Real Love


Your heart races every time he calls and your palms sweat whenever he’s near. You think he may be “the one.” But how do you know if this is the real thing?

Dennis Neder, author of Being a Man in a Woman’s World (Remington Publications, 2000), says love has three stages: the infatuation stage, the bonding stage and the familiar stage. Dr. Neder, an ordained minister and doctor of metaphysics, says it helps to consider all three stages when determining if you have the real thing.

The infatuation stage is when you can’t wait to be with the other person. This is the romantic stage of love, says Dr. Neder, who warns that this is the stage when people thinks it’s “the real thing.” But this stage lasts only a short time.

The second stage, says Dr. Neder, is the bonding stage. During this stage you get to know the other person and you start planning aspects of your life around them. If you continue through this stage you eventually enter the third stage, or what Dr. Neder calls “the familiar phase.”

In the familiar stage you’ve established a pattern that involves the other person. “Your lives become intertwined and merged,” Dr. Neder says. “You know foundationally how the other person feels about almost everything. And interestingly,” says Dr. Neder, “you also become refocused on your own life, direction and goals.” Dr. Neder says this is where most professionals believe “real love” starts.

Love doesn’t use a fist.
Love never calls you fat or lazy or ugly.
Love doesn’t laugh at you in front of friends.
It is not in Love’s interest for your self-esteem to be low.
Love is a helium-based emotion; Love always takes the high road.
Love does not make you beg.
Love does not make you deposit your paycheck into its bank account.
Love certainly never, never brings the children into it.
Love does not ask or even want you to change.
But if you change, Love is as excited about this change as you are, if not more so.
And if you go back to the way you were before you changed, Love will go back with you.
Love does not maintain a list of your flaws and weaknesses.
Love believes in you.
Love is patient; Love does not make a point of showing you how patient it is.
It is critical to understand the distinction.
From “This Is How” by Augusten Burroughs

It’s not fully possible to tell you how, but I know what love is. I came by that knowledge the hard way over time. Much I learned from what love isn’t. There’s nothing like spending years of one’s life in a relationship wishing to be somewhere else to teach what love is not.

Today all my life experiences fall together to cause me to think and feel the way I do… and I like me… a lot. My heart is open and I can love to the full extent. So even the time past I used to call wasted with someone, I know see as teaching me how to love. I am grateful for that hard lesson.

Love is not a maybe thing,
you know when you love someone.
Lauren Conrad

Bouncing Back and Forth

lust vs love

Her self description is: I’m Paula. I love sparkly things and hate cauliflowers. I believe in individuality and self-expression. Music geek. Love life in its simplest ways. Spend way too much time thinking and wandering. My brain is chaotic. I’ve never been pregnant. Nice to meet you. On her page she wrote:

A battle between the comfort of familiarity and the rush of meeting someone new.

Sometimes it does feel like a battle between that.

On one side, there’s the peaceful kind of love; the one that offers stability, comfort, and security. There are fights included, of course, but minor and infrequent ones. It’s mostly a soothing, tender love that dominates the relationship. And you think that’s all you want and need, until…

You discover a different side. It’s almost foreign to you and completely unlike the usual, stable type of feelings you get with that other person…but that’s precisely what makes it appealing. A rush.  An unknown adventure, inviting you in to discover it.

Then it becomes a problem.

The tranquility of spotting your lucky bracelet vs. the excitement of unfolding a new gift.

The hospitality in knowing that tomorrow’s Monday vs. the realization that with him, it’s always Fridays.

The boring vs. the new,

Truth vs. passion. Which in the end translates to love vs. lust.

And what sets them apart, is that love is always worth it.

That fairly well describes the fight within me that I let rage for years. The toll of bouncing back and forth between love and lust cost me dearly. So glad that confusion is long behind me. I am grateful to fully know now it’s love that matters. The other is just an itch that wants to be scratched and nothing more. The hardest learned lessons have become my most vivid wisdom.

Love is the rose.
Lust is the thorn.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba