When Did Love Rise to the Level of an Insanity
Love is a lot
of things -- many-splendored, never having to say your sorry, a rose -- and
it hurts and it stinks and it reigns o'er me.
Being such a sweeping topic, my point
today concerns only a narrow slice -- love on daytime TV. Not the glamorous
life of the TV soap, but the grim reality of trash talk shows. It's a staple
of Springer-style TV, the question hanging over the betrayed, the beaten,
the pregnant, the miserable; a person hanging on despite it all.
Why do you stay with him?
"Because I love him."
Love has never made a very good reason.
And it's worth even less as an excuse.
People have this viral view of love,
that you get caught by some bug, that all reason and logic goes out the window
and that's okay because it's Love with a capital L.
This leads to Hollywood movies where
madcap lovers do things that in real life would get them slapped with restraining
orders, and we all know how some people try to live their lives in some imagined
cinematic style. Life imitates art, you know.
Part of the entire idea of love is
the rush, the sweepng chemical high, and its been scientifically proven,
believe it or not. And let's face it; someone incapable of love, someone
unwilling to take the chance of a flight of fancy, is one dour puss. Life
is all about knowing the difference between thinking and feeling.
Love has gotten plenty of attention
from psychologists as well as writers, singers, poets and artists. There's
the triangular theory of love (passion, intimacy, commitment) and then there's
the biggie -- the difference between passionate and compassionate love.
The most common problem in developing
long-term relationships is the transition between passionate and compassionate
love. Bill Maher has a great politically incorrect theory about it -- people
have children when the sex gets boring because it gives them something else
to do with their energy. The most common timeline for this milestone, according
to both experts and my bummed out buddies in bars, is about six months.
With a little bit of self-awareness,
you can learn from your past mistakes and the mistakes of others. You can
learn about the passionate / compassionate transition. You can learn that
rebound relationships don't work. You can learn that if you enter a relationship
because you're needy, that the relationship will wind up in transition because
once the needs are met you're a different person and the relationship is
on a different footing.
To many people, the idea of tempering
the early phases of love sounds like a violation of the First Law of Love
-- that of being totally swept away. It's like if you're not stupid with
it, you're not in love.
There are of course, people in love
with that feeling of being in love, and you can figure out what kind of trouble
they land in and what kind of bill they run up with divorce lawyers. And
there are the people who cling to their love on these dreadful TV shows because
their own lack of self-respect gives them no choice. Love starts as the reason,
winds up the excuse. A kind of universally accepted insanity defense.
I don't want the co-dependant and
the wacky to spoil love's good name. I want love to add to my life, not wreck
it, because in the end, if it doesn't grow and blossom, if it fades or blows
up, you can't blame love. You can only blame yourself.
About the Author:
G.L. Marshall specializes in a cynically
silly form of romance. You can find him at http://www.glmarshall.com
published by Tigress Luv & Glass Slipper publishing, the Breakup Gurus. For more
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