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Parenting Adult Children for Your Peace of Mind and Their Accountability

Friday Food for Thought : That Loving Feeling

Posted on February 8, 2013 | No Comments

by Linda Herman

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. We associate it with roses, chocolates and romantic love. But what is romantic love? And how does it differ from mature love?

I had the opportunity today to attend a seminar today led by clinical psychologist Jim Fogarty, who spoke on the topic of emotional manipulators. These people depend on their victim’s distorted views of love to  keep them in unhealthy relationships. With a lover’s holiday imminent, it’s a great time to review the differences between the two types of love.

Romantic love is the early phase of love. We are “in love”(and lust) with the object of our affections. He or she is nothing short of perfect. We want to spend all our waking moments together. We are ecstatic, elated, and to be sure, our hormones are elevated! There is a great function to this aspect of love: it encourages bonding between two people. But hormone levels that are elevated will, within twelve to eighteen months, level out.  Then what?

If in the course of getting to know your lover, you find mutual understanding, respect, and common values; if you share similar visions of your future, then you may have found your long-term match. You can reveal your true self with the confidence that you are in an emotionally safe place and are free to enjoy the small as well as major moments with this trusted companion. This is mature love.

Hopefully we get to experience both kinds of love in our lifetimes. And as for the chocolates and roses, they work just fine with either kind.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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