Category Archives: Human behavior

Why People’s Commitments Change?

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INTRODUCTION

Why people’s commitments change? Despite the fact that people promise to love one another or married couples take the wedding vows seriously, permanent commitment to stay together is not always attainable.

Well, let me just explain here two important reasons why commitment in a relationship changes despite the serious promise of couples to stay together no matter what happens in the future.

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First, people change. Thus, what people promise today may change through time. There is one theory in anthropology and sociology which states that a person is an open system. This means that a person’s self is always being influenced by culture and society. It is not a finished product. The moment the person is born, the mind begins to receive impressions and images based on experience that gradually form his or her self. This continues until his or her death. Thus, a person’s perception of his or her self as a committed loving person in a particular historical moment such as the wedding or engagement day is still subject to future historical events that can break this commitment, which he or she may not foresee or anticipate. One lawyer married his wife but has not made a formal break-up with his girlfriend. Five years later, they accidentally met each other. Despite his marital promise to love his wife forever, he did not expect that he would commit extra-marital affairs with his former girlfriend.

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Second, society and social environment surrounding the relationship change, thus people’s loving commitments change. Depending on the value system of the couples, historical events often change people’s commitment. For instance, the couple undergoing extreme stress due to poverty and  financial problems after marriage can lead to divorce or separation. Job loss or retrenchment due to economic recession and underdevelopment may affect people’s commitment. Maintaining a relationship implies resource allocation. It’s difficult to maintain a relationship without the necessary resources and money to meet the needs of the couple and their dependents.

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The advent of the Internet and digital technology can be both a blessing and a curse. The cyberspace and mobile technology have done a lot of advantages to create and maintain romantic and marital relationships. But this societal change in technology also facilitate infidelity, relationship break-ups, or separation of married people, since it is very easy to meet new people in the cyberspace and social media with numerous dating sites and chat rooms. Again, people may be very committed with their loving relationships, but with the constant technological change in society that facilitates infidelity, commitments become more difficult to maintain. Unless the couples believe in something supernatural or some form of spirituality as a foundation of their loving relationship that transcends the material world, maintaining a commitment will always be a great challenge to every one living in today’s fast-changing technological age. Cheers!

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Photo credit: shutterstock

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Does Age Imply Control in a Relationship?

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Age does matter in a relationship whether one likes it or not. Although there other personal and social factors that can affect the social interaction of couples in a particular society, age definitely has an effect on the way partners relate with each other. Age is an informal social norm that somehow affects social interaction. The higher is the age, the higher is the influence of the older partner over the younger companion. Because he or she has more experience, the older partner will tend to guide the younger mate. This is particularly true if the age gap is wider.

Age implies length of experience in life. Older people have more encounters with tragedies and problems in life compared to younger ones. Thus, they tend dominate younger partners because they tend to believe that they know better than the other. Of course, this is only a general rule, since personality and other social factors can overcome this tendency. Thus, a younger partner with a domineering personality can control an older partner with a weaker personality. For instance, a gut person can easily dominate a heart or head person despite the age gap. Inspite of this, older people still tend to play the parent role in the relationship in general.

Thomas Anthony Harris published a classic self-help book entitled I’m OK – You’re OK as a practical guide to transactional analysis as a method for solving problems in life.Transactional analysis (TA) is a psychoanalytic theory and method of therapy wherein social transactions are analyzed to determine the ego state of the patient. A person’s ego can either act as a parent, adult, and child depending on the situation.

The problem with older partners in a loving relationship is that they tend to often act on their parent egos and dominate the younger partners who are forced to act on their adult or child roles to avoid conflict in their daily interactions. Thus, depending on the cultural standards, it is advisable that the age gap of lovers must be not very wide as this can pose problems both in their personal interaction and relationship adjustment. Maybe, 5 years or less is age gap is preferable, but more than 10 age gap can be challenging for couples to maintain their relationship. Of course, what matters most are the maturity and commitment of the partners to stay together despite the odds in the relationship.

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Photo1:     Hollywood couple with 20-year age gap: JASON STATHAM AND ROSIE HUNTINGTON WHITELEY (Photo credit: ALBERTO RODRIGUEZ/NBC/GETTY)

Photo2: Harrison Ford and his wife Calista Flockhart with 22 years age gap (Photo credit:STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE)

Does Age Matter in a Romantic Relationship?

