There's more to relationships than emotions -- the very same goes for love. Yet we understand how much a person means to us through our emotions by the way he or she makes us feel.
This worries me a bit as emotions exist in one place and one place only: you.
Of course, one could just as easily argue that all that should matter to us is that which exists in our head (a fair point).
We are a world living inside a world -- a system within a system. And that which connects those two worlds are our thoughts and emotions.
Our emotions make us feel alive because they are tethered to the world outside us. Without them, nothing would seem real because nothing would feel real.
And what are we if not animals struggling with the concept of reality, the concept of existence, of life, of purpose?
We look toward emotions for guidance, reassurance. While this is likely a mistake, an illusion leading to delusion, it is part of our nature. It's evolutionary instinct.
But emotions do not exist in the physical plane. They do not exist outside of us -- outside of conscious beings. For this reason, if love is nothing but an emotion or web of emotions, then love does not actually exist.
I refuse to believe this to be true. I have experienced connections firsthand that, although rapidly fading into distant memory, at the time, made me understand feelings themselves aren't what make love.
Emotions are not love. Emotions, the way we feel, are our reactions to love.
We experience love, and our emotions are our interpretation. This is why love is never the same for two people, ever changing over time as the relationship continues.
It's not that the love itself changes, but the way we interpret it changes.
The love that exists between two individuals, this connection, may very well never cease to exist, however, this does not mean the way we interpret that love doesn't darken, doesn't change into something contrary to what we once believed love to be -- in contradiction to our refined definition of what love now means to us.
Emotions are crucial to a loving relationship because they are what remind us the love we have between us is still alive.
There are certain standard emotions we all feel when we fall in love; they're universal. While they may only be a part of the definition, the tip of the iceberg, they are necessary to keep our delusion alive. And what a wonderful delusion it is.
1. Intense Desire
It won't always be intense, but that's because it couldn't possibly be. The level of desire you feel for your partner will vary.
There will be days when you won't be able to keep your hands off each other just as there will be days when you don't feel the need to devour him or her.
The problem most couples face is actually not a problem at all. It's more than normal for your desire for each other to fluctuate over time -- just as all your other emotions are never constants, neither is desire.
Most couples fall into a panic when their loins aren't burning for each other, but what they fail to understand is it's possible to return to that state, indefinitely.
The one thing you can't do, however, is fake it. If you've never felt intense desire for the man or woman in your life, then don't expect another few years to change that.
This one is a bit tricky. You don't want to feel jealous too often -- because that's most definitely not a good sign -- but you also need to feel jealous from time to time.
Jealousy is only bad if we act on it poorly. The feeling itself is harmless. More than that, it can be incredibly useful for keeping things exciting.
Jealousy is a very exciting emotion. It forces upon us a reminder of how much we want to keep someone for ourselves.
I understand this sort of wanting for yourself isn't for everyone, and there are some who have a more open approach to love.
One way isn't better than the other -- simply different. Personally, I enjoy feeling jealous. I enjoy wanting.
As long as you use that jealousy as positive motivation, then your relationship will only benefit from it.
If there is no jealousy in your relationship, then you may want to ask yourself why.
If you've never longed for someone, missed this person when he or she wasn't around to the point it became unpleasant, then I don't think you were ever in love.
To love someone is to find someone you understand you are connected to -- a connection which you always felt existed but never understood until now.
Once you meet this person, you're going to want to shorten the distance between the two of you and keep it shortened. When distance is a necessity, you're going to long for his or her presence.
This won't be constant, but it is necessary. Otherwise, the relationship will fail, the marriage will end.
4. Utter Bliss
You either are in love or you aren't in love. The turning point in which you go from the latter to the former is a point of utter bliss.
It's that moment when you realize this person, who, not too long ago, was a stranger, now means everything to you.
You could lose your job, break your leg, screw something up royally, and as long as this person, this beautiful person, remains a part of your life, you could not care any less.
This is the moment we realize we are in love, and if this sounds strange to you, then I'm sorry, but you haven't found it yet.
They say love gives us rose-colored glasses, that it tints our perception of the world around us and makes us turn a blind eye to all the evil that lurks. I don't believe that to be correct.
Finding love doesn't blind you; it makes you hopeful.
It makes you hopeful of the possibility that things are going to turn out all right. It gives you the hope that the world may not be as horrible as it so often seems.
Love gives you hope for a life filled with more happiness and less sadness -- that maybe, whatever you're doing, you're doing right.
Love makes us feel less like failures and more like ever-wandering wanderers.
We know very little about life and the world around us, but we lose the fear of thinking we're completely lost. How could we be when we managed to find such an amazing individual?
Love makes us feel found. It makes us feel… real.