in for the sake of improving it
- one in which you can not be embarrassed or ashamed to interact in front of other people with… one that doesn’t have you at the edge of your seat fearing that other people will see is a sham or an unhappy love relationship
A REALationship is one that allows you to feel content when you go to bed without needing to show it off to anyone in real life or on social media. It’s one that doesn’t pretend to be like so-and-so’s love relationship or like the perfect love relationship that you think your parents had. A REALationship is one that feels good and right for you and the other person. It’s one that has a future. It’s one that doesn’t exist just as a placeholder for when the true prince charming or the true princess charming comes along.
So What Does Knowing The Huge Importance of Love Relationships Mean To You?
Just like your parents had a choice about whether to focus on the problem or the solution of things… you too, regardless of the type of love relationship that you’re in, have the opportunity to make things better in your love relationship or to take an apathetic course and allow them to get worse. It’s silly to think that things will stay the same if change is one of the only constants in your life.
If you’re married and have children, today is the perfect day that you can decide to have a better love relationship, not only for yourself, but for your partner and for your children.
And if you’re dating or engaged, or married without children, you have more time than anybody to really strive to turn your love relationship into a REALationship before you bring any children into the mix.
See The Glass Half Full Whenever Possible
If your love relationship is pretty good and you think you can have a REALationship, realize that relationships take work. Both in terms of activity, communication and even your thoughts.
So whether things in your love relationship are fine and dandy right now, or your’e facing some petty or serious issues that are worth sorting through… make sure that your thoughts to resolve whatever’s going on are positive. You’ll be able to resolve things faster and regaining peace and stability will feel better, overall.
And remember, solutions can’t come from the same mentality that created them. So, if your negative thinking, habits and actions have brought you to a dip in the love relationship, use a positive and sustainable approach to fixing them. Clear communication, commitment, consistency and love will be key.
When It Comes To Love Relationships, There’s A LOT To Be Excited For
I hope it’s clear by now that love is more than just a wishy-washy term that eternal romantics are in pursuit of.
Love is not cheesy.
Love is vital.
Love is TRULY at the core for the happiness of individuals, relationships in general, love relationships, children, communities, societies and the world.
If love had been as prominent in our lives as we would have wanted, imagine what we could have achieved or be achieving.
So now, more than ever, I know, and you should too, that no matter what the question for improving the world is, love is the answer.
Love should be THE focus.
Because love is the root, the stem, the leaf that gives us oxygen, the oxygen itself, and it’s what we need most.
Don’t let the lack of love in your relationship affect the potential in your children or the potential of the positive things that you can achieve in your life. Realize that love is your legacy…and that one day your grandchildren can experience the fruits of the love that you gave your partner and your children.
And when things become challenging in your household remember:
Disappointments, frustrations and complaints are our ineffective way of asking for one of our wishes to be fulfilled, and the most prominent wish is to feel loved.” – Haydee Montemayor
So while it’s easy to get defensive or take things too personally in a love relationship, in the end, most of us want to at least preserve the peace with others, and if possible, make others happy. And nothing can make us happier or be in more peace than love.
Why Are Love Relationships More Important Now Than Ever Before?
So, to summarize, relationships, specifically good love relationships are vital to the improvement of the world. Even to its salvation, as exaggerated as it may seem.
If love is a balm that can heal our collective and individual wounds, it’s important to remember that love relationships are the nest, the breeding ground, the lab and the mirror in which we can most often experience, learn about and test love.
When parents don’t show their children how to love, as you all know, the quest for love can easily lead these children to look in all the wrong places. Even if growing up in a household with a bad “love” relationship as an example doesn’t throw someone way off course, that person still has EXTRA work (through their resilience) to do to compensate for the lack of love in their household.
Because exposing children to a relationship without love is like expecting them to learn how to cook by having two awful cooks teaching them. These children may end up learning how NOT to make a dish, but they’ll have to look elsewhere to find resources to actually learn how to cook. And if you stop and think about it, in our society, what are the main POSITIVE resources that most people look for to compensate for not feeling like they’re enough?
Personal development and spirituality (which is something quite different than religion). No wonder these two areas are huge! But despite how wonderful these fields may be, the challenge ultimately becomes how to internalize the answers you find outside yourself into your own self once again in order believe that YOU are worthy of love and capable of giving love.
You’ll have to do internal work to see the results. How? By working on your own love relationships.
Failure to be willing to do this work in ourselves and our love relationships would lead to a decline in peace because we insist on forgetting that we’re all connected.
Working on your own individual love relationship is increasingly becoming more and more important to either increase the peace in your own life and in the world. And what better way is there to help create world peace than in the company of your loved ones?
What’s Coming Up Next?
In the next few weeks I will be continuing The Science Behind Love Series. If you haven’t yet read or done the activities that go with this series you can find them here:
The Science Blog Post 1: 3 Theories For How We’re Initially Attracted to a Potential Partner
The Science Blog Post 2: What Do Your Past Partners Have in Common?
The Science Blog Post 3: For The Most Part, What Are You Looking For In A Partner?
It’s Your Turn
Feel free to share your insights about why love is more important now than ever before in the comments below.