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Why is love fleeting? love
Old 07-19-2010, 12:46 AM   #1
AngryGroceries
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I don't really understand it. Love is perceived (at least by me) to be incredibly strong... to the point where if I feel I love someone I will do everything I can to keep them in my life even to the point of detrimentally effecting me. Love is best when it is reciprocated, but it doesn't have to be reciprocated to exist.

One of my favorite quotes [kudos to anyone who knows where it comes from];
"Love is just a chemical. We give it meaning by choice."

I choose to give it as much meaning as I can; someone genuinely caring for another's well being and happiness is something I find beautiful, and is something I love to feel and also have felt towards me.

--

I look around and see people who were once in love have that love turn into hate. The divorce rate is incredibly high. It seems like there are seldom few who are trusting, and even less whom are actually trustworthy. Love in practice seems to be much more shallow than it feels... It seems like most people treat love as something very conditional rather than the unconditional entity it feels like. It almost seems like most are only capable of feeling lust and infatuation, or at least shallow love at best.
"I love you because of things you've done and I love the things about you that make me feel happy" rather than "I love you for who you are."

The first can easily end after months or years as the other person changes, while the second is something that seems to go deeper than that.

I've almost fully disconnected from a girl I've loved for years because feeling any sort of connection was detrimental to the both of us. We've remained best friends until recently... she wants me to still be her best friend but I've found I'm just being used for an emotional relationship so she can have other mostly sexual relationships.. which is wrong IMO. Love I felt to be thicker than blood turned out to be just as shallow as everything else seemed to be.
I've gone on a few tangents, the whole point of this is;

Is love actually as shallow as I'm discovering it to be?
Does anyone else give it more meaning than you know it's really worth, or do you just accept that it's there using it to your benefit when you can, or otherwise ignoring it?
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:46 AM   #2
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Don't loose faith. I agree with your sentiments. I feel the world is perhaps infected by a sort of apathy at present and this may contribute to the transitory nature of love in present society. However, this abuse, or misuse of the sacredness of love does not affect the existence of love itself, it is those that treat it so lightly that cast a shadow on its practice. There are still people...like me actually that put their entire heart and soul into being devoted to the people I choose to love. Even...after all hope is lost.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:13 AM   #3
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Love isn't necessarily shallow, but some people are. Or maybe a lot are. Are you really disappointed in love itself or just in a particular case of emotional misuse?
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:25 AM   #4
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Love, to me, isn't shallow at all. Of course, that depends on what you mean when you say love. I fall in love easily, and I see love everywhere. When a friend brings you lunch because you're too sick to get it yourself, that's love. When he sticks around voluntarily in the ER with you for 4 hours when there are other things he could be doing, and waits four more for you to come back, trust me when I say I've never felt more loved. I fell in love this summer- again. With a different person this time. I will probably date someone else, and marry someone else, but that doesn't mean I will stop loving him, or other people whom I've loved. I will always care for him and cherish his memory, but that doesn't mean we have to be in each other's lives. Sure, I would love to be in his life, but it's detrimental for both of us and I've accepted that to love means to put his welfare (and my own also) above my happiness. If the time is not right, I will gladly stay out of his life, and he mine. I'm sure in time what I feel for him will become a strong platonic love, it's just another mode of expression for "love".
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:55 AM   #5
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Love and relationships are entirely different concepts IMO. You can love someone without necessarily having a relationship with him/her. Conversely, you can have a relationship with someone even if love does not exist.

I consider love to be a noun or a verb; an act or a choice. Love is not to be simplified as an emotion you label when you try to understand the physiological and chemical reactions that go along with it. You decide that what you think you feel is indeed love. Yet, despite being highly cognitive in nature, it is awfully irrational. You dont choose to love for reasons you are certain of, or even otherwise. When asked why you love, can you really give the specifics? If you lose the reason, would you cease to love?

It is intangible and yet it is sensual you feel it affecting all of your senses. But despite this sensuality, you cant actually quantify it, making it immeasurable. Therefore, you cannot tell how much or how little you love. In the same manner that it is immeasurable, it might as well be incomparable. You do not love two different people or two different things similarly. But it doesnt mean that one is greater than the other either.
When you love, it is always a new experience. You will never love the same way twice.