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“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter” (Mark Twain).

INTRODUCTION

The saying that “Age doesn’t matter” is a popular expression among people for those who fall in love with a wide age gap. They say that love is blind. So, it’s okay to be blinded by the age of one’s crush or lover. Experts on romantic love acknowledge that falling in love is indeed a strong positive energy that makes a person less aware of the consequences of having a big age gap in romantic relationship. One can be so enamored with the other person’s beauty, popularity, personality, social status, or wealth, that he or she forgets that the other person is either too old or too young for him/her! I already encountered some people who fell in love or even got married despite a wide age difference. When I was a boy, our 20-year old nanny was having a secret love affair with our 60-year old neighbor who was a widower with married children. It was indeed embarrassing during their wedding ceremony as the officiating priest had mistaken the groom as the parent of the bride and one of the young best men as the groom! Despite the age gap, they manage to have 3 children before the old man died.

AGE AS A SOCIAL NORM IN SOCIETY

Age really does matter in relationship despite romanticism of some people that it doesn’t affect romantic relationships. In sociology, age is an informal and unwritten social norm. Society has some standards on what age bracket is appropriate for a particular type of relationship, depending on the local culture. Whether one likes it or not, society has a way of classifying people engaging a particular type of social interaction. Defying this informal norm in a romantic relationship can lead to unintended informal and psychological sanction from the public, such as ridicule, suspicion, rumor, gossip, digital bashing in the social media, or even public shaming by people who strongly oppose the relationship. Try to hold hands and show romantic affection with an older man or woman while walking in a public park and you’ll never miss seeing people whispering or giggling in disbelief, or staring at you as if something is terribly wrong, especially when you’re in a rural setting! Generally, women like their men to be a little older and more experienced and mature in life. But if the age gap is quite wide, many people would probably start to think that it is not romantic love or true love that motivates the attraction but something else, maybe the wealth of the older partner.

Age as informal norm in society is not, however, an absolute rule! One can see couples with a big age difference. Among the Hollywood celebrities, the famous actor Michael Douglas and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones were married despite their age difference. These Oscar winners tied their knot in 2000, when Catherine was 31 years old and Michael was 56.

'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' Premiere

Michael, 56 years old, with wife Catherine, 31 (Photo credit: hollywood.com)

In the Philippines, the famous folk singer Freddie Aguilar fell in love with a 16-year old girl and managed to marry her in Islamic rites. Under the Shariah law, a 16-year old can contract a valid marriage but not under the current 1987 Family Code of the country for Christians. Apparently both decided to change religion to tie the knot.

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Freddie, 60 years old, with his 16-year old wife (Photo credit: Poklat.com)

Another famous noontime TV host and comedian married a younger woman more than twice his age. The 61-year old veteran Filipino comedian Vic Sotto married the 27-year old TV host Pauleen Luna in a private wedding.

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Pauleen Luna, 27 years old and Vic Sotto, 61 (Photo Credit: gmanetwork.com)

If it is not an arranged marriage sanctioned by culture, people can be suspicious of the motive if they see romantic couples with a wide age gap. They often suspect wealth and/or social status as the main motive why the younger partner “falls in love” with the older guy. This suspicion can have a grain of truth. Normally, people are first attracted to others through their physicality. People project and communicate to the world though their bodies. Appearance matters during the initial encounter of partners in romantic love. Many surveys showed that the person’s eyes as the sexiest or most attractive body part during infatuation. They say that the eyes is the window of the person’s soul. The woman’s big breasts and butts associated with femininity and fertility are also attractive to men, while a tall height, a flat and strong abdomen and chest are attractive physical traits for women. But old people generally cannot boast their physical assets to attract younger people to enter into a romantic relationship with them. Thus, people become cynical of seeing a young and old couple romantically linked with each other.

