Of Love and Deception

  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Apr 27, 2011 7:51 PM GMT
    So... how do you know when you're in "love".
    Western, romantic ideal of love - between two people (or whateve on numbers I guess) signifying a meaningful and deep connection that has the potential, that is likely, to last many years (maybe indefinitely?).

    There are powerful emotions that indicate experience of something that is for sure, but when dreaming asleep we experience powerful emotions and strongly held beliefs that are patently ridiculous. How do you verify that you're not fooling yourself? How do you know you're in love someone and not simply experiencing some sort of infatuation - ultimately short-lived and false either due to some underlying invalidity of feeling or being emotions associated with whom you think someone is rather than who they are? (And no, I don't know what "invalidity of feeling" means -- I'm not sure that concept is even valid per se.)

    I'd always thought this was interesting as an academic question, but suddenly find myself in a situation where the answer has a direct and perhaps powerful impact. I am loathe to allow for delusion (self or otherwise), but I'm not so cynical as to ignore what may be something very significant.

    Is "love" really two parts - attachment and affection - is love just infatuation associated with someone with whom you truly can connect in a more calm way over a long period, with whom you share deep values? Or is each part unique in it's own ways?


    I daren't say I am lost, but I am deeply in need of advice - particularly from the many people here who have more life experience than I.

    Danke schoen.
    (And no, I've never asked myself this question before I believe. I have crushed on someone once as an adult... I never got to this point however. I want to say that crush (which I felt relatively strongly) is fundamentally different from what I'm experiencing now - but... what if that's just my brain re-writing its emotional history???)
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Apr 27, 2011 8:43 PM GMT
    I believe that love is like bare feet photos.....icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 27, 2011 8:48 PM GMT
    love means different things to different people.

    i know i love someone when i want what is best for them, even if it's not me.
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    Apr 27, 2011 9:11 PM GMT
    neosyllogy saidSo... how do you know when you're in "love". . . . How do you verify that you're not fooling yourself? How do you know you're in love someone and not simply experiencing some sort of infatuation - ultimately short-lived and false either due to some underlying invalidity of feeling or being emotions associated with whom you think someone is rather than who they are? . . .Is "love" really two parts - attachment and affection - is love just infatuation associated with someone with whom you truly can connect in a more calm way over a long period, with whom you share deep values? Or is each part unique in it's own ways?


    I daren't say I am lost, but I am deeply in need of advice - particularly from the many people here who have more life experience than I. . . . I have crushed on someone once as an adult... I never got to this point however. I want to say that crush (which I felt relatively strongly) is fundamentally different from what I'm experiencing now - but... what if that's just my brain re-writing its emotional history???)


    If you haven't got to the point yet where you can at least momentarily put aside the intense, overwhelming emotional feeling to ask yourself what is really going on, then I would say --- currently, you are crushing like mad.

    But it could turn into love if you give it a chance. Or not. You are never going to know unless you let this play out.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Apr 27, 2011 9:56 PM GMT
    BambinoRex saidlove means different things to different people.

    i know i love someone when i want what is best for them, even if it's not me.


    But I want that for pretty much everyone. Can't really think of anyone, at least off hand, for whom I don't. I'm full of Christian/Buddhist/Generalist love. I'm used to that kind of love, it's the romantic love thing that's new for me. It's the combination of deep respect and ... I don't know, "sinking feeling" that I'm getting -- both of which I've had before to a meaningful degree (at least once), but, I think, differently.
    But thanks icon_smile.gif
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Apr 27, 2011 10:02 PM GMT
    showme saidIf you haven't got to the point yet where you can at least momentarily put aside the intense, overwhelming emotional feeling to ask yourself what is really going on, then I would say --- currently, you are crushing like mad.

    But it could turn into love if you give it a chance. Or not. You are never going to know unless you let this play out.


    Oh, I think I can. It's not an all crushing obsessive emotion. (In fact, that's a good point to make, while I won't say my heart doesn't sink when I'm around him or think about him, nor that I don't admire and respect him, nor that I don't feel a sense of ease and delight to meet someone with both an ethical and intellectual intent as firmly grounded and well-developed as I believe his to be it's not an obsessive feeling at all.)

    I'm quite productive at work for example and feel able to approach the issue analytically. ...it's just that I'm not sure what the right analysis is... I can turn my mind towards other things, I just gain an unusual degree of satisfaction turning my mind toward him. But we never really know someone, we just get better and better at guessing who they really are. (Actually, we've been disusing such things from the perspective of Erving Goffman's dramaturgy theory (of social relations) - a useful vocabulary/set of ideas if I may: [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dramaturgy_(sociology)[/url] ) Anyway... I... I'm deeply unfamiliar with this sense of ... familiarity (that I have with him) and I either fear self-deception or overly ambitious extrapolation of who he is from what I know.

    How do you know you know, you know?
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    Apr 28, 2011 1:21 AM GMT
    neosyllogy saidHow do you know you know, you know?


