♦ LAST UPDATED ON February 4, 2021 ♦
Look around you and you’ll find boring as well as thrilling conjugal relationships among couples, and anything in between. What is it that you are looking for in your love life? All relationships are a balancing act, so take your chances.
Regardless, even a “nearly perfect” loving relationship really is a living, a delicate joint affair — preferably between virtuous equals — and always needs effort here and there to stay in a sustainable balance. I know of no magic wand that could make love and life simply safe and harmless, and not even what many call God’s love can deliver eternal bliss.
Change is inevitable in people’s lives
People change over the course of their lives — sometimes in incremental yet consequential ways, and change is the one thing that we all can count on. For example, personal growth — or decline, then, can make it hard to keep old promises. People not only have obligations to others, but also to themselves.
However, when a relationship starts off on unequal terms ( incommensurable social relations, etc.), or “with a wrong size or ill-fitting shoe” (a person without the qualities which one expects from a partner), the attempted bond may be a bit unbalanced from the start, and soon may become unhinged and unmendable. Dreadful as it is then, separation is often a healthy option.
Our focus, however, is on the initial attainment of an unexploited relationships in conjugal love, and to a much lesser degree on their subsequent maintenance.
By singles being fairly grounded at the outset (emotional intelligence) and unwilling to take each other for granted thereafter, they may at least minimize chances of later heartbreak.
True love arises
At the same time, the meaning of true love, then, is not just to be understood as that enviable and seemingly involuntary phenomenon of “falling and being in love,” although experiencing that is such a relief from the drudgery of life. But infatuation will not last, it never does. True love, then, arises as the phenomenal outcome of passion (never stop being enchanting), intimacy (never stop surrendering) and trust (never stop being responsible) over some time.
Again, please know that this concept of true love is idealized and pondered about to be aspirational. I hope it will touch your heart and contribute to your inner well-being. Cold-blooded intellectuals, however, would find it easy to trash my reflections as wishful thinking. So be it. I am not an original thinker like a G. W. F. Hegel or Immanuel Kant.
But strive for love if you may, make love true for yourself and your mate, and do not ever let the naysayers discourage you. One of Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophical points was that it is hard to learn to love ethically when there are so few examples of reciprocity between women and men. If you do find such an example, hold on to it and let it guide you.