When it comes to the love of others, we can designate three separate types of love: superficial, realistic, and committed. Each is distinct in its own way, but each is characterized by its own set of behaviors and attitudes. Let’s delve into all three.
Superficial love is surfaced love, based on nothing of substance. You fall in love with the idea of love or with an image. You are attracted to people because of how they look, their clothes, or their style. You’re in love with people for who you think they are.
When you love superficially, being in love becomes the most important part of living. You’re on a mission to find a mate at whatever the cost. But when you’re caught up in this type of love, it is virtually impossible for you to truly love someone, because your goal is to find someone to love you.
You can’t be authentic in a relationship because you’re afraid that your mate, once her or she knows who you are, won’t like you. So, everything you do is designed to make him or her like you at whatever the cost. Your goal is to find someone who could fill the hole inside of you.
When you love someone realistically, you see the real person. Their closely guarded character flaws surface during this stage, and sometimes what you see is disappointing, because they are not the people you thought they were. Your loved ones become all too human. While they may have covered up who they are on the first few dates or possibly years, eventually the truth is revealed. Sometimes a relationship can sustain the reality check, and sometimes not.
Committed love is when you see the other person’s fault, and you love him or her anyway, or perhaps even because of them. At this stage, you identify you and your partner as committed to the relationship. Committed love is when you truly love someone for who he was she is, not who you want the person to be.
What kind of relationship are you in? Identify a relationship you have that falls into each of these three types. Why did you label each of your relationships as you did? Is that what you want them to be? If not, what actions can you take to change your situation?
Remember, love is the connection between people, a sharing of positive regard that supersedes the rational. It’s a feeling of being valued and of valuing. It’s when your heart feels good and your spirit expands.