Could this Be Love

Could this Be Love?

On a balmy mystical night in Rishikesh, India 2015, a learned swami told me “anything that includes desire cannot be love”

This seemingly innocuous statement has niggled the back of my mind ever since. I ponder “well it we don’t desire our lover how can we have sex; and if we don’t have sex humans may cease to exist”.

Maybe it is easier to recognize what isn’t love. Amazing how the human psyche works it may be more simple to define what isn’t love as opposed to what is love.

So here we go with some of the conditions I believe are dead sure ways to know when it isn’t love.

How can we be sure if we are really in love with that person or is it just a passing infuation? It can be very confusing. Sometimes we feel we may love that person but then we hesitate and mumble “is this what love should feel like? Am I just fabricating this in my crazy mind?

Sure we have all heard that to fathom the difference between infatuation and love we need the test of time. Infatuation is short-lived passion and love is a deep affection that stands the test of time.

However in the meantime infatuation is powerful and can oh so easily be mistaken for love.

If you are still not sure if it is infatuation of love here are a few signs that it is probably infatuation.

Sign 1: You are in love after a few days
I’ve known people who have said they were in love after a few days. But, a few months later they hated everything about the person! I guess that wasn’t love.
If you’ve only known the person for a short time the feelings of love are likely to be feelings of infatuation. Maybe romantic love always begins with infatuation and then gains enough credence to transform in to love. Love takes a while to develop. It takes intimacy, which requires a connection of non- attachment to someone. Love is about knowing someone, where a bond has been developed. You may feel attached to them, but if you have not taken the time to develop an intimate connection, then that attachment is coming from self interest, not real love.

Sign 2: Only Peaks Permitted
If love only exists in the peaks then it isn’t love.
Most people , except the learned rishis and sages, experience the elation of emotional peaks with their lover, and it is human tendency to call this elation “love”. However all that shines is not gold. The glossy “this one’s different” is a rookie mistake in the early stages. It’s in the troughs where you discover if it is love or not.
So what is your tendency when things go haywire? Do you want to pack up your bongos and piss off? Or would you prefer to throw punches when shit hits the fan?
Neither instinct is love. Love joins forces, swallows the egoic reactions and waits for the intense primordial reactions to pass before deciding on a course of action. Love is neither fight nor flight.

Sign 3: What’s in it for me?
Are you focused on what you want from the other person and the relationship?
Some people get into a relationship and can see themselves dating, getting married, having kids, and relocating to a tropical island for their retirement. They picture all of these things in detail, including short-term events, such as spending time together and falling more and more in love. But, they are focused on their future with this person from their point of view, not the other person’s point of view. If you see your relationship solely from your point of view, then it sounds like infatuation, not love.
Love is about knowing what the other person wants in life and working on compromising. It’s not about satisfying your needs and expectations solely.
Pleasure
If you think you love someone because they’re “beautiful” or “giving” or “make you feel good” or some other self-serving pleasure, then then also sounds a bit suss.
That’s not to say you don’t (or can’t) really love them, but “the pleasure they give you” (or, in codependent cases, the pleasure you give them) can’t really be the foundations of a loving relationship.

Sign 4: Idol Worship
When you think of them they seem way, way, way, above you.
It’s common to put someone we are infatuated with on a pedestal so high above ourselves that we feel lucky they are even able to see us. In short, we make them out to be something they are not. We see their strengths, their perfections, their positive attributes, but we are blind to their weaknesses, imperfections, and negative attributes, while we can clearly see ours.
If all you can see is perfection in them, then this also sounds like infatuation. Nobody is perfect, no matter how much it seems that way. Every one of us has faults and makes mistakes and can get a bit annoying to other human being. When you truly love someone, you can see them for who they are – the good and the bad – and love them anyway.

Sign 5: Elation Station
Being with this person make you feel as though you have just won the lottery.
Being infatuated is a lot like feeling like you just won the lottery. You can’t “believe” it, and all you can focus on is the fact that you won the lottery. If need be, you’d be willing to skip work, boycott friends, cut out family members, and do anything else you have to do to pick up that money. Those things are all just distractions when it comes to that one thing that you can’t keep your mind off.
Real love isn’t like that. Love is what it feels like after you have the money and can do great things in your life. Love makes you want to create a better life for yourself in all areas. You become a better friend, a more loving person, more dedicated to your career, and more willing to make your life a success. The feeling of being loved and loving someone else makes you want to embrace your life more and be a better person, not escape everything you have worked to become because of one focal point.

