Back in the day, people would spend time savouring every stage of love. From spotting someone who evokes desire, to mulling over what would be the best way to approach them, to making the best of every minute spent with them, and finally, to falling head over heels in love and never wanting to stop. Falling in love was synonymous to getting to know each other – emotionally, sexually, and spiritually. It was a discovery.
Now, thanks to an amalgamation of easy access, hook up culture, and easy exit, love seems to have become a quicker process – both in falling in it, and out of it. We don’t have the patience or faith to let feelings develop. Who has the time when the next person is a swipe away, right? There’s always someone better, we tell ourselves. And while, yes, there is, but we often come to this conclusion prematurely. Without first giving someone a fair chance to blossom. At the first hint of their imperfection, we start developing an exit strategy, almost as if we fall in love just to get out of it.
All of this because we don’t give it time.
You see, love is about memory. It’s about attachment. The more experiences we share with someone, the deeper we fall in love with them. The larger our kitty of memories gets, the heavier our attachment becomes. For the sake of convenience, let’s say that by the word ‘love,’ we mean desire, longing, lust… a combination of these. But, love ebbs and flows. Anybody in a long term relationship will tell you that there are days when they don’t want to see each other. That you don’t always like the one you love.
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What then keeps them going?
It is all the time that they have spent with each other, getting emotionally closer, physically fused, spiritually united. It is all the times when they have allowed themselves to be vulnerable, whether that meant sharing their deepest fears or acting goofy. It is all the times that they have allowed the other to be vulnerable, by showing their flaws. It is all the times that they have faltered and forgiven.
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Accumulating all of this is a slow process.
We treat love as something that is either there or not there. It should be instant, overpowering, blinding. But, that’s passion – just one part of love. Passion fades. Love is made up of other ingredients as well – compassion, and intimacy. These take time to develop, and these are the ingredients that make love last.