CATEGORIZED AS: Self Help
We thought these tips from psychotherapists Judith Belmont and Lora Shor might be helpful to people who have a hard time telling the difference between attraction, need and real love.
Are you in love with love? The best kind of love spreads around to others also – if the love is possessive and makes you less secure and even jealous, that’s a telltale sign that that is more infatuation than mature love.
Does love really mean never having to say you’re sorry? Au contraire – that’s actually a sign of immature love, as being able to take responsibility and not project blame on others is an important ingredient of a healthy relationship. Struggling with apologies makes the love more about you and less about them.
How can you tell if it is "real love" or "infatuation?" Infatuation can be one of the elements of "real love" but once times are tough and the going gets rough, infatuation will not provide the glue to keep you together. Developing a deeper commitment and connection of a more mature and less self-centered love will.
Those Butterflies In mature love, you can still have the "butterflies," but when the butterflies land, they go through another transformation to signify the growth, change and beauty of deeper love.
A Healthy Relationship Healthy love brings out the best in us and is synonymous with growth and change. One of the telltale signs of healthy love is having the ability and support to evolve independently as well as with the other person.
Me, Me, Me Infatuation is more about you, whereas real love is more about the other person. People who are needy and love someone for what that person can do for them see their mate as more of an extension of themselves, making their love more narcissistic. Those who have a more mature and deeper love will want what is best for the other person and if the going gets rough, they will not turn on the other person.
Belmont and Shor base their insights on what they call "The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life":
"Life is not predictable and smooth like cream cheese. Our lives are really more like Swiss with all its distinctive holes, and without the holes, there would be no Swiss! Our lives, likewise, have inevitable “holes,” imperfections," and “ups and downs”, yet these holes give us our unique character and depth. It’s a fact that the larger the holes of the Swiss, the sweeter and more distinctive the cheese. What an analogy to our lives! We develop resiliency by overcoming challenges and obstacles. By moving through the holes in our lives rather than getting stuck in them, we become stronger and more empowered. Swiss is not like any other cheese and likewise, you are unique and not like anyone else!"
There is some wisdom in there, unless, of course, you are lactose intolerant.