Sign 6: You have told me everything about you…
Do you feel as though you know everything about them (and in fact you know nothing of importance)?
When we are in a state where we feel like we know everything about them (but we actually don’t), we are likely to be in a state of infatuation. If you think you know what makes them tick, what kind of person they are, and what they want out of their life, but you haven’t actually sat down and talked to them about all of those things or really had experience with them that taught you those things, then you are infatuated, not in love. This story may be oh so familiar: “One of my friends met a guy one night when she was hanging out with some friends. He was the guitar player in a band, and she quickly made assumptions about him that painted him in a really good light.
She imagined he had tons of dreams about becoming professional. She imagined him tender and warm with his lovers because of how he played the guitar. And, she started to project other ‘truths’ on him based on what she was feeling. He didn’t talk much to her that first night, but the things he did say made her think it was love at first sight. After a few more nights out together, she got to know some things about him that confirmed her love. He was an animal lover and wanted 3 kids one day, just like her. But, after a few dates together, she learned a lot more. Turns out he lived with parents, smoked crack, and didn’t have any desire to do anything with his life. She instantly fell out of love (which indicates that she wasn’t in love in the first place because you don’t instantly fall out of love with someone), and she ran for her life.”

Sign 7: Insane with Jealousy
You get really, really jealous like as if you are crazy.
If someone talks to the person you are with, you become instantly jealous. You want to show everyone, including them, that they are yours. Jealousy and love can’t really co-exist so you know where this deduction is going, don’t you?
Love is not about being upset with the person because they are attractive, friendly, or popular. It is about feeling connected with them in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you are in a perpetual state of losing them to someone else. It is a confident feeling that you are bound to them in a special way and that they are so fond of you that they view you differently than other people.

Sign 8: More More!
You can’t wait to take the next step.
Infatuation is all about making things happen NOW. You want them to love you and commit to you and be your one and only because you are scared that you are going to lose them if you don’t. But love doesn’t work that way. Love takes time to build, and if you are in love with someone, you enjoy the process of getting to know them and building your relationship with them one step at a time.

Sign 9: Betty Davis eyes…
You are mesmorized by the material.
I hear a lot of people say that they love the way someone looks or walks or talks or laughs, and claim that they fell in love with someone just by watching them. That’s impossible! You don’t connect to the superficial things in a person, you connect to the internal things, such as how they feel, what they believe, what their hopes and dreams are, and how they treat other people. If you love the way they sing or look, then that’s infatuation. If you know them on a deep and personal level, and appreciate those things, then that is love.
Pleasure + Chemistry
If you continually come back to “the way your partner looks on paper” to defend the relationship to yourself just pause, breathe….
Attachment
Mature love is based on healthy non-attachment

Sign 10: I will die. I cannot live without…
Do you constantly obsess obsess about the WotIf they leave you?
If they forget to call, you wonder if you did something wrong and if it will affect your relationship negatively. If they are not feeling good and don’t look at you the way they normally do, you question if they are going to leave you forever. These intense feelings can make you think you love them so much you don’t want to lose them. However it is likely you are just being insecure. You are not confident in how they feel about you. Love is confident. You feel secure in your relationship and understand that they have ups and downs and forget to do things once in a while. You don’t panic at the first sign of a frown or forgotten phone call, because you know that you have a bond that isn’t going to break so easily.
Fear
Fear and love can’t coexist. If your primary anxiety around the idea of breaking up is “fear of being alone,” it isn’t love.

Sign 11: This is the perfect relationship…
Do you catch yourself thinking “You are perfect”…
When you are infatuated with someone, you create unrealistic expectations about how they should act and how the relationship should go. – No fights are allowed! They can’t be rude to you or make you feel bad, even if it is an accident. The relationship needs to always feel amazing, and happiness is the only emotion allowed. If things go anything but perfect (whatever that is) you feel like things have gone very wrong and you don’t know what to do.
When you are in love, you accept that things can go wrong and you work on making them better. The down times are how you learn to interact with each other in a compassionate way. The down times teach you that you are human, and so is your partner, and that you are capable of working together for a happier and healthier relationship.


