Connect with us

How Do I Date

True Love Isn’t For Sissies

love

Love

True Love Isn’t For Sissies

“For one human being to love another, that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke

I’ve often found it mysterious that a process as natural and universal as loving should be as challenging and even at times maddeningly difficult as it so frequently can be. In fact, it seems that more often than not, the art of learning to love well is one of the most demanding challenges that we ever take on in our lives. Many people, having made a number of painful or unsuccessful attempts to develop sustained, loving relationships, conclude that they’re just not up for what it takes or that perhaps they’re just not the type to settle down with one person, and they choose to let go of their dream rather than to risk the prospect of continued pain and disappointment.

Why is it that loving relationships can be so difficult for us to develop? Is it true that there really are “very few good candidates out there” who are willing and able to relate honestly and openly to others? And is it really even possible for us to unlearn the protective patterns that served us in childhood but now cause us to feel frustrated and isolated?

These and many other complex questions inevitably arise once we make the decision to embark upon the path of relationship. And the further along we find ourselves, the more formidable are the concerns that we meet. Many people believe that the opposite should be true; that is that the deeper the connection that we develop with someone, the easier it should be, and if it’s not getting easier it’s because something is wrong; wrong with them, wrong with me, or wrong with us. Not necessarily. Deep relatedness brings out the worst as well as the best in us, our deepest fears and our greatest hopes, our selflessness as well as our possessiveness, our kindness and our insensitivity, our generosity and our self-centeredness. In working consciously with these emotions and impulses, we find ourselves feeling more trusting and open with each other and gradually begin to let down the defenses that shield and protect us from emotional distress.

Conscious loving requires us to come out from behind the security of our manufactured image and expose ourselves to the threat of emotional pain that we desperately wish to avoid. What makes this so difficult is that it requires us to be fearless yet tender, committed yet open, engaged yet not attached, powerful yet yielding, and strong yet vulnerable. To fully love, we must cultivate the ability to hold the tension of the opposites because love is inclusive not exclusive, and it can be fierce in its demands. It invites us into the space beyond the duality of separation or enmeshment and challenges us to surrender our defenses that protect us from harm.

If loving another person is, as Rilke says, the final test and “that for which all other work is but preparation,” perhaps it is because we cannot be a qualified and capable lover until we have established a loving and accepting relationship with all parts of ourselves, including those aspects of our lives and personalities that we deem unlovable. Investing time and energy in a commitment to develop the capacity to become more fully loving will bring forth a greater return in terms of our quality of life than anything else we could do with our precious time and energy. And, by the way, it’s never too late to begin.

Author’s Books- Click for Amazon Reviews

Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW are considered experts in the field of relationships. They have been married since 1972. They have both been trained as seminar leaders, therapists and relationships counselors and have been working with individuals, couples, and groups since 1975. They have been featured presenters at numerous conferences, universities, and institutions of learning throughout the country and overseas as well. They are regular faculty members at the Esalen Institute, the Kripalu Center, the California Institute for Integral Studies, and many other learning facilites. They have appeared on over two hundred radio and TV programs and are co-authors of the widely acclaimed books: 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last and Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love. They live in Santa Cruz, California, near their two children and three grandchildren.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Love

Best Dating Sites

Categories

Must Reads

To Top