What is love?

man with flowers in love

A little, a lot, passionately, madly? Who does not remember having stripped the Daisy seeking to defeat the ugly doubt as to the love of the beloved? Who does not remember the emotions of the first love born at 14, 16 or 18 years? How the closeness of the chosen one could make us capsize and dream for hours… before even talking to him? We were in love with love.

The first outing, the first kiss, the first promise, the first caress, the first project dreamed of two. He was so wonderful; She was so beautiful; nothing existed without him; the future was not possible without her. Our love was pure and eternal. We transformed the world, had the most beautiful children and we lived happily ever after. Nothing could stop us. Except…

Except… the first heartbreak. Crying and sobbing! How could he do that to me? I never imagined that she could be like that. What a great emptiness creates the first heartache ! That harm to the stomach the loss of the loved one can arouse. What a depresses! And just before sinking completely, here comes… a new love.

We will always remember our first love of adolescence with nostalgia. And how learns love to be strewn with pitfalls, but also pleasures and indescribable joys. Until the moment when the rare pearl arrives and we make the big jump: we promise to love each other forever, for better and for worse.

However, according to official statistics, only two out of ten couples confirm the conclusion of romance novels or films: they married, had (today) two children and lived happily ever after? We all know complicit couples who have loved each other since their teens, who have studied together, who have beautiful children and who seem to be made to spend the rest of their lives together. But we know more couples who, Oh! surprise, have divorced. In fact, five out of ten marriages currently, according to the figures of the World Health Organization, result in divorce. And the three out of five couples stay together, for the better but especially for the worse, no longer talk to each other or yell at the residences for the elderly.

What makes the success of couples who walk and pass through the years? Is there a magic or miracle formula within reach of all? What makes some people never seem to have problems with their loves and others always seem ready to depress and want to commit suicide after a love sentence? People seem happy, with or without stable partners; others cling to the first come or the first who does not know how to say no.

We have written a lot about the difficulties of love. Hundreds of books show how much love is often consumed as a drug and, of course, when the drug is lacking, the symptoms of lack, both physical and psychological, arrive.

But what is love?

It is said that love is an emotion. Dictionary tells us that an emotion is: a movement, an agitation, an emotional reaction, usually intense. Love would be a movement towards someone. How can two people in movement, one towards the other and in their respective lives, make this reciprocal movement last through the vicissitudes of living together?

In my opinion, there are three essential conditions for the longevity of love: admiration, dream and sexual desire. these three components must be channeled to the same person. reciprocal. And stable. But not necessarily in order: the desire may arise from admiration or vice versa.

I can only love someone if I admire him and feel admired by this person. Admiration is a feeling of joy and fulfillment before what is considered beautiful or great . There is love only in respect. From the moment we scream nonsense, we seriously mortgage love. One may not always agree on the education of children, how to spend money (these are the two main sources of disagreement)…, but one must always agree that the other is a unique human person and worthy of respect and of admiration. Let’s not forget that two lovers are also two intimate enemies… who owe respect. The drop in admiration is parallel to the fall of love. Hence the importance of standing in front of his partner.

Two people who love each other share the same projects, the same dreams; they are two accomplices who plot their future together: the purchase of the first house or the first car, the arrival of the first and subsequent children, the professional successes of one or the other, social involvement, holidays, retirement … Again, individual dreams are not necessarily the same and do not necessarily have to be subordinated to the dreams of the couple, but from the moment when personal dreams take over, or from when I catch myself dreaming with another person, the end of the common dream is near. All couples are based on two independent people with their own projects. To love oneself is to dream together of possible things.

Obviously, love is based on mutual physical attraction. So much so that the act of love designates sexual relations. What is more wonderful than making love with the beloved? To love someone is to want to stick, touch, caress, interpenetrate, merge. But, it is also to maintain his desire and the desire of the other while maintaining a certain distance. You are not me and I am not you. One plus one is not one, but three, you, me and us. The love at first sight can not survive the passion, because the total fusion kills the desire. I only want what I do not have, not what I own. You also exist outside of me and I exist outside of you. Distance is necessary to desire and allows rapprochement to turn into pleasure.

Does this mean that a sexual difficulty or a loss of libido means a loss of love? Sometimes, but not always. It is, however, a clue that something is going on in one or the other or in the dynamics of the couple that the couple has to deal with at the earliest if they want to survive. Need to be alone, to speak, to be listened to, to go together away from the children and work, to rest, to find a new common dream, to rediscover the admirable being that I am and that the other is, to readjust our respective movements and of the couple.

It is true that the heart has reasons that reason does not know, but reason can teach the heart the direction to take and how to recognize the precursors of the shortness of emotion. Lasting love, we can never repeat it enough, is made of passion and reason, of heart and head. But love also requires effort to cope with duration and routine.

Living in couple is not an instinctive behavior. We have to learn to live together, just as we have learned to walk, talk, write, ride a bicycle, drive a car, do our job, and so on. But … where are the teachers ??

Love is …

Offer flowers for no reason.
Love the other, especially cleansed (e).
Do something small that makes the difference between being good and being very good.
Put your nose in the pillow of the other when he left.
Accept the importance of a temporary distance.
Find nice to do the dishes because we are together.
To know how to laugh together, one of the other.
Call, say I love you, and hang up.
Touch the aura of the other, without touching him physically.
See yourself with new eyes, every day
Take the razor of the other without being quibbled.

And for you, what is love?

Read also : It’s not tiring to give love, but to be disappointed is
Read also : How does our first love affect our other relationships?


*Yvon Dallaire, is a psychologist, speaker and Canadian author of numerous books on gender relations

He is co-creator of professional training in psycho-applied sexology (FPSA) with Dr. Iv Psalti