Love and Relationships – Are Physical Attraction Enough?
We have all felt love at some time in our lives. We have loved (and received love from) family members, siblings, friends, pets, even just strangers. However, unique romantic love differs from any of those other types of love in a number of ways. It is an intense, uncommon sense of love unlike any of the others we know. Here are a few ways it differs from other types of love.
First, unlike familiarity, there is no constant state of love between two people. There is always the potential for love, but it exists in moments, not in moments. This makes it hard for us to fully understand the depth of romantic love because the concept seems to stem from the idea that one person fully understands the love of another. When we experience a full and complete love from another person, they completely understand what we feel and this creates a relationship with each other that is totally different than any other relationship we have had.
Next, unlike familiarity, there is no understanding or feeling of connection in our relationships. This is because we do not connect with one another on a fundamental level. Instead, we connect to our partners on a superficial level-based on the physical pleasure and sexual satisfaction generated by intimacy. This shallow connection is what makes the experience of love so wonderful and intense. Because of this, when love is experienced, it is often because the individual has had physical pleasure and/or sexual satisfaction, rather than because they fully understand what love feels like on a deeper level.
Lastly, we do not have a language (emotional or otherwise) with which to speak about our experiences. Rather, we experience our emotions and feelings as separate entities. This separation also makes it difficult to fully understand our partner’s feelings and needs. In short, we are often communicating ‘blindly’ or without much information. This lack of information makes it very easy for either party to hurt the other and create disharmony in their relationships.
When love is experienced, it is usually accompanied by feelings of affection, trust, respect, care, and caring. When these are present in the relationship, the overall quality of the relationship is improved. In addition, love may also be experienced when the individual is alone; however, because of the deep depth of love, the need to be needed by another person is usually strong and, therefore, the need for companionship is often strong. The lack of companionship would then likely cause an individual to experience loneliness or even loneliness at times.
All of the above described components make it possible for love to truly manifest itself in a relationship. However, it is important for both parties to experience these components at the same time. Otherwise, the benefits created by the physical attraction and the desire for intimacy may be offset by the feelings of loneliness, resentment, and jealousy that are felt by the individual who is involved in these kinds of relationships. While feelings and actions may differ, both feelings and actions have a profound impact on the quality of the relationships they create and the longevity of those relationships. The key is to find a balance between the physical attraction and the feelings, as well as the needs of the other individual involved in the relationships.