As a Psychologist and fellow love seeker I read endless posts on social media about love, relationships, marriage and heartbreak. Whether itâ€™s an affirming quote about staying true to yourself, or a blog shared on Facebook about dating or loneliness, I canâ€™t help but wonder how much all of this advice is actually helping or hurting those of us reading it.
While thereâ€™s no harm in good advice and seeking guidance from qualified professionals, I do believe that there are some things you could never learn about the many facets of love by reading about it.
I have had a recent onslaught of heartbreak in my practice and these love forlorn clients often bring me printed articles or quote things theyâ€™ve read in the hopes of getting my perspective.
Iâ€™m always reticent in giving feedback in part because I donâ€™t have enough information or research to back up any answer I might have, but also because Iâ€™m much more interested in what theyâ€™re hoping to find amidst the words than affirming what they might learn.
Reading a blog or article about love and relationships can either make you feel validated or awful. Each piece serves as some kind of affirmation as to whether youâ€™re in the right relationship, with a good partner, or better off being single.
Interest can easily turn to obsession if you buy into the fact that there is actually a right way or wrong way to do love.
Your despair around unrequited love, or your eagerness to possess the dream of forever makes you a vulnerable candidate for the bottomless amount of information being offered to all of us hunting for some form of love.
What I will tell you is this.
You will not learn the most important tools you need to find real love, how to love, or how to make love last in a book, from a blog, or online.
Love in the context of relationships is experiential and incredibly personal. No two people are the same, and each individual has their own unique history that makes each love relationship complicated and ambiguous.
Reading about love leaves you vulnerable to misinterpretation, and it puts ideas in your head that are written and designed for general use. There are no hard and fast rules, no right or wrong ways, and no magic answers that will lead you to the long lasting love you deserve.
If someone writes a blog about how finding love is all about loving yourself, but YOUR idea of love is based in how well you can please others you have a conundrum.
If you read that love is unconditional, but YOU were only loved when you didnâ€™t cry then youâ€™ll struggle with this concept.
“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my soul.” – Rumi
So where does one go to find direction, answers and guidance when it comes to love and relationships?
The answer is you go to the source.
Stop trying to figure out what you need to learn, and start understanding yourself. Everything you need to understand love lives inside of you. Even if the information is wrong, bad, distorted or misconstrued, itâ€™s still the core of what you know.
You learned everything you know now about love from your earliest interpersonal relationships with caregivers, siblings and other close family or friends.
You learned about trust, loyalty, commitment, kindness, patience, and empathy. You also learned about abandonment, disappointment, and loss.
Like the pages inside a book, your love knowledge is bound up in your being, and has become part of your very essence.
Once you become more intimate with your own capacity for love, how you love, how you feel loved, and what you define as love, you can begin to create your own formula.
This concoction that you create will be your own unique love potion that can be tweaked, discarded or supplemented with whatever you need to make it healthy and complete.
If youâ€™re struggling to find love or in your relationship itâ€™s not because you donâ€™t know enough, itâ€™s because you donâ€™t know yourself.
Dr. Andra Brosh January 23rd, 2015
Posted In: Andra Brosh