Opening to love in romantic partnership is very different to a whirlwind 'falling in love' experience.
In fact, I wonder if falling in love is actually code for falling in admiration.
A, "fuck, darn it, now I'm in love and I've got no say over it".
This is usually what we call being struck by admiration.
Here we DO fall.
We meet someone and we are so breath taken by their admirable qualities that we develop 'love like' feelings. We want this 'highly desirable' human to be 'the one'. Combine this with the bonding chemicals that are released through sex and 'boom', we are "accidentally" "in love".
The lower our self esteem is the more susceptible we are to putting the men we admire up on a pedestal and becoming infatuated by the qualities they possess that we don't believe we ourselves embody. We seek the alpha, the best looking, the strongest, the sexiest, the most intelligent, the most charismatic...
We seek someone who will fill in the gaps we lack. We want to be validated through their status. We want people to look at us and say, "wow, you two look SO good together", or "you're such a power couple" and often we want to lose ourselves in the validation and ego trip and doe eyed admiration more than we want a relationship that really works.
Likewise the lower our self esteem is the harder we will find it to celebrate qualities that truly matter, but don't hold the same ego boost, for example 'honesty' or 'kindness' or 'dependability' are overlooked as 'unromantic' compared to sexier status building qualities, such as "Ooooh look at my man's six pack" or "bank account" or "fast wit".
The admiration / 'in love' confusion, fucks up a lot of relating because...
Instead, when we slowly and healthily open to love, what we are doing is slowly letting another human being into our most intimate world of deep feeling. We are opening in trust and surrendering to the depth of the connection.
True love is not an accident.
We are making a decision to open based on a trust that is built and earned. We are deciding consciously that this person is someone that we want to journey closely with.
Over time, if intimacy, trust, friendship and connection continue to grow, we may decide to add commitment to this connection.
To me, this is an empowered choice, that happens over time, with discernment.
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