By Susan Leigh
Many people define themselves through their relationships. We often look for a partner who supports us, makes us feel good, gives us something extra in our lives. Over time that relationship can perhaps start to be appreciated as not being quite what we first thought it to be. We may start to realize that we were drawn into our relationship for several very different reasons.
It can be too simplistic to say that love is a spiritual, mental or physical connection. It is often a composit of many reasons, some good, some a little more basic or practical. Let’s look at some of the reasons for being loved.
– Family pressure. Some families regard their son or daughter’s choice of partner as being an important family decision. They may feel that it is important to have someone of the same faith, culture, religion. Money and a good position in society may well be regarded as crucial. Finding someone who fulfills those demands can be difficult, so when someone who fits the bill is located there can be pressure to commit to the relationship and become the perfect husband and wife.
– Looks and appearance can be regarded as important prior to falling in love with someone. A person may be so committed to the idea of what their partner should look like that other traits and characteristics are regarded as of secondary concern. Having the perfect look by their side, bolstering their ego and public image can override all other concerns.
– Money and status can make a person more attractive, desirable and easy to fall in love with. The lifestyle that comes with these attributes can be very appealing. Holidays, nice cars, houses and clothes can all entice someone to fall in love with the person who provides these things. The relationship can then become a fantasy lifestyle for all concerned.
– A desire to be a better person. Some people fall for someone who they feel will improve them as a person. They may see someone who has strong beliefs and is committed to a cause or a way of life as being someone to aspire to be like. This can motivate a person to do the same and become infatuated with the whole ethos and way of life.
– A no effort option. Some people want a partner who will present no challenge, who is easy-going and carefree. They may have had a tough life or feel that there are enough challenges in their life already. Being more relaxed about life can be appealing, certainly at first.
Relationships are complex interactions between people. Interestingly the things that attract us at first can become the things that repel us over time. A studious person can ultimately be seen as dull and boring, a high-flyer can be seen as superficial and motivated by money.
When we are loved for ourselves that’s when life feels good. We feel accepted, truly valued and desired no matter what we look like, wear or earn. Being loved for other reasons can put an unbearable pressure on us and the relationship. If we are loved for our looks then the thought of aging can fill us with dread. We may constantly feel under pressure to watch our weight, how we dress, how we present ourselves.
When we have to pretend or live up to something that we are not truly comfortable with then that can put our lives under intense stress. Being false and pretending to be something that we are not is a major effort to maintain. Being loved and equally loving our partner can make all our lives comfortable and enhanced by the experience. We grow in confidence and become a stronger, more positive human being.