Sign 12: Drama as Distraction
Are you creating drama after drama in your relationship?
If your relationship feels dramatic instead of loving, then you are may be projecting a lot of intense feelings towards your partner and your relationship, or holding a lot of high expectations over their head or yours. Maybe drama is exciting and quiet effective communication is boring? Drama happens when there is a lack of love in the relationship. Love is tender and sweet, not dramatic. You don’t blow up at someone you love and make them feel horrible about themselves and then cyclically say you are “sorry:. You don’t treat someone you love poorly because you feel they’ve hurt you. You don’t talk about someone you love behind their back negatively and then treat them amazingly in person (mmm yogis?). But, if you are infatuated, and have a ton of intense (and insecure) feelings towards them, then drama is sure to be present in your relationship.
Feelings
To love or not love is a choice. If you only focus on the “feeling” of love then it is so easy to fall in to the trap of “infatuaion” and dependcy. We all like to feel good. We are sensing beings. However to rely on our senses to decide if this is love or not is very precarious.
Feelings are incredibly wonderful parts of the human experience and in true tantic style it is wonderful to experience all of the experiences you can.  Feelings for your partner are some of the juiciest. However love will still call you to decide. To make an active decision and a series of investments and effort and actions. One of the biggest problems with defining love only in terms of a feeling is that when the day arrives that we are “not feeling it” then the relationship is finito!!

Sign 13: Not interested
Have you suddenly lost interest?
A lot of people looking to see if it is infatuation or love will relate to this sign!!
If you’ve lost interest after feeling a bunch of passionate feelings for someone, it can be hard to figure out what is going on. But, maybe just maybe there is really simple explanation. The infatuation you felt for them is gone and has been replaced by a reality and you simply are not interested.
Remember, infatuation is a powerful feeling that is short-lived, whereas love is a deep connection that stands the test of time. If you don’t feel that connection anymore, then maybe it’s time to accept you are not in love and you have also fallen out of infatuation.
Questions to ask yourself if you are wondering if the loss of interest is transient.
Celebration
When it comes to your lover, what do you celebrate?
Conversation
What is the nature of your conversations?. What do you guys talk about?

Sign 14: Exhaustion
Are you suddenly feeling exhausted all of the time?
Maybe the sudden exhaustion is physical. It is very possible you are unwell. However when you have explored all of those options and you are still constantly exhausted another option to explore is:
Being infatuated with someone is draining! You are constantly worried about what they think. You are obsessed over what they are doing and whether or not they are as obsessed as you are. You think about them, dream about them, worry about them, cry over them, and stress out when you think things are not going well.
Love doesn’t drain your energy like that. It actually gives you energy. That’s because you are in a higher energy state, where love, gratitude, and joy are, and they are not draining to your energy, they make you feel great. Negative states, such as jealousy, worry, or fear, take a lot of energy to manifest and go through, and that’s why they drain you.


Sign 15: Disconnected And Alone
This is the pits! The feeling of being “so in love” and yet feeling so alone!!
Infatuation is about wanting to be connected to someone. But, when tough times come up, you quickly become aware of how disconnected you really are from them, and you crave their attention or concern eve more.
The teamwork just doesn’t exist. When love is mutual, you are there for each other. You have a connection. You are a team. You work through issues, both in your relationships and in your individual lives, together. You never feel alone because you know the person who loves you will always be there for you.
Loneliness
Not just for a moment (because that happens to all of us) and also not as the result of depression (look into that to make sure), but rather a pervasive feeling of not actually connecting.
This is different than feelings “fading,” as mentioned above. You can still care deeply for someone but feel lonely every time you’re together. If you don’t actually connect. It is this feeling of connection that is the making of a rich relationship.
Have you ever had that but sudden and undeniable realization that you are was lonely with another person. Sometimes you are never truly together; never really seeing each other eye to eye; instead just rushing around to distract ourselves from it.

Lots of ideas to ponder.

However it’s a bit like eating a luscious cake. Does this cake leave you feeling satisfied or are they just empty calories?

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