Emotional attraction is powerful.
It often comes with a drug-like feeling of euphoria that has a dangerous blinding effect — on otherwise intelligent people.
Don’t overdose on emotional love because it can lead to a delusional state of stupidity.
Most relationships begin with higher doses of emotional love, but emotions typically don’t last long, and they always change.
Women are particularly vulnerable to this when they allow themselves to be in love with the idea of being in love. They’ve dreamed of a wedding and marriage; a husband and a family. Now they’ve found a man to fulfill their dreams!
I am quick to remind singles that it’s one thing to be in love and an entirely different thing to love someone for life. Emotions change quickly in the routines and challenges of life together.
The danger with emotional love is that it can lead very smart people into a delusional euphoric state of stupidity.
Have you ever witnessed this? It’s tough to watch a friend become irrationally obsessed with another person — especially when you see red flags about the relationship but they don’t.
The delusional part is often the irrational thinking about how well you know another person when you’ve only actually known him for a short time. Or, when you think that another person is perfect and you can’t see any flaws in her. It’s delusional when you let yourself think that you could never be happy without that person and you think you have to be together all the time to be happy.
This kind of euphoric state (often called the “in love” experience) tends to come with a number of superficial conclusions based on limited exposure. People in this “in love experience” typically exaggerate similarities and good qualities while overlooking differences and quirks.
Then when caring friends or family express concerns, the delusional lover doesn’t tend to hear them or says, “You just don’t know him as well as I do.”
Warning: The euphoria of love can move from delusional to dangerous when people are unwilling to see red flags.
Advice: Let your head lead your heart.
Let your head lead your heart when it comes to relationships. Use your brain! Don’t give your heart to anyone until your head has processed the necessary data to tell you that you are making a wise decision. If you give your heart to a bad relationship and I try to talk your head out of it, no matter how much I might make sense, I will probably not be very successful.
Emotional love is a natural part of human attraction, but don’t allow it to lead to a delusional euphoric state of stupidity. No matter how good it feels, always be aware that it can produce a blinding effect that hinders rational thinking and wise decision-making. It can also lead to profound disappointments and perhaps even contribute to divorce.
Although people who are “in love” tend to think that the feelings will never change, studies show that the euphoria diminishes early in marriage. This often comes as a surprise or even a shock to the delusional lover. When feelings fade and differences emerge, conflicts become a reality. Delusional lovers often don’t have a plan for resolving conflicts because they don’t think they’ll have any. This is why they tend to be unrealistically traumatized by conflicts.
When this reality hits, it can make people wonder what they were thinking or why their partner changed. “I didn’t see this side to him or her when we were dating.” they tell me. I gently remind them that sides to people don’t appear out of no where. Character traits are typically cut in deep channels with extended histories. So either he was concealing or you weren’t looking — probably both!
Remember that dating often tends to be a time when people conceal information that marriage will inevitably reveal. This is why we must guard our hearts and use our brains.
Someone once recommended that we should focus on becoming the person that the person we’re looking for is looking for. Start first by becoming the person that your future spouse needs. This will more likely lead you to attract and be attracted to the right kind of person.
We also need a more mature understanding of love. Emotional love tends to be more selfish, more about how I like to feel. Those who are obsessed with emotional love reveal their immaturity.
Immature people are not going to enjoy deep companionship in a functionally healthy marriage. Perhaps the best advice an emotionally obsessed person can hear is that it’s time to grow up and stop making life about your feelings.
The emotional dimension of love (no matter how natural) is not enough to sustain a meaningful and lasting relationship. It’s far too superficial. Deeply satisfying relationships are built on the dimension of love I call “behaving in love.”
This dimension does not depend on feelings and chemistry. It’s based on a choice to value my mate and seek his or her best. It’s a daily decision to respond to my mate in a loving manner — regardless of feelings. While I can’t always make myself feel a certain way, I can always choose to act in a loving way.
Most marriages start with higher doses of emotional love and, in most relationships, the feelings diminish with time. When this happens, the key to love is not pursuit of feelings — but a choice to act in love even when we don’t feel love. And what I’ve learned is that the feelings often follow the actions.
I am not advocating dishonesty about feelings but a priority on and enjoyment of a more mature approach to love. Marriage is not about feeling love but an agreement to love.