So to say that love is fleeting is like limiting love's existence as a feeling, which have always been volatile. Feelings are never permanent.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:43 AM   #6
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Love is fleeting because everything is fleeting! But I think with the right mindset it's definitely possible to stretch it out to the end of your lifetime without having a significant drop in its intensity.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:52 AM   #7
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  Originally Posted by AngryGroceries
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Is love actually as shallow as I'm discovering it to be?
Does anyone else give it more meaning than you know it's really worth, or do you just accept that it's there using it to your benefit when you can, or otherwise ignoring it?

No love is not shallow, but love, just like everything else in life exists on different maturity levels. Immature love is based on one person pleasing another, mature love is appreciation for the entire person warts and all. We all aspire to mature love, but it takes time to develop the internal fortitude to be a match to it. Not everyone makes it there.

I feel love for a particular person not in my life, and it seems unlikely he ever will be in my life. I appreciate him, who he is and his existence. He doesn't have to love me back in order for me to feel this. But at the same time I also know that fixating on having love returned to me from this one source is just insanity. I cannot control what he chooses to do and so I have to just accept my feelings and move on. All I can do is hold out hope that one day love will come back to me from the object of my affections.

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Old 07-19-2010, 09:11 AM   #8
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You love (eros) her. That is not fleeting.
She loves (philia) you. That is not fleeting.

That these two kinds of love are not the same does not make them 'done' or 'gone'. It just makes the relationship difficult. *sympathy*

Eros: sexy love ("gimme somma that sexy lovin")
Agape: 'true' love ("I am content in love")
Philia: loyal love ("I love my family even if they are crazy")
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:38 AM   #9
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I've started looking into this whole 'love' thing recently - because I was convinced that I loved my significant other - but I continued to do things that did not demonstrate love.

People may have the strong feelings of love but lack the tools to love. I found that this was the case for me. I felt the strong feelings of love - but I simply didn't have the emotional tools to allow me to actually love. I would have sworn that I knew what love was - and to some extent I did - but what I see now is different and more independant.

I think one reason the divorce rate is so high is that people get into relationships thinking that the other person makes them happy. ("I love her, she makes me happy.") But, this kind of thinking comes as a result of not fully severing the fantasy bond that the individual had with their parents. We never get all the love we need as children - so to make up the difference we create a fantasy with our parents wherein they're perfect. Fast forward 20 years and we're expecting the significant other to sustain that fantasy - and it's an unrealistic expectation and when reality sets in - people either grow emotionally or the relationship perishes.

You were maintaining the fantasy with her - and the illusion that you had in your heart.

The trick is doing this:
"I want you in my life because I love you."

Instead of this:
"I love you because I need you."
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:22 AM   #10
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Studies suggest that the first flush of love only lasts 1-3 years. After that, it becomes harder to ignore incompatibilities. Hence, you could theoretically love anyone for the short term, but there's a much smaller subset of people you could love for a thirty year stretch.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:28 AM   #11
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  Originally Posted by Toastmaster
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Studies suggest that the first flush of love only lasts 1-3 years. After that, it becomes harder to ignore incompatibilities. Hence, you could theoretically love anyone for the short term, but there's a much smaller subset of people you could love for a thirty year stretch.

This is true. That's why you have to keep de-weeding to keep it beautiful. The more compatible the personalities involved are, the fewer weeds there will be and the easier it will be to maintain the love. This is something I have realised the hard way.

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Old 07-19-2010, 06:48 PM   #12
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To AngryGroceries, do you happen to know your friend's MBTI?
I felt like you stole my experience while I was reading your post. My friend is an ENTJ. I felt as though I dedicated myself to her for 4 years just to stay as an emotional friend and being romantically interested in her was too a detrimental thing for our relationship.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:12 PM   #13
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Love isn't fleeting. I can last a lifetime if you know how to manage your relationships.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:56 AM   #14
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  Originally Posted by AngryGroceries
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Is love actually as shallow as I'm discovering it to be?
Does anyone else give it more meaning than you know it's really worth, or do you just accept that it's there using it to your benefit when you can, or otherwise ignoring it?