Physicality, however, can take a backseat if the young and old partners become intimate and learn more about the cultural or non-physical aspects of the relationship such as knowing the other’s attitude, personality, social status, and value system. So people can be suspicious if a poor young woman falls in love with an old rich man as the latter’s youthful physicality has already been deteriorated by age. If he is not extremely handsome and sexy despite his age, it is understandable for them to conclude that it is not the physical appearance but probably the person’s wealth and social status that motivate her to love the other. Age then matters in discerning whether the relationship is truly a romantic love that can lead to marital love or just what the sociologist Anthony Giddens calls as “confluent love” or a contingent form of love without commitment, a love that is based on mutual and temporal satisfaction of the romantic partners–“enjoying the relationship while it lasts.”

In the next blog, we’ll discuss why a wide age gap can be a problem in the interaction and adjustment of the couple as they stay longer in the romantic relationship and marriage. This will also show that age matters in romantic or marital interaction! Cheers!

 

 

How to Mend a Broken Heart!

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1. INTRODUCTION

To experience a broken heart in romantic love is indeed painful but passing. There’s no pain that won’t subside and heal. It depends on how the broken-hearted person deals with the pain and positions himself/herself in an environment that can gradually erase the painful memory.  Let’s first read Rona’s letter before we’ll tackle this problem (from Joe the Mango’s love notes):

Dear Joe,
It’s been 3 years since my friend Diane wrote u my story. We’re now professionals and are both doing good in our jobs.
I would like to give you a background on how my life 3 years ago was – you see I was the one hopelessly fighting for the love Fr. Kiko and I shared. It was love beyond compare. Indeed there were lots of sacrifices we endured . I must admit I was blinded, we tried to be like a normal couple but we were just not meant to be. All of a sudden he changed, he avoided me and I was left devastated.
During that time, John came. He was an old acquaintance. He was a former partner in a school dance and he was so sweet and thoughtful. Just for fun, we decided to have a trial relationship. I was nursing a broken heart back then and he was a welcome escape for me.
But as the time passed by. I found myself slowly falling for him. It was a smooth sailing relationship. And so even when Fr. Kiko made it known to me that he still exists, I completely forgot about him. My relationship with John became deeper. He introduced me to his parents and I introduced him to my family too and they got along pretty well. I could not ask for more, Joe. A family who loves me, a stable job, lots of friends and a boyfriend who loves me more than anybody else. Or so I thought.
On our first year as a couple, our relationship suddenly came to a halt. A friend of mine caught him arm in arm with another lady moonlighting in Tagaytay. My friend told me about it. But I was not about to freak out without asking him. I confronted him but he told me it’s not true. I can’t deny the fact that John is indeed, two timing me. But instead of throwing a fit of anger to him, I stooped down and blindly understood him. He pleaded for my forgiveness and I readily gave it to him. Call it foolishness, but that was how I loved him. Our relationship went on, this time in a deeper level. Marriage in two years time was in the air.
And so I programmed my mind that he was the one for me. We celebrated our second year anniversary promising each other that the love we shared will be there always and forever. But I was wrong. Late last year after a petty quarrel, he decided to break up with me. I was caught unguarded, my hopes and dreams came shattering in front of me. I didn’t know what to do. It was as if my whole life had fallen into pieces. I asked him why and he casually said he needed time and space. Not measuring the pain I felt, I gave him what he wanted. Maybe, that’s what will make him happy and contented. The days passed by and I anxiously waited for him to come back, but I waited in vain. I came to know that he was courting one of his officemates. I guess that’s why it seemed so easy for him to end the relationship. How could he betray me, twice, when I gave him my full trust. But, Joe, I was still foolishly in love with him. I silently prayed and wished that we can mend this broken relationship….
As always,
RONA

 

2. TIPS ON MENDING A BROKEN HEART

There are lots of romantics out there nursing a broken heart because they cannot forget the past and move on with their lives. To be rejected by somebody we love in a romantic relationship is painful. Since people’s minds are conditioned by society that to fall in love is natural, the bodily and psychological effects of a broken romantic love to people’s live can be devastating. Since people are historical beings, the pain of a broken heart is not forever. It can heal depending on how we deal with the past experience and how we change our social environment. Here are some important tips to expedite the healing of a broken heart:

 

  1. Avoid all things that can remind you of the past relationship. 

    Avoid people, places, and things that can remind you of your former lover. The more you hold on to the past, the longer the healing process  to end. Always remember, that this person is only one of the many millions of people you can associate yourself with in the future. This relationship has ended and there is no reason to hold on to it. Probably, it is the happy memories of the past that keep you clinging to the failed romance. But it is only a matter of time that you can meet your next lover, depending on your attitude and openness to begin  a new relationship.

