Relationships Define Us: Choose to Stand for Love

Relationships Define Us: Choose to Stand for Love

It is believed that 30,000 people fall in love everyday all over the world. In Canada, 40 percent of gen-Xers and baby boomers face divorce at least once in their lives. In 75 percent of divorces, it is the woman who initiates the split. The divorce rate in the United States is 53 percent, compared with 60 percent in some European countries and 70 percent in Belgium.

 

There is Powerlessness in Falling in Love

I freely share with my family, friends and on social media that I am no longer looking for a man to “fall in love with.” My goal is to “stand for Leaving Out Vain Expectations (LOVE)” with a man that shares my faith, as well as my values and beliefs. To me, “falling in love” comes with a negative connotation of powerlessness that I no longer wish to experiment with. This does not mean that I do not believe in love and its power. On the contrary, I know that love is a powerful force that can bond two people together and lead them toward their destinies. One of the quotes I think about often is from Martin Luther King Jr., who said:

We must discover the power of love, the power, the redemptive power, of love. And when we discover that we will be able to make of this old world a new world, we will be able to make men better. Love is the only way.

I am assuming that he was not referring to romantic love; rather, he was talking about the powerful ability to care about others, embrace change, honor others, and make a difference in many lives, starting with our own. Here are three reasons you should not fall in love.

You might fall out of love and it sucks

Romantic love, with its tingling and excitement was intended by nature to bring two people together for the purpose of reproduction. The turmoil it causes in one’s mind, physiological needs and basic needs cannot last more than a few months or years. Romantic love is a powerful type of emotion known as eros. It leads to burning sexual desire and passion, which often creates sexual arousal. This type of intense infatuation consumes those who embrace it with fervor and a strong desire to become physically close. Nature uses this amorousness for procreation. It is exhilarating and addictive at the same time, yet physically fulfilling. However, it is not intended to last because it makes us lose control and become strongly involved in idealistic passion and potential heartbreaking disappointment. This kind of feeling does not last longer than a few years, simply because it is not intended to, and it cannot. The hormonal reactions it creates are not sustainable as they prevent us from functioning normally or thinking clearly. According to E. Burunat, “Romantic love is not an emotion but a physiological drive that is misinterpreted by many, which leads them to divorce, suicide, and the murder of women by partners and former husbands.”

You might resent the person you fell for if they are not ready to catch you

Once the phase of walking on clouds fades, lovers start seeing each other’s flaws and might mistakenly think that their partner misrepresented themselves or lied about who they truly are, which is possible. Most of the time however, the person has neither changed nor lied. Emotions and feelings simply blinded both partners for as long as their hormones were leading their thinking. When I started seeing the flaws in the man I had fallen in love with, the subject of my romantic infatuation, I was disappointed. He was not as honest and kind as I had thought. My wellbeing did not seem as important to him any more. Others around me had seen the signs, but I was unable and/or unwilling to open my eyes and look… until it was too late. The damage had been done and my heart broken. I had been blinded by my feelings and mislead by my emotions.

You might have a distorted view on relationships 

You may have come to believe that love hurts. It does not. Real love doesn’t hurt at all: it builds up, nurtures and sustains. Infatuation ends; romantic crushes end; and passion fades away. True love – which is based on common values, friendship, service to one another and commitment – does not end. Nor does it hurt. Love that is built on common interests, faith, common goals and vision, as well as a common purpose does not bring pain and sorrow. It does not cause destruction and does not abuse. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

Instead of Falling, Try Standing 

Instead of powerlessly “fall in love,” how about trying to consciously “stand for love?” When you stand for love (#stand4love), you are realistic about the person you choose to care for. You see their strengths and weaknesses, their qualities and flaws, their talents and shortfalls. You cultivate trust and give the other person an opportunity to discover how dependable you are and how supportive you can be. You adapt to behaviors that are reflective of our culture, family, religion, education, and social environment. In doing so, you mutually develop abilities that contribute to tightening the connection between you and our partner, giving and receiving alternatively.

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