Love and Relationships

[Two Pronged] What if I’m ‘blindly’ in love?

Margarita Holmes
[Two Pronged] What if I’m ‘blindly’ in love?
'[I]t would appear that you are extremely fortunate. The world is full of people craving love, and you have found it without lifting a finger.'

Rappler’s Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr Margarita Holmes.

Jeremy has a master’s degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives

Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.

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Dear Dr. Holmes and Mr. Baer,

What can I do if the love I’m experiencing is the “blindly” type, which appears even if I’m not looking for it, and especially if I keep on caring for that person even without trying? Thank you po.

Dan

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Dear Dan,

I am assuming that your “blindly” love is a love which has caught you unaware and that it is growing without any great effort on your part.

Perhaps the place to start is the suitability of the parties. If both of you are single and available i.e. not engaged to someone else or a priest/nun, for example, that is fine. Otherwise, this is probably a time to pass by on the other side of the road.

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If you are both of a similar age, that is also fine. This is not to say that a May/December romance is destined to fail, but just to remind you that after the first bloom has worn off, there may be strains that a more age-balanced relationship would not encounter.

The same goes for significant differences in religion, education, socio-economic status, attitudes to children and family, and other similar areas of potential discord. Differences in these areas may cause havoc or may simply be road bumps that can be successfully negotiated given sufficient common sense and a positive spirit of compromise.

Assuming no impediments of the types above, it would appear that you are extremely fortunate. The world is full of people craving love, and you have found it without lifting a finger. Indeed, you keep on caring for your loved one effortlessly, “without trying.”

You do not say whether your love is reciprocated. If it is, that is wonderful and I wish you every happiness. If it isn’t, then there is a danger that it will become a millstone around your neck, taking up excessive amounts of emotional bandwidth, and possibly preventing you from getting on with your life in a productive way. If that is the case, perhaps you need to sever all ties with this person. It is a radical solution but can yield very positive results.

All the best,
JAF Baer

Dear Dan:

Thank you very much for your letter. This is the sort of problem we do not see often, because, as Mr. Baer said above, “The world is full of people craving love and you have found it without lifting a finger. Indeed, you keep on caring for your loved one effortlessly, ‘without trying.’”

However, Mr. Baer suggests that “if the love is unrequited…perhaps you need to sever all ties with this person,” and that I do not agree with at all! 

But first, a caveat: I presume that you are not a love addict who must constanty experience a  “blindly” type of love, replacing love object A with love object B, as soon as A no longer suits your needs.   

True, DSM5 does not consider “love addiction” a mental disorder like depression or PTSD, but there are enough studies to support its existence

Thus, if by some stroke of good fortune, you not only love someone but discover that your love for him/her/them grows as time goes by, even without actively trying to, this is a blessing, a gift to be received with open arms.  

Why?   

Because scientific studies have shown that being in love causes our body to release feel-good hormones and neuro-chemicals that trigger specific, positive reactions. Loving someone/people makes our lives more meaningful. 

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In other words, it isn’t just being loved that makes us happy, but also being able to do the loving and the caring. It is great to be the object of another’s love – especially when there are presents involved (JOKE!) – but it is even more important to have at least one other person that you love.

In fact, Dr. Raj Raghunathan, a professor affiliated with the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, goes so far as to say, “(Many of us seem unaware that) the desire to love and care for others is hardwired and deep-seated because the fulfillment of this desire enhances our happiness levels. Expressing love or compassion for others benefits not just the recipient of affection, but also the person who delivers it…. In our pursuit of the need to be loved, however, most of us fail to recognize that we have a parallel need: the need to love and care for others.”

I hope our answers have shed even a teeny tiny bit of light on this issue, Dan? If not (or even more, if so) please write us again if you think we can help you in any way?

All the best
MG Holmes

– Rappler.com