  2. Change something in your self and environment to mark a new beginning of your life. 

    You can change your looks, hair, or fashion which can make you feel good about yourself. Some people would cut their hair or have a new hairstyle to forget the past. If possible, you can change your job or activities that would remind you of your former lover and past experience. You can engage in new sports, hobbies, or enhance your talents to heal the wound and repair your broken ego. Achieving something for yourself and others can improve your self-confidence and help you forget the past.

  3. Evaluate your past mistakes and try to avoid them in your next relationship.

    Learn from your mistakes. Do your homework before you decide to enter a new relationship. Do some background check first before saying “yes” to your next lover! A simple research whether the person is already married, a womanizer, or a drug dependent, etc. can avoid a lot of future headaches! Also, check whether you can manage the cultural difference with your next love. Marrying a foreigner or a person with a different cultural background can also cause a lot of headaches in personal compatibility and adjustment.

  4. Be patient. Only time can heal a broken heart. There is no medicine or pain reliever that you can take to remove the romantic pain immediately. 

    Just don’t panic. All romantics undergo the painful experience of nursing a broken heart. The good news is that this pain will be more bearable  as you grow in experience, maturity, and wisdom in romantic relationship. To mend a broken heart is more painful for first-timers but less for experienced lovers and repeaters.

  5. Don’t forget to pray and ask God to guide you.

    Based on research, religious people are likely to hurdle difficult problems in life than non-religious. Romance is only temporary but faith in God is eternal. What matters is your ultimate goal in life. Don’t lose sight of it. One failed experience should not define you life. Rise and see the beauty of life!

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Antidote to Rumors and Gossip: Turning Enemies into Friends and Allies

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The best way to minimize rumors and gossip in your life is to turn your enemies into friends and allies. Take a look at this testimony of a person who turned his enemy into a friend:

“Early in my career, I was once figuratively stabbed in the back by a colleague, which nearly led to me being fired…Rather than waste time and energy by dragging around a bag of resentments, I worked on my negative attitude…Whenever we ran into each other, I would smile and say “Hello, how are you?” I was met with a scowl or ignored. This continued for three months, but I was determined not to let the person ruin my day. I no longer wanted to give away my power. Then, suddenly, my adversary had a change in attitude, and became a trusted associate.”

Try active non-violence and apply the biblical teaching of loving your enemies. It is not a sign of weakness and cowardice of trying to win the hearts of your gossipers and rumor mongers. If you believe in something supernatural and have a solid philosophy in life, loving your enemies is a sign of courage and ultimate wisdom. After all, we are only pilgrims of this earth. Let us condemn and sue those who spread unjust and malicious acts of rumors and gossip. Let us condemn the acts but forgive the person as every individual can also be a victim of his/her past and social environment.

Please check this out:

 

 

The Origin of Romantic Love

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 Photo credit: FreDigitalPhotos.net

    The idea of romantic love and falling in love before marriage started to become a popular trend and practice in Western industrialized societies only in the late eighteenth century with the rise of modernity in Europe. During the Middle Ages, virtually no one married for love. There was, in fact, a medieval saying that “To love one’s wife with one’s emotion is adultery.” People entered into marriage, during this period, primarily to keep property in the hands of the family and to raise children to work in the family farm (Giddens and Girffiths, 2006, p.205).     The concept of courtly love, a medieval European concept of nobile and chivalrous love, generally secret and between members of the nobility, precipitated the rise of romantic love in the 19th century. “Chevaliers, or knights in the Middle Ages, engaged in what were usually non-physical and non-marital relationships with women of nobility of whom they served.” The birth of romantic love coincided more or less with the emergence of the novel as a literary form, and the spread of romantic novels. Love stories in romantic novels played a vital role of popularizing the idea of romantic love (Radway in Giddens and Griffiths, p. 205).  The term “romantic love” is said to have been coined only in the 19th century by the literary critic Gaston Paris to denote a particular constellation of attitudes and patterns of behavior that characterized a body of literature arising in Provence in the 12th century (Paris, 1983 cited in Karandashev, 2015, p.4).

