What is Love Actually? Is it Really the Same As Intimacy?
“Love is a divine feeling that awakens our highest potentiality.” -Rumi
When we talk of love most often we think in terms of physiological and emotional bonding between human beings. But love goes beyond than that. It involves, inter alia, two brain regions, namely the parahippocampus and the amygdala, which are crucial for the creation and storage of memory and emotion. According to recent studies, romantic love engages the left amygdala while viewing sexually arousing images, and the right amygdala when viewing non-sexual images. In fact, there is a region of the brain which is exclusively focused on our emotions, which is concerned with storing and representing our feelings when we feel them.
As I see it, loving someone means being open to your partner’s needs, likes, dislikes, abilities and talents, as well as their opinions and dreams. The more you accept this fully the more fulfilling your relationship will be. True love means you let the other person make decisions about your feelings and you respect their ideas and tastes, even if you strongly disagree with them.
Of course, some of you may feel like lust, i.e. that you would like to sleep with your partner as soon as possible, regardless of his or her wishes. In this case, you have not found true romantic love because you have not agreed with your partner’s vision of the future. True love is a mutual effort, where one partner accepts the other’s interests, desires and emotions and respects their freedom. You do not feel like cheating when you sleep with your partner, even if you think that you would like to.
Lust, on the other hand, occurs when we are attracted to someone on superficial grounds, such as a person’s physical appearance or the way they talk, because of the strong sexual desire we have for them. When we have intense feelings for another person, it is this intense feeling which causes us to do things that would normally be considered immoral behaviour. It is not the same as love because our main aim is not to form a lasting relationship with this person but, rather, we are using these actions to fulfil an emotional need. It is not uncommon, nowadays, for young teenagers to behave like children, because they have not yet formed a clear and firm relationship with their parents or other adults. This is usually due to the lack of deep emotional feelings being expressed.
So, before you go overboard in trying to change your partner’s mind and make him or her to love you more, remember that love includes passion, desire, excitement and intimacy. These three are the foundation of any successful relationship and without these basic ingredients, there can be no true love. You must let your feelings and your partner’s feelings are expressed, even if you are afraid that you are being selfish or controlling. If you love someone, then sharing your feelings and being open with them is more important than controlling them. You must remember that if you try to control your partner’s behaviour, he or she will turn around and treat you like a servant instead of a partner.