Today I wanted to write about how it feels to be in a relationship with a narcissist, because that is one of the topics covered in the book. However, spring is in the air, love and the bees and the flowers and the trees, so I thought I should rather share some thoughts about love and being in love. About romantic love, that is.
I am a staunch believer in the power of love and am convinced that being happily in love is the most wonderful feeling in the world. That is probably why I absolutely adore springtime when everything and everyone is blossoming and blooming, literally and figuratively. Therefore, I get somewhat annoyed whenever I read that being in love is actually a pathological state. As if love were a disease we do not wish to contract. When has being in love become a dirty word? While we can love many people, we are not usually in love with several people at once. This is what distinguishes an intimate relationship from a platonic, albeit loving, one. No matter how much we love someone, if we haven't experienced the being-in-love state of mind with that person, the love relationship won't last. If you don't get that warm, fuzzy feeling and if you have zero desire to touch or undress the person of your affection, then this is just a close relationship with someone you feel an affinity with.
They also say that the butterflies in your stomach only lasts about six months, which coincides with the prescription date for being in love. After that it supposedly doesn't matter who you end up in a couple with because other things are more important than love. Well, that is what some authors believe, honestly. I just roll my eyes when I read that, but they claim we could live in a happy, satisfactory and fulfilling relationship with just about anyone in the world so long as we made an effort. That chemistry plays no role in a relationship. Excuse me, but that must be the greatest nonsense I have ever heard. I agree that love by itself often isn't enough, that there must be other common interests, values, beliefs and a shared purpose and vison in life if we wish to have a long-term relationship with someone. I also agree that during the first six or however many months when we are intensely in love with someone – and can hear the grass grow and see nothing but positive qualities in our partner due to our rose colored glasses – we are in a slightly modified emotional state of mind. However, I strongly disagree that these feelings can only last for the six months and then disappear, never to return. Or that they are not as true and valuable as we believe them to be. I have loved and been in love with my partner for well over a decade. I still get the butterflies when I see him, my heart still skips a beat, my knees still get weak. Not every day and not all the time, but I am certainly still in love with him, head over heals. If a relationship plays out at a cognitive level only and doesn't resonate at the emotional and sexual level then it is a mere partnership, not an intimate relationship. Yes, we can all probably make it work with many people, but these relationships will never be intimate love relationships which bring joy and color to our lives. If you don't believe being in love with someone matters, then ask yourself this: who would you choose, person A with qualities XYZ, for whom you feel love and affection, or person B with the same qualities, for whom you feel love and affection and who you are utterly and completely smitten with?