    The epistemology of love? icon_wink.gif

    At some point, you just know. I can't get any more scientific than that.
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    Apr 28, 2011 2:02 AM GMT
    Well I love the forumers of RJ. But I would absolutely hate to be married to any of the bitches on it!!!! And that's regardless of how hot most of these guys look.
  • LEANDRO_NJ

    Posts: 1114

    Apr 28, 2011 2:39 AM GMT
    A person who truly understands and embraces what love is also understands and embraces all other types of human emotions. Human emotions such as hatred, jeolousy, envy, and every other shade of grays in human behavior is merely a cry or small steps that can lead a lost person to discover a better understanding of what it is to be human.


    A Rose is not a Rose if it didn't have thorns!


    Leandro ♥
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    Apr 28, 2011 2:48 AM GMT
    neosyllogy said

    How do you know you know, you know?


    I usually know when I get drunk and wind up sending them several stupid messages in a row....
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Apr 28, 2011 7:11 PM GMT
    ...maybe I chose the wrong place to ask about love. icon_question.gif
    Though if there are any older RJ'ers with some experience, would love to hear their opinions.
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    Apr 28, 2011 8:14 PM GMT
    ok, here is some more feedback.

    there's an inherent problem in the question because it's like asking people to describe a color, but you don't know what the settings on their monitor are or if they have vision issues

    also, each instance of that color may differ through life.

    i know i'm "in love" when i don't even notice other guys, because i'm focused on one guy. it's infatuation.

    i know i love a man romantically when having him in my bed seems natural and not foreign
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    Apr 28, 2011 9:00 PM GMT
    neosyllogy said...maybe I chose the wrong place to ask about love. icon_question.gif
    Though if there are any older RJ'ers with some experience, would love to hear their opinions.


    First, the bad news:

    You'll never be able to answer this question in the moment. As much as the logical side of ourselves would like to classify and categorize and definitively understand the emotional side of ourselves, it's a lost cause. We feel what we feel and we need to accept that all those feelings are valid, and that we may never fully understand where they come from or what they mean.

    This difficulty is serious usually only if you're faced with some big life choice, like "do I quit my job and move away with someone if I've only known them for 3 weeks?" People have dove off the cliff for love before. For some, it turned out to be the right thing. For others, maybe not. It's not like we can tell the people it didn't work out right that somehow it was because they didn't study the "Book Of Love" properly. Nor can we congratulate the people for whom it worked because they clearly "understood" their love fully. For both, it was shit luck.

    Now, the good news:

    For the vast majority of cases (i.e. some major life choice is not being thrust on you), the answer to this dilemma is simply to avoid answering the question in the moment. The answer only becomes apparent with time. This is why not rushing love is so smart. If the love is real and lasting and strong, then it will only grow stronger with time.

    There's a reason for ancient courtship rituals that act to slow down the process. They have one goal: to let time take its course. You'll never know how strong or true or real your love is in the first few months. You will know much more in a year. And after two or three years, you'll know even more, altho you'll never really know 100% until one of you dies in the others' arms.

    If you are forced to rush things, well, then you're skipping the only sure way the question can be answered -- with time.

    That's not to say that jumping off the cliff is something you never do. I find the choice is less related to some (inevitably useless) logical analysis of your emotions, but more to the core of who you are as a person. Some people are cliff jumpers. Others aren't.

    I'm a cliff jumper. And no, I haven't been successful with that yet. I'm still here tho. And I'm still waiting for it to hit me again. And once again I'll have the same problems as you do in those first few months. I'll maybe try to slow it down even more next time tho.

    Worst case for you is pretty good tho. Some people live their whole lives and never have cause to try to answer the questions you're asking yourself now. You're blessed with a wonderful problem.



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    Apr 28, 2011 9:03 PM GMT
    malefeet saidI believe that love is like bare feet photos.....icon_wink.gif


    That's just a facsimile of love........

    The real thing is toes in your mouth........icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 28, 2011 9:58 PM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    neosyllogy said...maybe I chose the wrong place to ask about love. icon_question.gif
    Though if there are any older RJ'ers with some experience, would love to hear their opinions.


    First, the bad news:

    You'll never be able to answer this question in the moment. As much as the logical side of ourselves would like to classify and categorize and definitively understand the emotional side of ourselves, it's a lost cause. We feel what we feel and we need to accept that all those feelings are valid, and that we may never fully understand where they come from or what they mean.

    This difficulty is serious usually only if you're faced with some big life choice, like "do I quit my job and move away with someone if I've only known them for 3 weeks?" People have dove off the cliff for love before. For some, it turned out to be the right thing. For others, maybe not. It's not like we can tell the people it didn't work out right that somehow it was because they didn't study the "Book Of Love" properly. Nor can we congratulate the people for whom it worked because they clearly "understood" their love fully. For both, it was shit luck.

