To become authentic love, the early stages of romance require a fundamental condition beyond that strong sexual attraction: choice. To transform ‘erotic love’ or lust into a mature, authentic love, we’re required to choose to love from the centre of our being (be it the essence, spiritual self or soul, whatever resonates most with you). We must decide to see, sense, feel and connect with the other person through their own essence in a conscious and mindful movement. In that space, as Eric Fromm explains, we are all the same. And from this principle therefore, it doesn’t matter who we love because love should be a conscious commitment, an honest choice and a mindful action. I’d also add that authentic love begins as a desire and perseveres because of choice.
There was a time when married couples would stay together for life. Despite a lack of happiness in the relationship, often rooted in unhealthy co-dependency between two partners, marriage wasn’t easily dissolved. People would choose to stay ‘glued’ together in the name of a commitment they made many years before. Often because it was financially more comfortable. Other times because they lacked the courage to take a leap of faith and enter the unknown. And more times than not, because they were used to conforming to the expectations of a hypocritical society.
Through my own studies and life experience over the years, I came to realise that we can be compulsive and addicted to any kind of relationship, even one with a friend or colleague. The most detrimental reality is that often we don’t or can’t recognise it and can live a life going through toxic relationship cycles until we die.