You’ve met your ‘soul mate’ and it’s visceral.
You think this feeling of “love” is so real and pure that nothing can match it, and even if you are partly right, the story of human attraction is much more complex.
According to research by Jung, Freud, and other psychologists, you choose a partner based on the composite picture of the people who cared for you as a child. The people you counted on for everything. You were totally dependent on them, and in their human frailty and ignorance, they made mistakes in uplifting you. Perhaps they were distant, controlling, or even cruel.
In other cases, they may have been loving, kind, patient and supportive. You may also have experienced a combination of these traits for up to about three to five years. This is when your concept of the world and of love was formed.
The visceral pull that you feel for another person when you are an adult is simply a subconscious desire to heal the wounds inflicted on you as a child. We consciously want euphoria and all the things that come with idealized romantic love.
Subconsciously, however, there are deeper needs, and these play out through what has been called an “imago match”. The imago is the subconscious mind that behaves like the child that was present during its training.
The subconscious mind acts on its desires and emotions, and a little more. He ignores all reason. He wants to reject social norms, politeness, compassion and other important developments in the human psyche. It acts like a computer storing all of your memories, including things that happened to you when you were very little, they may not register in your conscious memory. Certain beliefs that you have about yourself that don’t seem to make sense are often formed in the subconscious from these very old memories.
The first stage of love: the chemistry experiment
Norepinephrine, dopamine, phenylethylamine, and other neurochemicals turn our bodies into a literal chemical experiment, as we are inundated with substances that make our palms sweat, butterflies appear in our stomachs, and our hearts race. What we feel in the first stage of love is necessary for us to ask for someone who can help us hound the deepest wounds we bear, and our subconscious minds know exactly who it is.
When love begins to feel mundane and boring, we usually enter the second phase of romantic love, which becomes the “struggle”. It is important to understand that this stage is not meant to last. If you are with someone who puts you down, ignores you, hides affection from you, doesn’t really love you, then it’s time to move on.
They may have been used to hurt you the same way you have been hurt before so that you may realize the need for healing.
The second stage of love: the struggle for power
In the second phase of love, the signs are almost as universal as in the first. Instead of feeling excited and euphoric, you may end up feeling unwanted and unloved as you realize that your partner isn’t meeting all of your emotional needs. Ultimately, you’ll learn how to meet those needs in a more compassionate way, but at this point it often looks like this:
- He or she does not feel loved so he / she starts to withdraw
- The opposite partner feels abandoned and takes action
- Someone cries a lot, someone screams a lot
- Apologies and blame are part of everyday life
- We tend to see only the negatives and forget about all the positives
- Frustration and despair take the place of elation and bliss
- There is a lack of real connection
- There can be explosive fights and reconciliation
It is important to understand that this step will end. Many partners fail to take this step because they do not understand its meaning and necessity. It is here that our Higher Selves will do one of two things: end the relationship and break up, or break up a relationship.
The third step: true love
We can choose to bring the relationship to a conscious level. Conscious love is not based on crazy chemistry or constant combat. There is no emotional abandonment, nor the constant pressure to try to plot, bribe, and convince someone else to give us what we need to feel loved.
Instead, we learn to grow taller. We find better ways to express our needs, hearts, and feelings of abandonment, rejection, or fear.
Both parties start to see how they create behaviors and results through their own actions in the relationship. They become more open to giving love to their partner in the way they need to receive it, instead of using force, manipulation, or withdrawal. They really want to support the other person instead of just meeting their own needs, and in the process, a big change happens.
We begin to let go of the defenses that we developed as a survival technique when we were injured children, and begin to open up to true intimacy, physically, emotionally, intimately, and spiritually.