We have a tendency to respond to disconnection by gripping tighter, even when we see that our behavior isn’t yielding our desired outcome. But there is a difference between trying harder and self-degradation. And no amount of self-degradation will provoke the true feeling of love in another person.
Modern love and desire are about free will. We can’t make people love us. We can invite the love of another. We can behave in ways that invite people to appreciate us, to realize the beauty of what we share, and to let the feeling of love grow inside from a glimmer to a flame. If the person we like isn’t interested, we have to let them lose us.
MORE IDEAS FROM Esther Perel's Blog - 5 Myths We Tell Ourselves When We’re Dating
Dating to find “The One” is extremely limiting—and often leads to major disappointment. There is never going to be one perfect person whose love is so powerful that it checks every box, heals all our wounds, and makes us want to delete all the apps.
Instead of looking for perfection, look for potential. Great potential is fundamental to meaningful growth, and couples are supposed to grow and change. Destiny relationships—those of fate and perfection and “the one”—often break when the mythology of perfect love with “the one" reveals itself in the cracks of our relationships.
People we love are not necessarily the same people we can make a life with. Life stories are not the same as love stories. It’s a different set of ingredients, different aspirations.
Viewing marriage as the ultimate goal of a romantic connection reduces a complex set of needs and stuffs it into a social construct that doesn’t serve every type of relationship we can have
This is the voice of heartbreak. It conveniently highlights the good parts and disregards the shortcomings. Being realistic with ourselves about the shortcomings, however, can help us heal and determine what we want in future relationships.
The person who broke our heart wasn’t “the one”—not only because the concept of “the one” is flawed—but because there are many people we can love and who will love us. It takes time to heal, but love is not a finite resource.
Love, desire, connection—all of the things that make us want to stay and go deeper with someone—are not induced by another person. They are co-created.
Instead of asking whether we’ve found the right person, learn what it would be like to be in a relationship in which both partners are mutually interested in being good for each other. It’s not just the other person’s responsibility to woo us, maintain our attention, heal us, and help us grow.
The power of choice is one of the greatest gifts we human beings possess. We are always choosing regardless of whether we are aware of it. Till we die.
When we forgo one alternative, we are indirectly choosing something else.
When we choose our struggles, we feel strong and empowered. When those circumstances influence us against our will, we often feel miserable and unhappy.
The genuine question is, what are we choosing to care about? What values are we choosing to base our lives on? What metrics are we using to measure our lives? And are those excellent choices - values or metrics?
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