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So This Is Why Love Is Blind

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So This Is Why Love Is Blind


Have you ever wondered why people say love is blind? Here’s one possible explanation.

My friend Amy fell in love with a woman at a weekend workshop and quickly reorganized her whole life to be with her. Amy has known this person for only three weeks, yet she’s planning to give away her beloved cat because of her new girlfriend’s allergies. She’s convinced she’s found true love.

Maybe she has. Love means something different to every person who feels it. It has no God-given definition. If Amy feels in love, well, then she’s in love. No matter what anyone tells her.

Some people do experience a profound and immediate connection to another person that proves to be enduring. But intense feelings, no matter how consuming, are hardly a measure of true and enduring closeness. Indeed, intense emotions(link is external) can block our objectivity and blur our capacity for clear thinking.

It doesn’t matter if Amy calls it love or sauerkraut. The most important question isn’t the intensity of the love we feel but whether the relationship is good for us and whether we are navigating our part of it in a solid way.

Some women put more careful thinking into buying a new toaster oven, than into evaluating a prospective partner.

It takes time and conversation to size up the following:

1. Is there a sense of safety, ease, and comfort in the relationship that makes authenticity and self-disclosure (of both our strengths and weaknesses) possible?

2.Does the person we love enlarge (rather than diminish) our sense of our self and self-worth?

3.Is our intimacy based on mutuality, including mutual respect, mutual empathy, mutual nurturance and caretaking?

4. Are we able to voice our differences, hear the other person and be heard, bring conflict out in the open and resolve it?

5. Have we taken the time to observe our partner among both our friends and family and his? (You can’t know a partner if you insulate your relationship from other relationships.)

Intensity and intimacy(link is external) are not the same. Only when we stay in a relationship over time, and evaluate it with both our head and our heart, can we begin to put it to the test.

[Harriet Lerner]

Dr. Lerner is one of the world’s most respected voices in the psychology of women and family relationships. She is the author of 11 books published in 35 languages. These include The Dance of Intimacy, Marriage Rules, and The Dance of Anger, a New York Times bestseller that has helped rescue men and women from the swamps and quicksands of difficult relationships. Dr. Lerner hosts a blog for Psychology Today.

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