There's 3 stages to relationships IMO:
1. Lust/Infatuation wherein people are just thrilled that someone they want to fuck also wants to fuck them. Minutes to perhaps a year.
2. When that falls off, you have Anima/Animus psychological exchange wherein you're not getting those early-love blasts of biochemicals but where you don't really see them for who they are. A few months to perhaps a decade.
3. When that falls off, and you see a human being with real flaws, weaknesses, and problems underneath, and you still want or choose to stay, that's authentic love. I don't think anyone even begins to approach it for a few years; Campbell and Jung both thought it didn't fall off until after marriage.

There's also a degree of - and I say degree of because its not the whole gambit - Darwinian exchange, ie youth and health in exchange for resources and status - in almost every relationship that goes further than lust.

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Old 07-20-2010, 01:20 AM   #15
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  Originally Posted by Causa Mortis
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There's 3 stages to relationships IMO:
1. Lust/Infatuation wherein people are just thrilled that someone they want to fuck also wants to fuck them. Minutes to perhaps a year.
2. When that falls off, you have Anima/Animus psychological exchange wherein you're not getting those early-love blasts of biochemicals but where you don't really see them for who they are. A few months to perhaps a decade.
3. When that falls off, and you see a human being with real flaws, weaknesses, and problems underneath, and you still want or choose to stay, that's authentic love. I don't think anyone even begins to approach it for a few years; Campbell and Jung both thought it didn't fall off until after marriage.

There's also a degree of - and I say degree of because its not the whole gambit - Darwinian exchange, ie youth and health in exchange for resources and status - in almost every relationship that goes further than lust.

That's what often happens. Peta and I have talked about this quite a bit, and we have analyzed our relationship extensively. Relationships can and do last forever if there is a profound mental, emotional and spiritual connection, such as Peta and I have. We can talk about anything, have the same sense of aesthetics, same life goals, same core values, we often think so in-synch it's eerie. When you have that connection, which goes way beyond a simple infatuation based relationship behavior it'll last forever.

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Old 07-20-2010, 05:49 AM   #16
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  Originally Posted by AngryGroceries
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I don't really understand it. Love is perceived (at least by me) to be incredibly strong... to the point where if I feel I love someone I will do everything I can to keep them in my life even to the point of detrimentally effecting me. Love is best when it is reciprocated, but it doesn't have to be reciprocated to exist.

One of my favorite quotes [kudos to anyone who knows where it comes from];
"Love is just a chemical. We give it meaning by choice."

I choose to give it as much meaning as I can; someone genuinely caring for another's well being and happiness is something I find beautiful, and is something I love to feel and also have felt towards me.

--

I look around and see people who were once in love have that love turn into hate. The divorce rate is incredibly high. It seems like there are seldom few who are trusting, and even less whom are actually trustworthy. Love in practice seems to be much more shallow than it feels... It seems like most people treat love as something very conditional rather than the unconditional entity it feels like. It almost seems like most are only capable of feeling lust and infatuation, or at least shallow love at best.
"I love you because of things you've done and I love the things about you that make me feel happy" rather than "I love you for who you are."

The first can easily end after months or years as the other person changes, while the second is something that seems to go deeper than that.

I've almost fully disconnected from a girl I've loved for years because feeling any sort of connection was detrimental to the both of us. We've remained best friends until recently... she wants me to still be her best friend but I've found I'm just being used for an emotional relationship so she can have other mostly sexual relationships.. which is wrong IMO. Love I felt to be thicker than blood turned out to be just as shallow as everything else seemed to be.
I've gone on a few tangents, the whole point of this is;

Is love actually as shallow as I'm discovering it to be?
Does anyone else give it more meaning than you know it's really worth, or do you just accept that it's there using it to your benefit when you can, or otherwise ignoring it?

Friend, please reconsider.

The problem with our nigh-unworkable language is the fact that we, as a culture, have simplified it so. There's only one word for what we call "love" in english, but in say, ancient greek, there were at least four: Eros, Agape, Philio and Storge.

Eros is obviously the parent of Eroticism. It is fleeting and pathetically fickle, however passionate and motivating. This is the love between you and your enthralling companion (Eros is also the greek name of the more wildely-known, Roman, "Cupid".)

Agape, this, unlike the others, sounds more like what you're sending out to people but not getting in return in any reciprocal form. This platonic love is much more perfectly objective, without condition or alternative. It is whole, complete, enlightened and incredibly hard to foster in most people once, if ever. It's common to mistake the other forms of love for this one at first. Only the passage of time and trial can wear away the ambiguity and prove whether or not it really is Agape that you feel toward someone. Constantly checking your motives when loving somebody is always a good start.

