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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

This Thing Called Love

I don't follow the life of Kim Kardashian. I understand she's a model and has her own reality television show, which I've never watched. I was struck, however, by a news headline that greeted me this morning concerning the fact that her second marriage had collapsed after seventy two days.
That's just over two months. I wonder, how does that happen?
I'm in the realm of guesswork now, but something tells me that chemistry and unrealistic expectations are at the root of it. Chemistry because she was probably experiencing that feeling known as love, and was riddled with endorphins sending messages to her brain and libido that this was it, this was the one, the forever relationship. Powerful highs, to be sure, but misleading for a whole gamut of reasons. The "love" experience in those early days isn't meant to stay in that form; it necessarily matures into something deeper and more robust. If this confuses or disappoints you then you've some maturing to do. Those highs create the initial connection, but it's a false plateau, a window during which people need to get to know each other in order for things to progress. Think of it like the space shuttle taking off; the initial thrust of launch, the boosters jettisoned at a certain altitude to allow the craft to establish a safe orbit. Don't think for a minute that this has to equal boredom; that's the big lie society feeds you. It just means you've built a platform to really work from, a point where the relationship can head off in all manner of cool directions.
The 2nd point, false expectation, is caused by the chemistry waning, that stage where those endorphins don't fizz quite so crazily, when it's just that bit harder to get motivated. I suspect many people get caught up in immature thinking at this point, and once again this is where I'm going to cause offence.
If this is when relationships flounder for you, then you have a personality issue. You're not engaging with the real world, and you're falling away just when things might get interesting. I maintain that there is absolutely no reason why relationships can't grow and improve as the years pass; it takes honesty and genuineness and commitment. It means facing up to issues as and when they arise and being prepared to be vulnerable, candid, and open to accepting that on occasion you've got it wrong.
This thing called love, those feelings; I sometimes wonder whether they've been the source of more destruction than happiness? I don't mean to sound cynical, and I'm aware of the advantages. I just wonder whether our brains have been a bit slow to catch on to the need to reach beyond those chemical highs?

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