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Love is in the air

When spring arrives, and the birds start to sing, you sense that summer is just around the corner. Love is in the air – spring’s here, and with it dreams of a ‘summer flirt’ or some extra passionate feelings for the person you have a crush on. You can also experience feelings like this in the autumn, or on holiday. How should we tackle feelings like these?

Head over heels in love

It’s nice to be in love, it’s natural and it’s exciting. You may feel like your heart has stopped beating, or that it’s beating ten times a second, and then stopping. You’re still thinking rationally, and your feelings are a strong driving force for you to get to know the other person better. You’re not totally blinded by love.

But sometimes it’s more than just heartbeats. Then, you’re totally consumed. You think about the other person every second of every day, and imagine all the situations where the person would miraculously declare their love for you. It’s almost as if you’re living in a bad romantic comedy without ever coming to the point where the guy proposes, or when the girl finally understands that she actually wants the guy who’s always been there for her. I know I’m in danger of being branded a hopeless romantic, but haven’t we all felt like this sometimes?

But being in love can reach a point where it’s obviously not healthy any longer. It’s not easy to know what to do then, but I think it can help to know about the mechanisms behind all the emotions, and force ourselves out of our bubble in order to see things from the outside.

Emotional confusion

 A well-known psychological experiment investigated how we interpret our own feelings. A pretty actress got the test subjects (all men) to fill out a questionnaire, and gave them all her phone number if they had any more questions. Some of the subjects met the woman right after they’d been on a shaky rope bridge, and others met her after being on a solid, secure bridge. The result was that the men who met the actress after the shaky bridge were much more likely to call her later. Fear and apprehension were actually confused with attraction.

This is a really fascinating experiment, in fact it’s interesting that this was researched in the first place. Our brain has systems that interpret the signals our body gives, and match them with feelings, and ascribe them meaning. If someone sends you mixed signals and makes you unsure, your brain may actually strengthen the feelings you have for that person. It’s not certain that your feelings are most true when they are at their strongest. We can end up being tricked by our own brain.

Security

Having butterflies in your stomach is important and it’s totally fine, but it’s not enough in itself. At the same time it’s possible to be totally in love without almost fainting every time you see the object of your affections. Love consists of strong feelings, but at the same time there must be a secure foundation.

This security is built step by step, and requires quite a bit of work. It helps if you have a foundation of common values. When you merge these two dimensions of love, then you can really see God’s plan for relationships and marriage.

Love isn’t about searching for the next emotional rush: rather, it’s about learning to put the other person first. I’m not exactly an expert, but I’m getting married this summer and I can promise you that a secure foundation beats any emotional rush. If the secure foundation is there, I also believe that you’ll experience a new emotional high, but this time in a healthier and better way.

Love isn’t about searching for the next emotional rush, rather, it’s about learning to put the other person first.

 

Published with permission from iTro.no