Developing Romantic Relationships
One of life’s mysteries, love is the one thing that can make the difference between failure and success. Love is the feeling you have for another person, whether they are a person you are romantically involved with or are one you are just friends with. When we meet a new person in love, there is a kind of lightness that comes over us that makes us feel instantly connected. We also feel happy for the new relationship we are starting. It is like when we are young and have our first love, and our world opens up before us, we find that the world is new and worth loving. In love there is always the potential for expansion and growth.
Love encompasses a broad spectrum of positive and strong emotional states, from an overriding desire to be loved, to the most sublime personal passion, to the easiest pure enjoyment. In all cases love involves a desire for another person to be well-loved, cherished and happy. To experience love in its fullest, we must experience it at the right time in its fullest intensity. When it is fleeting, such as in falling in love with our pet or sleeping with our husband or sleeping with our friend, we are in the ‘getting to know you’ phase; but when it is deeply rooted, such as in falling in love with another person or committing oneself to a long-term relationship, we are experiencing the full essence of love. In this latter form of love, we have a much deeper commitment to the person we are involved with.
The feelings of adoration and gratitude we feel for another person often translate into a form of self-love. This is especially true when these feelings come from caring and sharing rather than being possessive or jealousy based. As a result, we do not automatically assume the attitude we think love means. Instead we take the time to evaluate our own experiences to determine what those feelings really mean to us. Sometimes these feelings translate into loving feelings.
There are several areas of the brain where feelings of romance and attraction are processed. In fact, there are several areas related to human mating that are activated when mating is an option. Some of these brain regions are located in the ventral region of the brain which is involved in identifying potential mates. Other brain regions relate to loving and nurturing behaviors.
Another area of the brain is related to emotional bonding, another emotion of deep importance to romantic relationships. The emotional bonding areas of the brain are activated during vulnerable periods of falling in love or of developing romantic love relationships. Therefore, if one part of your brain is processing negative emotions related to romance and you are in a vulnerable stage of a relationship, this will lead to negative feelings about companionship and other forms of relationships.
In order to successfully develop deep feelings for another person, you need to understand your emotional responses to him or her and how those feelings are linked to your own personal experience. You also need to ask yourself what you hope to gain from a relationship with that person. If you want to develop deep feelings for a partner, you should be willing to give time and energy to spend with him or her. You should be willing to make compromises and commitments, which may be difficult to do at first. But if you try your best and you are truly committed to making a relationship work, your relationship will become a very rewarding experience.