How deep is your love?
Emotions are powerful and love indeed is one of the most powerful of them all. Many of us may have questioned our overall sense of feeling and felt concern about how deep our love or passion can travel but emotional excess can also be harmful in the same way that excess of anything can be harmful. Sometimes when we are not balanced enough we can find ourselves in a no win situation. Allowing ourselves to let go in love has both good and bad pointers.
The positive is that it allows us to gain a sense of our own depth and feeling and the negative is that the excessiveness we are feeling can impede upon our lives so deeply that we can no longer see or channel our own direction and instead become lost within someone else’s aura. Many people argue that it is impossible to balance both love and wisdom at the same time, but it is only though the experience of losing ourselves in love that we begin to gain our own inner sense of wisdom.
The tell tale signs that we have let ourselves fall too deeply usually account to our friends or relatives telling us so. The love we feel can become problematic to the extent that it actually hurts us and causes us pain. Some people love so deeply that they would prefer to linger in the pain than come out and face the reality. It can be very easy for others to criticise or even mock our state of emotion when we have allowed ourselves to fall flat and such intense love does blind us from the truth and prevents us from seeing the other person in their true light.
This is because love is unconditional and it has a habit of breaking through the negative parts of the identity and therefore instead highlights the bits that we want to see and perhaps the bits that no one else can see - the positive, the adorable and the inspiring. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and no one is to say the beholder is wrong because we all see life and its people so differently. This notion is also clear in many forms of the arts and in particular, classical art where the God of love (Cupid as blind) indicates that lovers are blind to the faults or the unsuitability of the one they love. But we are tried and tested and pulled together for many different reasons, the truth must be found from within.
Psychologist Elaine Hatfield has described two different types of love: compassionate love and passionate love. Compassionate love involves feelings of mutual respect, trust and affection, while passionate love involves intense feelings and sexual attraction.
Hatfield defined passionate love as:
"A state of intense longing for union with another. Passionate love is a complex functional whole including appraisals or appreciations, subjective feelings, expressions, patterned physiological processes, action tendencies, and instrumental behaviors. Reciprocated love (union with the other) is associated with fulfillment and ecstasy. Unrequited love (separation) with emptiness, anxiety, or despair".
There are said to be many factors associated with passionate love.
Timing – being ready to fall, we ourselves must be ready
Experience - Our experiences speak volumes it is believed that those who are secure and attached form deeper, long lasting relationships whereas those who are anxious tend to “fall in and out” quickly. Psychologist , S Duck (1998, 1992) also recognised that life long partnerships tend to last between people who have experienced a stable upbringing .He also suggested that marriages tend to break down with those who have had a greater number of sexual partners.
Similarity – A study conducted by Hatfield and Rapson noted that we tend to fall passionately in love with people who we strongly identify with and those that we consider desirable
The survey that Hatfield complied was called “The passionate love scale” and was designed to assess the cognitive, emotional and behavioural aspects of passionate love. This is said to have been widely used by relationship researchers for the past two decades. Passion is said to stem from an overpowering feeling of identity from the other person and although this is intense, it tends not to last very long and works very much like a fleeting process rather than a steady development but it is the overwhelming passions that tend to fizzle out quickly. Dr Hatfield recongises that the scale she has provided is useful for researchers, but couples should be a little more wary and should only take the test for fun and not make any major decisions based on how they score as she exclaims that “Love and life are very complex, and a person’s emotions are always nuanced”.
We may also feel that we love too much when the other person can not return our love in the same way, sometimes love can fall into our path way as a sign that we are alive and breathing, it can quite often come in the form of an epiphany as sometimes it takes a heart break to establish what it is we truly desire. It can raise questions about life that we may never have considered and after going right to the depths within ourselves we may feel reborn and more inclined to take risks ,which then allows us to transform our ideas and open up and express what we want to the universe.
So, we may choose to love very deeply but ultimately when we hit the depths of our core desires we can only begin to revaluate what it is exactly that we are striving towards and move on, it is something that we take with us on the journey, thus, our identity has been set through the experience and we come to know ourselves by walking the trail of deeper love. Whichever way you choose to look at it, when we dig deep we find some sort of treasure that reminds us of why we went searching in the first place!
Duck, S Human relationships, second edition