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The Living Room Relationships In Love with being In Love
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In Love with being In Love
Finding myself currently with no significant other, I am aware nonetheless of my emotional vulnerability in matters of the heart.  Perhaps I'm just a romantic at heart but even when i find myself without a significant other, I dream of what i would like to say to him, about how much I care for him and how to express the depth of my emotions.  I can go on a great adventure, mentally sort of, giving myself license to reveal my most intimate thoughts and desires.  That sort of thing might be well and good if there is someone there to listen and appreciate or at least accept how deeply I feel things. 
But I find myself creating romantic scenarios, crying over a beautiful or romantic love song, some poignant tale of loss and/or connection.  I'm very good at expressing my feelings, maybe I should be writing for a greeting card company or something because I've had many tell me of the intrinsic beauty of the way I express love and feelings of devotion and loss.
I'm also aware that if I'm not careful my need to have someone who appreciates these things in me and thus to have someone to say them to on more than a passing basis may lead me to create a loving relationship where there is none.

I certainly don't want to create problems for myself or anyone else by being carried away by emotion and so forth.  I don't know why I can be so very open with my words, perhaps it has something to do with feeling I needed to repress my emotions when I was young because my parents were just not really "touchy-feely" kind of people.

So how do I keep alive this depth of emotion without allowing it to influence me to engage in things or to trust people I ought not to just for the sake of saying I'm in love or because I want someone to send a valentine card to that I find romantic.  It might be well enough to wait for the right one but sometimes I think he doesn't exist and so my mind creates these scenarios of tender and/or passionate love and devotion.  But I don't want to set myself up to fail by projecting my tenderness and emotianal availability on to others who oftentimes share not much of what I'm feeling at a given time.

Is there anyone else out there who is so captivated by a beautiful song and images of a slow dance in the arms of someone special to you and, coming up empty, just aching so bad to go there whether wise or not?   At such times it occurs to me that I am, of course, not really in love with anyone, I am just basically in love with being in love?  I am fully aware, having been in such a situation, how one can be lonely sitting in the same room with others with whom there is no connection or with whom there has been a loss or a transgression of fidelity so I know its definitely not a good idea to fall into this emotional state on my own.  But then it occurs to me I may never find this "person" and so I want to, in essence, create this person of my dreams, not remembering always that we cannot cause anyone to feel as we do or to adapt the same style and openness of communication that we do?

I'd appreciate feedback please.  Am I alone in these thoughts and emotions?  Does anyone else have thoughts on or experience in how these lovely feelings can lead us astray into difficulties if we fail to see them for what they are?
Anne,

I think your lament is one which occurs to every serious artist at some time or another. There is a point where one understands that one's encounter with life, the depth and height of it, necessarily is mediated by people and by relationships, indeed by one's own self -- but it is also something larger and more vibrant, more astonishing. One has to somehow free oneself to create, where creating means capturing, expressing completely, the certain quality and inner essence of a moment or of an experience -- be it the fullness of love or the life-shattering lack inherent in longing.  When one is free to be a witness -- to look at life clearly as it is, to not fear the buffetting of emotion because one has it in one's power to transform this raw surge, almost alchemically, into its truth, into a work of art -- then one is also freer to encounter other people on a human scale, not to throw larger-than-life roles onto them, to experience them simply and truly for who they are.

The moment of beauty, the evening breeze of loss. Take time to read the greats...they thought about these things too. As do all of us.
Anne, I don't think you're in love with being in love (such an oversimplification), just pining for the little things that generally contribute to a buildup of romance and thus optimally love - as defined by a meaningful, connected and lasting interpersonal relationship. I am also in a relationship transition phase and can tell you that the ache for meaningful  connection (and yes, physical contact) becomes overwhelming at times. I am able to not be reckless because, to be honest, that emptiness was far worse in the last years of my marriage than it is now. So far I temper it with trying to find satisfaction in platonic relationships, finding the value and bond of friendship that was missing for so long in my marriage. I look for beauty and goodness and truth and appreciate this for its own sake, without having to own it or give it away in hopes that someone will love me for it. I'm just glad it exists, and in the case of man made beauty like music or art, that someone has been brave enough to express themselves in a way that I can recognize my own longings as part of a greater human condition. It makes me feel not so alone.

I am encouraging myself toward self-expression long denied as a way of healing myself and thus in a way defining what I want from the next relationship, although it is often hard to instigate and riddled with self doubt, my being rather out of the habit.

I think it is extraordinarily unhealthy to create ideal scenarios in my head as to what the next relationship might look like, how we might interact, openly hoping for an act of romance to be fulfilled. To me this is a recipe for disaster in that I am creating expectations for something that doesn't exist. Expectations as path to disappointment. Contrarily, I have dear friends who insist that I will never get what I want if I can't imagine or describe it, and I have to admit I do it anyway, although I try to severely limit the obsessiveness. I am working very hard on being open in a detatched sort of fashion to other people's charms while at the same time fostering deeper and more meaningful relationships with people I find truly interesting or genuinely capable of open and honest communication. I am trusting that when I am truly healed and ready to move on that I will shine with an inner light that will attract just the right person, or give that someone who has been there all along a certain new glow.

The willingness to be vulnerable is in itself a great strength.
This topic reminds me a little of an article I read a while back which stated that imagining something essentially makes it true in one's head.  More specifically, when we imagine something-- in this case, an ideal romance or elements thereof -- our nervous system believes that it has already happened.  For all intents and purposes, our brain has then experienced the romance and treats it as a "real" situation.

The article then argued that this was the cause of a heartbreak-- i.e. after having been rejected by the object of your imagined romance-- your nervous system takes a shock.  It is essentially like the object of your affection (whether it be an actual person that you have feelings for, or the idea of an ideal "love") dies.  Enter the tears, the weeping, the pounds of chocolate cake.  Eventually, our imagination (and ultimately our brain) will come to accept that person as a friend... or the idea of love as a little different from what we originally expected it to be. 

In regards to how to deal with this issue, I personally try not to verbalize things as much.  It might be the case that since I believe in the power of the spoken word, I am psychologically predisposed to its effect on my life, but I must say that the less I mention something, the less "real" it can become in my head.  Maybe writing would help more in this aspect, as writing can help you get everything out and let it be on paper instead of in your imagination. 
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Latest Post: January 10, 2011 at 1:51 PM
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