The Need and Desire for Love

My past is filled with falling in love over and over; at least I thought it was love. A few times it actually was! There is a condition called “Love Addiction” that’s a behavior in which people become addicted to the feeling of being in love. It’s common although most Love Addicts do not realize they are addicted to love.

My particular brand of Love Addiction is that of a “Love Avoidant” which used to cause me to have issues staying in one relationship. At the start of a new romantic connection you’d never know it because Love Avoidants like I used to be come on strong at the start. My desire for love was extraordinarily strong, but after some time into a relationship a part of me is overtaken and becomes afraid of being left or being alone.

My compulsion was to be a philanderer who rarely stayed committed to just one person for very long. I left before the one I loved could leave or else “hooked up” just in case.  In childhood I learned how deeply the ones I love could hurt me and my avoidant tendency rooted there caused me to have difficulty depending on one person.

With professional help and a lot of diligence, my pattern of Love Addiction/Avoidant has been largely overcome. By understanding what is going on and replacing walls with boundaries, I have learned how to experience the joys of being truly intimate. At least I believe I have, although so far I have not fully proven it long-term.

Love addiction is not just my issue and is wide-spread and growing. In an article* on http://www.mailonline.com Martha De Lacey last week wrote:

You may believe in love at first sight. Or you might be someone for whom love takes time and patience. But the average time for telling your partner you love them is after 14 dates, according to a new survey.

Participants in the new study revealed the average number of dates per week with a new partner was two, meaning that couples tend to first say ‘I love you’ seven weeks into a new relationship. First kisses tend to take place two dates or one week into the dating process, and the first time a couple has sex is, on average, after four dates or two weeks. (Yes, you read correctly… four dates! A highly probable sign of Love Addiction since real intimacy takes far longer.)

The research also showed that most partners are introduced to friends for the first time after six dates or three weeks, and that people are most likely to introduce their new boy or girlfriend to their parents after 12 dates or six weeks. And if things go well, dating couples move in with each other, on average, after 30 weeks or 60 dates.

The study was carried out by dating website seekingarrangement.com who polled their 100,000 British members to find the average time for a whole series of ‘firsts’ in a new relationship.

The need and desire for love is stronger than ever in a world where we’re exposed to its opposite continually through every day. The news is filled with it. We walk in fear on the streets and treat strangers with great distrust initially. We have multiple locks on our doors and many have security systems. We carry pepper spray and some even conceal weapons to protect them self. It’s a crazy world.

No wonder I want love so badly. Taken together a rough childhood and an overwhelming need to be loved combined to create a strong compulsion. Thankfully, my Love Addiction/Avoidance is something I understand and control today. It’s an old friend/enemy that I know well through growth and counseling. While I still feel the feelings, they are not as strong anymore. I know better and have become appropriately cautious about falling and being in love. I’m only interested in the real thing; love that comes slowly over time to prove itself to be lasting and real. I am so very grateful for the knowledge and learned ability that can make that possible.

You better have insurance on your heart
if you plan on being in LOVE.
Unknown

* Full article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2188819/Dating-milestones-revealed-new-survey.html#ixzz24BxiAB2Y

The Gift to My Life

Sometimes a picture truly is worth a thousand words. When I saw this photo for the first time this morning, feelings of intense gratitude for my son washed over me and brought a happy tear to my eye. He is far from perfect, but has become the man a father can be truly proud of. This Saturday he turns 30 years old and seeing the image above brought instant feelings of  gratefulness for the gift to my life he has always been. Happy Birthday Nick!

What Is A Dad?

A dad is someone who
wants to catch you before you fall
but instead picks you up,
brushes you off,
and lets you try again.

A dad is someone who
wants to keep you from making mistakes
but instead lets you find your own way,
even though his heart breaks in silence
when you get hurt.

A dad is someone who
holds you when you cry,
scolds you when you break the rules,
shines with pride when you succeed,
and has faith in you even when you fail…
What Is A Dad? Writer Unknown

More Like Myself

Love… love… love. There are few people on Earth who do not yearn for a remarkable love like those found in the movies. While the “with all my heart, happily ever after variety” of romance often portrayed in film usually ranges somewhere between partial fact to dream-like fantasy, many still desire what they see. At least to a degree, I am among them and below are three movie quotes that have special meaning to me (with a 4th bonus line at the bottom)

“Look, I guarantee there’ll be tough times. I guarantee that at some time, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you’re the only one for me.” (from “Runaway Bride”)

“Love is passion, obsession, someone you can’t live without. If you don’t start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who’ll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love – well, you haven’t lived a life at all.” (from “Meet Joe Black”)

“It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together … and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home. .. only to no home I’d ever known … I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like … magic.” (From “Sleepless in Seattle”)

A many-times-broken heart within still loves and desires to be loved, maybe more so than ever. In appropriate measure the lesson to cherish the gift of being loved was taught to me the most difficult way. There is much gratefulness for the love I once had in my arms and let slip way; not once but several times. Through those losses I came to know great teachers such as grief, heartache and misery who brought some of the wisdom I possess today.  