        Romantic love is a deep physical and emotional attraction. It generally involves a mix of emotional and sexual desire: emotional highs, exhilaration, passion, and elation. It is a type of feeling that is passionate, fanciful, expressive, and pleasurable from an emotional attraction towards another person (Karandashev, 2015, p.4). Lantz (1982) defined romantic love as “a love based on personal-emotional attraction, with a strong erotic component which is often repressed because of moral conflict.” Its main features include idealization of the loved one, the notion of a one and only, and the idea that true love overcomes all obstacles. This is different from conjugal love in marriage which is developed over extend periods of time and is based on feelings of appreciation, loyalty and admiration, stemming from the sharing of common experiences (Lantz, 1982, p. 349).

       Love in the sense of sexual passion is a common feature of societies. But romantic love is different from sexual love. Romantic love is all about emotional communication and the attractiveness of the other. It carries with it the idea of intimacy because one falls in love specifically with the qualities of the other. It tells a forward-looking story or narrative about the lovers and creates a biography, not just for one person, but for two people (Giddens & Pierson, 1998). Sexual love is temporary and focused on physical attraction and beauty of the partners and not on the quality of the romantic relationship and  personal traits and personalities of the lovers.

12 signs to move on

Is it Natural to Fall in Love?

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Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Introduction

Have you experienced falling in love? What was it like? Did it feel natural? Is love forever? Here’s the love story of Kenneth:

“Just call me Kenneth. I’m 27 years old, with a swell job at one of the biggest networks in the country. My girlfriend, Clarissa, is very pretty, smart, understanding, religious and very loving. She has all the qualities you’re looking for in a girl and she’s the kind of girl you’d want to spend the rest of your life with.

My problem is that I haven’t really treated her right. Instead of spending time with her, I went out with my friends and co-workers. I flirted with other women in front of her. She never said a word, and remained devoted to me. We lived together for three months when her mother went to the US for a vacation, and she was like a wife to me. She prepared everything for me, from the time I woke up till I went to bed. She wouldn’t let a day pass without telling me she loved me.

There were so many things I couldn’t put into words and so many words I couldn’t put into actions, she submitted herself to me. It made me love her more but it made me take her more for granted, thinking that she was mine forever.

Until last December, Joe. A day before Christmas , she told me she was pregnant. I was startled and speechless, thinking I was going to be a father. But she told me that I was not the father of her child. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even notice the tears pouring down my cheeks. I was hurt. i couldn’t accept that she went to bed with another man.

At that moment, I felt like killing myself. I hated myself for being so selfish and nor appreciating her. I never cherished her.

She called me the other week to tell me that she’s leaving the country to marry the other guy. She told me she was leaving me for good this time and that she loved me very much.

Why is she doing this to me, Joe? I don’t want her to marry him. I want to stop her and marry her even if the child is not mine. I want to take care of her and show her how i truly love her, appreciate her. how can i stop her, Joe? What should I do? I feel like I’m in a quicksand, the more I struggle out of it, the more it eats me up. I’ve been so depressed lately and I couldn’t even concentrate on my job. I feel like I can’t go on anymore.”(https://letstalkaboutluv.wordpress.com/tag/joe-d-mango/)

 

Theories on Love

Is romantic love really a natural thing? Or a socially learned phenomenon, and thus one would not die without it?

One biological theory suggests that falling in love is like “being drunk.” The love hormone can make people fall in love, making them “drunk” with erotic passion and altruism. Scientists who prescribed to this theory identified the hormone associated with falling in love as oxytocin, a hormone produced in one part of the brain called hypothalamus which is said to be playing a significant role in bonding, falling in love, and making friendship. To some social scientists at the School of Psychology at Birmingham University, the love hormone of oxytocin has an intoxicating effect to lovers similar to alcohol. It relaxes people and removes their social inhibition, anxiety, and fear when falling in love with their partners. It increases their pro-social behavior such as generosity, empathy, and trust and makes them feel more relaxed, happy, and confident in their romantic relationship.

The biological approach to romantic love suggests that falling in love is primarily influenced by people’s biological or physiological make-up and not by the social environment is somehow unacceptable to sociologists. To sociologists, falling in love is basically a socially-learned experience and behavior, determined by societal factors and not merely by hormones. The biological and bodily reactions felt by people when they fall in love are triggered and shaped by cultural forces outside the self. In the sociology of emotions, for instance, sociologists believe that people’s emotions are determined by society and culture. Thus, people’s deep feelings and emotions of love are primarily a product of cultural and social conditioning. In the same manner, people’s romantic feelings and expressions are learned and shaped by the local culture and not solely by biology. In many primitive societies, for instance, where arranged marriages and betrothals are common cultural practice, romantic love between the bride and groom is not a prerequisite for marriage. The feeling of falling in love and romance is nonexistent in these societies because there are no romantic things and expectations that can trigger the so-called love hormones and people’s minds are not ideologically conditioned to fall in love. Therefore, the idea that people must fall in love in courtship before marriage is not universal or found in all human societies. In many non-Western societies, couples do not fall in love before marriage. Some couples do not even know each other before the wedding. In these societies, the families and relatives are tasked to find the lifelong partner for their bride or groom and arrange the marriage. In Southern Philippines, a council of Muslim elders decided the marriage between a young and beautiful 20-year old girl and a 60-year old Moro rebel leader who already had 3 wives. The girl neither personally knew nor met him before their wedding. She only knew him through a photo given to her by the council before the ceremony. Thus, there was no falling in love and romantic love between them before marriage. And the marriage seemed to work well and they were blessed with beautiful kids. In Bangladesh, the youngest marriage in the world took place without romance and falling in love. According to 2001 Guinness Book of World Records, the youngest marriage involved an eleven-month-old baby boy and a three-month-old girl. The marriage took place in order to end a twenty-year feud between the children’s families (Delaney, 2012). These two cases illustrate that falling in love is not always required before marriage. It is not a natural or biologically-determined behavior such as drinking or eating which can bring death to the couple without it. People will not die without falling in love and romance. Think of the thousands of celibate Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and other religious monks and religious who live normal and generous lives despite being unmarried and chaste throughout their life. For sociologists, falling in love and romantic love are social constructions of society that started in the late 18th century in order to preserve the institution of marriage. Because of industrialization, migration, and urbanization, the influence of families and relatives in the arrangement of marriages declined. Thus, society has to create and manage various socialization tools such as romantic music, novels, films, posts, cards, stories, and other romantic things and processes in order to condition people’s minds that to fall in love is natural and a necessity for marriage.

Can One Control to Love and be Loved?

If falling in love and romantic love are socially learned behavior, then people should have some control over them. With sufficient knowledge about what men and women look for in their partners, romantic people, for instance, can change or enhance their looks and appearance. With the advent of modern medicine, cosmetic surgery, and other physical enhancing technology, they can change and improve their looks and appearance to make them attractive to their crushes or partners. They can also manage and improve their personal impressions in social interaction and dating by taking up personality-enhancing courses to make themselves romantically desirable and attractive to others. Through sufficient knowledge on the dynamics of romantic love and falling in love, they can, furthermore, discern which of their suitors are deserving of their true love and which of their romantic relationships is deceptive, obsessive, or authentic and leading towards marital commitment. Finally, they can structure and schedule their social functions to make themselves visible and desirable to people whom they want to establish romantic relationships. It is not true that real love and romance are written in the stars and determined by fate. More often, true love can be found and realized through  scientific knowledge on romantic love and marriage, mature and realistic decision-making process, and proper social positioning and management of the social tools of romantic love.

Love Quotes 

“True love only comes once in a lifetime, so take it as it comes along and enjoy every bit of it while it is still burning strong

This is the true measure of love: When we strongly believe that there is no one else who could give as much love to our partners, nobody from their past, present or future

When you look into the eyes of your love, you see forever, you see warmth and safety, you see two hearts beating together for each other, for the rest of your lives….”(https://letstalkaboutluv.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/love-quotes-from-joe-d-mango/).

 

What is Confluent Love?

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Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Confluent love has no commitment or intention to enter into marriage. It is passing and it is good while it lasts.

“It was three years ago when I became friends with a guy I met through a mutual friend. It was hard not to like him. He was sweet, charming and thoughtful. He became the friend I would call when I couldn’t sleep at three in the morning. I woke up one morning and realized I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

I had no illusions about the relationship because I knew he had a girlfriend from the start. I knew I was special to him, but did he love me? I was much too afraid to know the answer. I just held on to what we had, just happy to be with him, knowing deep in my heart that it wouldn’t last and yet hoping against hope that it would.

And then one day he told me his girlfriend was pregnant. I felt like someone had put a knife through my heart and twisted it in really deep. I knew at that moment that I had to let him go. I didn’t want him to see that the happiest day of his life was the saddest day of mine. But though I was slowly dying inside, a part of me
was happy because I knew he was happy. Walking away from him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but I never looked back, afraid that if I did I wouldn’t have the strength to let him go.

It’s been a year now since we last spoke. Even though we made a vow to stay good friends, there was also an unspoken understanding between us that I needed time away from him to give me a chance to heal. There are days when I still miss him badly and I wonder if I can ever really let him go. I know one day I will love again. But for now I just take it one day at a time knowing that if I make it through the day, then tomorrow will be easier” (The happiest and saddest day, By Joe d’Mango).

Sincerely,

Gabrielle

What is Confluent Love?

Confluent love is a type of romantic relationship which is attuned to the present postmodern times. In his book, “The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies,” the British sociologist Anthony Giddens (1992) describes confluent love as a type of love which is based on pure relationship. And  pure relationship is a “social relation…entered into for its own sake; and which is continued only in so far as it is thought by both parties to deliver enough satisfaction for each individual to stay within it” (Cornville & Rogers, 1998, p. 97). ‘Unlike romantic love, confluent love is not necessarily monogamous, in the sense of sexual exclusiveness. What holds the pure relationship together is the acceptance on the part of each partner, ‘until further notice’, that each gains sufficient benefit from the relation to make its continuance worthwhile (Giddens, 2011). Romantic love is a type of relationship which is often viewed as ‘forever after’ monogamous love. This type of love prepares people for the lifelong commitment of marital love after courtship and engagement.

Confluent love is different from romantic or marital love. In consensual love, the partners agree to have sexual relations with others whom they have no intention of marrying or, if they marry, do not necessarily see the marriage as having permanence (Kendal, 2014). The essence of confluent love is its contingency. It is not a “till-death-do-us-part” kind of relationship. It lasts as long as the lovers find the relationship mutually fulfilling. Thus, a one-night stand, a regular orgy of couples, or a temporary live-in arrangement or cohabitation with no intention of marrying, are some expressions of confluent love. Furthermore, confluent love, unlike romantic love, is not always monogamous. Sometimes it allows polygamous, bisexual or homosexual relationship. In this sense, confluent love does not conform to the criteria of true love as defined by the Bible and Church teachings. It has no religious dimension. It ends when both or all parties involved feel that the relationship is no longer working and satisfying. “The emergent morality of confluent love recognizes the rights of individual to happiness and appropriateness of ending relationships that are no longer experienced as fulfilling” (Goodwin & Cramer, 2009, p. 48). This emerging concept of love and commitment, facilitated by the liquidity of the world by the process of globalization and secularization, contravenes the religious understanding of marital love as sacred and a lifetime commitment.

What is an Unrequited Love?

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Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

The Way I Love You (A Letter To My Loved One)[1]

Dearly beloved,

When i first met you,
I knew you were special.
Something clicked inside me,
that knew this was the beginning
of something surreal.

For as long as I can remember,
I have dreams of fairytales
and love stories;
but they have never come close
to our story.

You have made me see
that life has so much to offer.
You encourage me to aspire
to be my best.

Without you,
I would have been stuck in
a cobweb,
of questions about
my self worth.

Now I can look in the mirror
and tell myself
that I am beautiful,
my future is bright with your presense.

Emotions run wild
My heart longs for you
Without you, my existance
is worth nothing.

My heart aches when you are gone.
When we are seperated
my soul feels tortured.