Philio is more of a brotherly love. It's something that happens between people of the same factions. It is fickle, but much less fleeting than Eros as it requires a change in the person to invalidate update, change, or invalidate the emotion.

Storge is much more for the irrational, familial love, like what a parent may feel for their child. It's not based on much of anything about the characteristic of an individual, it's much harder to break than philio but it's nothing nearly as rational or permanent as agape.

I hope this may help you find some sense in what looks to you like chaos.

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Old 07-20-2010, 07:31 AM   #17
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  Originally Posted by AngryGroceries
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I don't really understand it. Love is perceived (at least by me) to be incredibly strong... to the point where if I feel I love someone I will do everything I can to keep them in my life even to the point of detrimentally effecting me. Love is best when it is reciprocated, but it doesn't have to be reciprocated to exist.

One of my favorite quotes [kudos to anyone who knows where it comes from];
"Love is just a chemical. We give it meaning by choice."

I choose to give it as much meaning as I can; someone genuinely caring for another's well being and happiness is something I find beautiful, and is something I love to feel and also have felt towards me.

--

I look around and see people who were once in love have that love turn into hate. The divorce rate is incredibly high. It seems like there are seldom few who are trusting, and even less whom are actually trustworthy. Love in practice seems to be much more shallow than it feels... It seems like most people treat love as something very conditional rather than the unconditional entity it feels like. It almost seems like most are only capable of feeling lust and infatuation, or at least shallow love at best.
"I love you because of things you've done and I love the things about you that make me feel happy" rather than "I love you for who you are."

The first can easily end after months or years as the other person changes, while the second is something that seems to go deeper than that.

I've almost fully disconnected from a girl I've loved for years because feeling any sort of connection was detrimental to the both of us. We've remained best friends until recently... she wants me to still be her best friend but I've found I'm just being used for an emotional relationship so she can have other mostly sexual relationships.. which is wrong IMO. Love I felt to be thicker than blood turned out to be just as shallow as everything else seemed to be.
I've gone on a few tangents, the whole point of this is;

Is love actually as shallow as I'm discovering it to be?
Does anyone else give it more meaning than you know it's really worth, or do you just accept that it's there using it to your benefit when you can, or otherwise ignoring it?

Love requires work. It requires sacrifice. It requires commitment.

If you want love to last, you and your partner need to make a commitment to each other to make it last. You promise never to threaten to break up, even in a fight. You make a promise to make every decision as though you're going to spend the rest of your lives together, and that you want them to be the best. And you live assuming your partner is doing the same. Trust is paramount.

A lot of times this means making sacrifices. Giving up your "rights". Giving up fun. Working through hard issues together. Learning to fight fair.

And understanding that there are times when you aren't going to feel love at all, and that the only love that you have is your commitment to the other person, knowing that this time will pass and you'll feel like loving again.

But this requires two people who are mature enough to get past themselves, who realize that the world doesn't revolve around them, but that they participate in a world with others, and that their world has to revolve around two people, not one. To me, that's the major barrier to lower divorce rates. It is the "me" generation, after all....

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Old 07-21-2010, 06:36 PM   #18
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A lot of times this means making sacrifices. Giving up your "rights". Giving up fun. Working through hard issues together. Learning to fight fair.

Bingo. themuzicman is right on point. People talk about loving unconditionally all day long, and then when 95% of them are actually face to face with having to actually do the above quote, they are like "oohhhhh, now wait just a minute...". I think what happens is that the majority of people get into relationships because of lust, knowing fully well (subconciously maybe) that they have no intention of making the neccessary sacrifices...ever. Then they convince themselves that it was because blah blah this and blah bleh that, and rationalize to people (or in forums) about how it's "unnatural" and "go individualism" etc. when really all it comes down to is immaturity and/or selfishness. I think people need to take a real good look in the mirror and make sure they are ready for the sacrifice before they ever even start talking to someone, and if you aren't ready for it don't fucking do it...be single...and save you and the other person the pain.

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Old 07-21-2010, 09:13 PM   #19
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  Originally Posted by themuzicman
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Love requires work. It requires sacrifice. It requires commitment.