    Now, the good news:

    For the vast majority of cases (i.e. some major life choice is not being thrust on you), the answer to this dilemma is simply to avoid answering the question in the moment. The answer only becomes apparent with time. This is why not rushing love is so smart. If the love is real and lasting and strong, then it will only grow stronger with time.

    There's a reason for ancient courtship rituals that act to slow down the process. They have one goal: to let time take its course. You'll never know how strong or true or real your love is in the first few months. You will know much more in a year. And after two or three years, you'll know even more, altho you'll never really know 100% until one of you dies in the others' arms.

    If you are forced to rush things, well, then you're skipping the only sure way the question can be answered -- with time.

    That's not to say that jumping off the cliff is something you never do. I find the choice is less related to some (inevitably useless) logical analysis of your emotions, but more to the core of who you are as a person. Some people are cliff jumpers. Others aren't.

    I'm a cliff jumper. And no, I haven't been successful with that yet. I'm still here tho. And I'm still waiting for it to hit me again. And once again I'll have the same problems as you do in those first few months. I'll maybe try to slow it down even more next time tho.

    Worst case for you is pretty good tho. Some people live their whole lives and never have cause to try to answer the questions you're asking yourself now. You're blessed with a wonderful problem.


    Said much more eloquently than I managed. +1
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    Apr 28, 2011 10:08 PM GMT
    BambinoRex said

    i know i'm "in love" when i don't even notice other guys, because i'm focused on one guy. it's infatuation.

    i know i love a man romantically when having him in my bed seems natural and not foreign


    Seems about right
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    Apr 28, 2011 10:09 PM GMT
    cityaznguy saidWell I love the forumers of RJ. But I would absolutely hate to be married to any of the bitches on it!!!! And that's regardless of how hot most of these guys look.


    wow, that was a bitchy remark though...
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    Apr 28, 2011 10:30 PM GMT
    Pato_Rico said
    cityaznguy saidWell I love the forumers of RJ. But I would absolutely hate to be married to any of the bitches on it!!!! And that's regardless of how hot most of these guys look.


    wow, that was a bitchy remark though...


    That was only a joke icon_cry.gif Pato if it bothers you (or anyone) I'll totally retract it. icon_cry.gif
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    Apr 29, 2011 12:39 AM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    neosyllogy said...maybe I chose the wrong place to ask about love. blockquote>

    Very elegant. +! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 29, 2011 2:03 PM GMT
    "Is "love" really two parts - attachment and affection - is love just infatuation associated with someone with whom you truly can connect in a more calm way over a long period, with whom you share deep values? Or is each part unique in it's own ways?"

    There's love, which is the same love you'd have for a family member or friend. Then there's being IN love, which, from the sounds of things, seems to be what you're feeling. I think you need to feel both.


    Think of a gestalt between platonic friendship, sexual desire, and emotional desires. Pretty heady stuff, and greater than the sum of its parts.

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    Apr 30, 2011 10:38 AM GMT
    I've loved a boyfriend, been infatuated with another and truly in love with the last. The true love was completely different and arrived unexpectedly. In hindsight, I wish that our courting time had been longer, as his true self was quite hidden. Regardless, ,the love seemed to be reciprical at the time and I had no reason to believe that it wasn't. My emotions and general state of being skyrocketed and my thoughts of him and our life were never selfish in motivation. My only thought was to grow with this man, be there through thick and thin, and honor our relationship. I remember that I felt like someone took a swifter to the cobwebs in unused parts of my brain and life starting to be lived with a different perspective. I only wanted the best for him, even thinking at the time that a day would come when I may not be part of that.

    Personally I don't see true love as infatuation, that implies a codependent need to be with another, rather than co-create a life together.

    I think all the cerebral things that you use to question love are certainly wonderful to use in the initial stage of a relationship. It's how we establish trust and open ourselves up to a deeper bonding. Once the brain has completed it's checks and balances, it's time to listen to what the heart is saying. The energy field between us was truly electric.

    Looking back, I wish that I had moved a whole lot slower. As for your question, I think that emotion can be difficult to conceptualize. Sometimes there isn't a reason, it just is. The brain will need to give the thumbs up before the heart gives permission to be vulnerable. THese are 2 different systems and need to be treated as such. WHen you can trust yourself, you will know when love is right.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    May 02, 2011 3:45 PM GMT
    Thanks guys, particularly Iguana and Kevin.
    The next few months may actually require me to make some decisions based on the relationship... I'm pretty happy with that now.
    I think I can say, with pretty high confidence, that I love him. Still lots to learn about e/o and neither of us can clearly say what's going to happen, but damn if I'm not looking forward to finding out. Worst case scenario I've met a man I deeply respect and want to know and have in my life. icon_biggrin.gif

    Cheers guys, and thanks. (and here's to hoping everyone get's similar opportunities - I was always happy with the idea of being alone (in the above regard), but... well, I'm a really fortunate guy! icon_smile.gif

    <3 to you all icon_smile.gif
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    May 02, 2011 4:35 PM GMT
    Thanks for the update!

    * dabs happy tears from face with dainty lace hankie *