People speak of soulmates,
you are this and my bestfriend.
You are the keeper of my heart.
Dont lose the key.

Love always,
Emily.

Unrequited love is seriously distracting!

“My thoughts continually turn to him; every song reminds me of his face. I fantasize about us being together. Sometimes I awaken and know I’ve been dreaming about him. It’s an ache that literally hurts my chest. In the hours and days after seeing him, I can’t eat, sleep, or concentrate on work! It’s not just infatuation; it’s real love!” These are the words of a woman in love with a married work colleague” [2].

     This is a type of romantic love that is common among younger lovers who misread verbal and nonverbal cues of their beloved and who have yet to learn about their own love needs and wants.”Unrequited love is the result of one person deeply wanting an intimate relationship with another who simply is not interested and who does not reciprocate.” Unrequited is often the result of mismatch of personal attributes between two people. One person may find the traits of the other attractive but the latter does not find the former’s physical or personal attitudes worth exploring. Sometimes, this happens in a mismatch in physical qualities. The person pursuing may probably be too “ugly” or “beautiful” for the other or vice versa. The public often expects compatibility. If the girl or wife is beautiful, they also expect that the boy or husband is also attractive or least not within the range of what is culturally acceptable as “beautiful”. If they enter into a romantic relationship despite this incompatibility, the one partner may have found a redeeming factor from the unattractive partner probably in terms of social status or wealth. Thus, a beautiful young lady can fall in love with “ugly” old man because of the latter’s wealth and social connections which can provide her with material security and higher social status.

      There was one girl in one college who is madly in love with a guy who does not respond to her initiatives. She sent him gifts and often met him and offered him friendship and warm care. She even went to the extent of becoming a stalker, following him wherever he went. But this one-sided affair did not materialize into a romantic relationship. The guy further ignored this girl and transferred to another school and residence just to avoid her. Unrequited is, indeed, painful to the person falling in love. This could have been avoided if he or she would stop after few attempts to invite the other to enter into a romantic relationship. Of course, this is not easy. The main reason why a person cannot just stop initiating his or her courtship despite being avoided by the other is infatuation, i.e., the strong and irrational feeling of caring and longing for intimacy with the other by the person falling in love with. Infatuation is not easy to stop. Only time can heal it and by distancing oneself completely from things or people who can remind him or her of the person one is falling with.

      But this is not always the case. There are some situations where persistence in courtship pays. Depending on their upbringing with regard to loving and cultural taste, there are some girls who love to be pursued, either as a test to know who among the suitors is serious in his proposal. Others are probably conservative or religious that they go beyond physical traits of their suitors and look for good spiritual values they expect from their partners.

6  Ways to Get Past the Pain of Unrequited Love (F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W)

     1. There’s no way to get around it: Rejection hurts. Your heart has been broken, and there’s a real physical sensation of pain.

    2. Know that you aren’t alone. According to social psychologist and my PT colleague Roy Baumeister, 98% of us have suffered from unrequited love at one time or another.

  1. Try to see if falling for someone who doesn’t love you back is a pattern in your life. According psychologist Phillip Shaver, falling in love with someone who will reject you can be a repeated pattern for some people. This may be particularly true if you had repeated experiences in childhood with what is called “insecure attachment.”

  2. Ask yourself if you would rather not have loved the person at all. Is it true, what Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem says?:”I hold it true, whate’er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; ‘Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.”

  1. This might not help you much, but there is evidence that unrequited love hurts the person who is loved as well as the one who is doing the loving. In a study of more than 200 incidents of unrequited love, Baumeister found that rejecters suffered from guilt and anxiety and often reported feeling like they were victims.

  2. Finally, give up the quest for closure. Everyone agrees that one of the hardest parts of unrequited love is accepting that it is not ever going to be what you want it to be. You may keep looking for evidence that it’s over, but what you may really want is proof that it could happen [3].

References

[1] https://www.redbubble.com/people/emmahleee/writing/3472479-the-way-i-love-you-a-letter-to-my-loved-one

[2] http://www.uncommonhelp.me/articles/how-to-handle-the-pain-of-unrequited-love/

[3] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-couch/201502/6-ways-get-past-the-pain-unrequited-love