If falling in love is tough, then making love last is hard work. Most of us believe that once you fall in love, everything else will follow. Because that is what the popular stories say – And they lived happily ever after. What nobody tells you is how to stay loved and continue to love. This means, to continue to know the other person and to continue to discover each other.
There is a notion out there that the partner should be a perfect match. But what truly works is the ability to navigate the relationship through various disagreements and to learn to accept the quirks and squeamishness of the other.
It is not about overlooking these slips, but to be able to greet them with respect. As we grow, our ideas, our choices, our likes change. Over time, the person we initially fell in love with changes, too. So, what can work is an intimate bond of friendship, acceptance and also the ability to forgive those small mistakes.
New York Times’ popular column
Modern Love recently carried an essay by Mandy Len Carton, in which she describes how she applied a study by psychologist Dr Arthur Aron to her love life. Dr Arthur, in 1997, held a study where he “made people fall in love” with the help of 36 questions he had designed.
Mandy took those questions with an acquaintance and finally, fell in love. But, in her defence, Mandy goes on to say that she did not let love “happen” to her. Instead she took the chance to fall in love. A simple Google search will give you that list of 36 questions, which can make one fall in love. But, on looking at the questions, I realised that it is not the questions that can make you fall in love, but the choice one makes to answer those questions, in all fairness.
When we are honest about our fears, values, and are able to share intimate details, it brings people together. It allows us to show the other person our weakness, our fears and our inadequacies. When we see others as vulnerable as ourselves, we love them. We accept them. We build a bond. And that’s the only secret to lasting relationships.
Well, it is safe to conclude that love is an important force to reckon with in human life. It is a necessary ingredient because it cripples our ego and makes us human. As a universal emotion, it is known to strike when you least expect.
It fosters many relationships. It does not necessarily have to be a relationship between a man and a woman. Love is a good seed to sow for any relationship to flourish.
But what is love? It can mean different things to different people – a hug for some, a hand squeeze for others, a warm smile can suffice, too. The interesting thing to note is how this emotion changes its form with every relationship – man and wife, boy and girl, mother and child, parent and child. So many variations to a singular emotion! From Bollywood movies to the common man, we all ask the same question time and again – should we really fall in love? Yes is the unequivocal answer.
After all, it is a universal phenomenon and one of nature’s bountiful gifts to mankind. It is a positive force that nature has taught us and endowed us with. Our inability to comprehend this phenomenon of falling in love should not stop us from experiencing this magical feeling.
By loving someone, you give yourself the chance to accept the person with all his/her shortcomings. It makes you vulnerable, it liberates you.
However, these days, love as an emotion is over-dramatised. They put up a lot of red roses and expensive gifts to beautify it. There’s no need for all that fancy dressing. What matters is what’s within. That which stays and grows in you and lifts you up when you are at your
weakest, that which gives wings to your dream, that which makes you smile through life’s unkind twists and turns.
Love also changes itself over time as we grow in a relationship – don’t we all
experience it? Haven’t you discovered this magical affection for another person? Whether it’ll last a lifetime or not, well, that’s for you to decide.