I'd like to add to this. Love is more than emotion. This is the reason why people view it as being so fleeting. Sometimes you must choose to love and show it through action rather than waiting to feel it.

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Old 07-21-2010, 09:13 PM   #20
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  Originally Posted by AngryGroceries
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I look around and see people who were once in love have that love turn into hate. The divorce rate is incredibly high. It seems like there are seldom few who are trusting, and even less whom are actually trustworthy. Love in practice seems to be much more shallow than it feels... It seems like most people treat love as something very conditional rather than the unconditional entity it feels like. It almost seems like most are only capable of feeling lust and infatuation, or at least shallow love at best.
"I love you because of things you've done and I love the things about you that make me feel happy" rather than "I love you for who you are."

The first can easily end after months or years as the other person changes, while the second is something that seems to go deeper than that.

This is one of the reasons why the idea of marriage kind of scares me to death. Seeing all of what you've stated happen to very close friends of mine, and family members, has crippled me. I just can't understand how two people can come together so in love and then somewhere down the line, they're eachother's worst enemies in the court room! It seriously makes me have a pessimistic view on something that should make you happy: such as, coming together with someone who you really care about and love so much, and actually taking that chance because you have faith in how you feel about eachother. I just don't understand it... Like, how can you get married and be able to tell if somewhere down the road they won't leave you and hurt you very badly? I've seen it happen so many times...

Don't worry... despite these thoughts, I haven't lost hope...
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:21 PM   #21
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That initial feeling of love is fleeting -- and with work it turns into a form of love that's much much deeper.

The key term: WORK

If you see people whose love has turned to hate, it's probably because they got infatuation or romance confused with love or didn't realize it requires constant work to keep it alive.

If it helps to know, dh and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:02 PM   #22
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  Originally Posted by Blse
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That's what often happens. Peta and I have talked about this quite a bit, and we have analyzed our relationship extensively. Relationships can and do last forever if there is a profound mental, emotional and spiritual connection, such as Peta and I have. We can talk about anything, have the same sense of aesthetics, same life goals, same core values, we often think so in-synch it's eerie. When you have that connection, which goes way beyond a simple infatuation based relationship behavior it'll last forever.

There's more to it than that - after a while, you'll begin to realize just how pedestrian she is in some ways, and she'll come to realize that you have weaknesses. Both of you will find that, as the other person is human, elements of the other are pitiful, and that's when the real choice begins.

So similar goals and values and interests are a necessary but not sufficient condition for love IMO

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Old 07-22-2010, 12:41 AM   #23
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  Originally Posted by Causa Mortis
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There's more to it than that - after a while, you'll begin to realize just how pedestrian she is in some ways, and she'll come to realize that you have weaknesses. Both of you will find that, as the other person is human, elements of the other are pitiful, and that's when the real choice begins.

So similar goals and values and interests are a necessary but not sufficient condition for love IMO

Well, yes we both have weaknesses. We know them actually and have talked about them. We're keenly aware of the risk that idealizing each other would have; it is something we do not do and conciously avoid.

For instance, when falling in love over a long distance as is the case with us, the risk of excessive expectations for the first kiss and sex might be a problem - or at least so would many people think. Let me give you an example. Peta and I have discussed this and are both in agreement that the first kiss and sex will likely not the best since we have to get aquainted with each others' bodies first and might be nervous after having longed for each other's touch for so long. That is the key: allowing your rational side to prevent you from idealizing your partner and building up excessive expectations. Certainly something an NT couple should be able to master.

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Old 07-22-2010, 01:16 AM   #24
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:33 AM   #25
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This is an old post just bring it back again... Im learning a lot from this. IamSang LoveEcstasy and caps I love your posts. :D

There's this INTJ guy that I really really like... or maybe I love him already.

LifeEcstasy I like your post "I feel love for a particular person not in my life, and it seems unlikely he ever will be in my life. I appreciate him, who he is and his existence. He doesn't have to love me back in order for me to feel this. But at the same time I also know that fixating on having love returned to me from this one source is just insanity. I cannot control what he chooses to do and so I have to just accept my feelings and move on. All I can do is hold out hope that one day love will come back to me from the object of my affections."

You know it doesn't matter if my love will be reciprocated... who says its not love even if Im the only one loving him?...
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