In most cases, I would like to think of myself as a fairly level headed individual. I would like to think that I am not swayed too much by emotions. But alas I think I might have been wrong.
We look back on our relationships and we see the things we would like to see. We look back on them with the pain of rejection and disillusionment. Yet we forget to look at what made us fall in love in the first place. What was it that attracted us, enticed us to commit ourselves and our energy to that person and not any other?
One of the most interesting parts of Imago therapy for me has always been partner selection. How do we choose the person that we intend falling in love with? How do we decide that that person is the one? Looking at all the people we meet and interact with on a daily weekly and monthly basis how did we choose that one? This according to imago is where our Imagos kick in, those parts that we recognize in others that come from our caregivers.
When we end relationships by choice or by duress we tend to look at what went wrong, sometimes we are just glad not to be involved anymore. And yet, we will do it all again. We go into this infatuation time and time again. For those of you that have read my previous blogs you will know I tend to feel deeply when it comes to things of the heart. I still find that although we know the inevitability of the pain that love will give us we keep on looking for it the elusive “ONE” that will make us feel safe, accepted and secure.
While watching a movie yesterday I realized how much of a romantic I have always been, I love writing poetry and giving small intimate gifts. Also creating intimate times where the two of you can share only that what the two of you know and laugh about.
I have also learned that it’s sometimes not the other person that we miss when they are not around. We miss that what we are when we are with them. That person we become for a small period, we move out of our averageness and into being and feeling special and loved. That sense of validation, validation that we are OK.
Most fairy tales end with the couple meeting and either running away into the sunset or getting married. I have always believed there is a good reason why fairy tales end there, before kids and before jobs and responsibilities and obligations. Things that make us forget why we fell in love in the first place. Are we different after the illusion has been broken are we the same, do we see them in a different light when they wake up without their makeup?
I recently read an interesting new piece of research on addiction, and in there they relate falling and being in love in a similar vein as a cocaine high, myself never having taken any drugs won’t know, but what it does tell me is that we keep looking for the High of being in love, very seldom want to make the hard work in making a relationship work. Anyhow, part of what this neuroscientist says is that negative experiences forms stronger neural pathways than positive experiences. His assertion is that because of the negative impact of addiction the neural pathways for addiction is so much stronger than the neural pathways for non-addictive behaviour. That for me partially explains also why we tend to stick around the partners that hurt us the most. It explains why it is so difficult to leave the ones that cause us the most pain. That negative relationship becomes a form of addiction, a form of negative reinforcement of the cycle of pain and delusion. A strong neural pathway, so it tells us that we love the pain and the drama. The bad boys, the difficult ones. The ones that love’s us gently and with conviction we shun, because we rarely build strong neural pathways for them. Is that not just such a waste, such a contradiction in what we are looking for. An often used sentence is the one ” I am so tired” and yet being that tired comes from exerting enormous amounts of energy, no wonder one gets tired and wants out, but the walking away from such a difficult situation is always difficult, always hard.
Walking away from a negative relationships is always more difficult than ones that was not. I think I have found at least some of the reasons for that. The ones with the ups and the downs, the ones where you have to fight for is always so impressed in your mind, you almost cant live without it. Having said that, is it love that we miss, is it the feeling of closeness and care or the sense of intimacy or is it all just a hormonal urge that needs scratching. A neural pathway that’s needs stroking.