“I am someone else when I’m with you, someone more like myself”.
(from “Original Sin” starring Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jollie)

If You Could Only Love Enough

Love is…..? Actually I can’t explain it, but I feel in my mind, body and soul. I can’t prove it exists, but know without doubt it does. Love is a thousand things and more.  Without it life loses much of its meaning. There is nothing else in the universe like it.

Love is enigma.
Love is divine.
Love is the cure.
Love is pure.
Love is undefined.
Love is beyond just a feeling.
Love is many heart beats.
Love is the light on dark streets.
Love is bright.
Love is light.
Love is just.
Love is life.
Love helps the weak.
Love contains the spirit.
Love embellishes the person.
Love is coherent.
Love is the problem.
Love is the solution.
Love is confusing.
Love is illusive.
Love is a traitor.
Love is addiction.
Love is a dream.
Love is pain.
Love is bliss.
Love is the acceptance.
Love is to see imperfection
And treat it perfect.
Love exists beyond time and measurement.
Without love, we are astoundingly weak.
Love is the foundation.
Love is necessary for internal and external peace.
Taken from “Spirit Of Love” by Sullee J.

I don’t understand love, but I no longer need to. I have given up completely on arriving at some rational explanation for it. Knowing I love and am loved is enough. I am grateful for the peace that simple, but difficult to learn insight has brought me.

If you could only love enough,
you could be the most powerful person in the world.
Emmet Fox

Poetry of the Senses

Showing again my kinship with a number many are superstitious about, here’s another installment of thirteen’s. This time 13 sayings about loving and being loved.

1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return. But what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel, and then regret it.

2. Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.

3. Love is when you take away the feeling, the passion, and the romance in a relationship and find out that you still care for that person.

4. A sad thing in life is, you meet someone who means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was never meant to be, and you just have to let go.

5. When the door of happiness closes, another opens. But often at times we look so long at the closed-door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.

6. It is true that we do not know what we have until we lose it, but it is also true that we do not know what we have been missing until it arrives.

7. Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they will love you back. Do not expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart. But if it does not, be content that it grew in yours.

8. There are things you would love to hear that you would never hear from the person whom you would like to hear them from; but do not be so deaf as not to hear it from the one who says it from the heart.

9. Never say goodbye if you still want to try. Never give up if you still feel you can go on. Never say you do not love a person anymore if you cannot let go.

10. Love comes to those who still hope although they have been disappointed, to those who still believe although they have been betrayed, to those who still love although they have been hurt before.

11. Do not go for looks; they can deceive. Do not go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.

12. The beginning of love is to let those we love just be themselves and not twist them with our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

13. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can’t get on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

I am grateful for eyes that see, a mouth that tastes, ears that hear, a nose that smells, and fingers that touch. But most of all I am grateful for a heart that loves.

Love is the poetry of the senses.
Honoré de Balzac

A Broader Perspective

Here’s a list of thirteen quotes and status updates found on Facebook and Twitter about spending time by one’s self or being singled out by circumstance or purpose.  I find them to be thought-provoking and good exercises for the mind. 

Sometimes you need to walk alone, just to show you can.

It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.

Let me be the one who never leaves you all alone.

Stand up for what you believe in even if it means standing alone.

There is strength to be found in spending time alone.

I fear that I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life…
and I don’t want to settle in order not to be.

I like being alone. Not lonely, just alone.

Being lonely isn’t having no one around you,
it’s the feeling that there is no one around who truly cares.

This is the meaning of love: we are never alone.

Have you ever been alone in a crowded room?

I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.

This is the meaning of love: We are never alone.

You think you’re alone, but you’re not the only one.

I have not taken on putting a lot of thought into all these, but four on the list grabbed my initial attention. My contemplations either caused me to feel blessed, made me feel good, left me with a broader perspective or some combination of all three. Each made me think and I am grateful for the insights received. With a printed copy of the list taped on my fridge to refer to I’ll try out more of these over the weekend

A mind that is stretched by a new experience
can never go back to its old dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes