Today, at ‘Coffee Break Solutions’ in Marbella, we discussed ‘Do we give up too much for love’ and it led to some interesting discussion points. When we addressed, ‘what is this love we are in’, exploring the idealism of love, conditioned beliefs about love, and the chemical attraction that draws us to each other, it led to a rather disturbing realisation, that threatened to pop the love bubble – that this love we are in, could be addictive; oxytocin certainly make us feel better, so why wouldn’t we want more, in the same way as we can become addicted to the endorphins of exercise. And, as with the addiction of exercise, could the same be said for this romantic love – as wonderful as it feels, could this love become an unhealthy addiction?
We solved this matter with a simple question that you can ask yourself:
‘Is this love that I am in, having an overall positive influence on my overall personal happiness, or not?’
When we give up too much for love, perhaps because we are addicted to it, or because our beliefs and ideals of what love is, and how we ‘should’ behave towards the one we love, mean that we always say ‘yes’ to the needs of our beloved, but ‘no’ to our own needs, what can happen, is that resentment forms, and the flame of love, fuelling the love drug, begins to whither.
This made us realise that we need to develop love awareness. This means being conscious about how the love drug is affecting our overall life. In the beginning, we may be happy to give up many things for love, but in the long-term, we can feel that we are missing out on life, and indeed, the many other wonderful aspects of love, because love is many things, not just a romantic, chemical-induced attraction
So then, how do we enjoy the romantic attraction, the intimate connection and the feel good factor, without becoming so addicted to love, that it affects the overall quality of our lives?
I believe the answer is in conscious self-love. Conscious self-love, means that we know what matters, and that we ensure these qualities that truly matter us; the people we love, the things we care about, the practices that matter, and the truth we stand for, does not get flooded by our romantic love, but that rather, we maintain balance in our love.
The beauty of self love, is that we are more confident when we love ourselves, which is attractive. We still enjoy the love drug, and we still maintain the qualities and values that matter, so that our lives are richer, more fulfilled, broader, and there is no need for any underlying resentment to build, because we are not giving up the things that truly matter, rather, we are finding a balance. In this scenario, we set the scene for something far better than the romantic love, that can often last for only a honeymoon period, we set the stage for eternal love, because when you truly love yourself, and honour your values, and live them, you are fulfilled, so you feel happy, and when you are happy, you have more love to give because it simply radiates from within you, you do not even need to try to love, you just do. Imagine if both partners did this; if both partners loved themselves first, surely an even greater, deeper, stronger, ever-lasting love, is born.
Questions to consider:
- What matters to you most?
- What do you need to bring into your relationship, so that you feel happier and have more love to give?
- What do you need to stand up for?
- What do you need to ask your partner for?
- In what way could you value yourself more?
And perhaps one of the most notable points of our discussion was in two words, ‘choice’ and ‘acceptance’.
If we consciously choose, to give things up for love, then it choice made willingly, so resentment does not build. It only builds on ‘should’ and ‘ought’ and fears.
The other word is ‘acceptance’. The love drug is a wonderful thing, but it does necessarily involve understanding, acceptance and compassion, and these are the qualities of true, ever-lasting love. They develop when we understand and accept and love who we are, because only in doing so, only through self-love, can we truly love another. And the beauty of these qualities, is that they generate an inner flame of love, so we can feel the beauty of love, as we choose, whether our partner is near or far, the love is forever true because it is within, it is eternal, for as long as we choose to love, and it can grow – because the more love we have within, the more love we have to share.
So I have come away from our discussion, still very much a romantic, but now I understand why loving the self matters more, and it not selfish, as I grew up to believe, indeed now I understand why it is what the world needs , and self love may very well be our best gift to ourself, each other, and to life.
Coffee Break solutions are free talks, on love, life and the mysteries of the mind. They take place monthly in Marbella, Sotogrande and Gibraltar.
I offer a safe and confidential space for women to explore how to generate greater self-esteem to confidently ask for what matters, and to bring more of what matters into your life.
Learn more at: www.antoniabehan.com