Thanks to misplaced notions of romance spread by poets, authors, television and movies, many a potentially great bond between a man and a woman have been destroyed.
Love is widely considered as the magic ingredient that is supposed to make people desire one another for lifetimes.
In reality this is not true. Love is not a goal nor an end in itself but an ingredient of an ingredient in life and living.
It is friendship, not love that is the magic ingredient in a successful or happy marriage or relationship.
Love is a nature not an act. Therefore we can not love but only be loving. We cannot find love, love has to find us. And the only way love will find us is when we are trusting. Unfortunately trusting leaves us open to get hurt. That is why most of us pretend to love as do many others.
We humans are incredibly complex. Simply put we need a balance of familiarity for security and comfort with our need for experimentation, learning, adventure and excitement.
Security and comfort only others can provide us.
Learning and adventure we have to discover and experience it for ourselves.
That is why children never listen to their parents. They need to discover life for themselves in their own unique way.
Men and women bind into marriage and relationships for security and comfort. However whatever secures us also imprisons us. So just a secure life will become tedious, monotonous and boring.
A friend is someone who allows us to be ourselves. Trusting us to do whatever we feel like to discover ourselves. In friendship the other is more important than the self.
In marriage, however the self is more important, hence there are too many bonds and restrictions. Its constricting and stifles the individual. This usually corrodes the relationship, giving rise to bitterness and eventually threatens to destroy it.
Freedom can be dangerous for the spouse. What if he or she finds another, someone better? Our insecurities and fears drive us to police and control the spouse/partner. Usually we are unsuccessful and we lose the spouse/partner, sometime even ourselves.
Friendship unfortunately cannot be given to us by others, we have to discover it and nurture it. Friendship is based on respecting the other. It is a slow growing plant that needs us to provide it nourishment, grant it space and trust. If we can do this, friendship will most likely blossom and so will our marriage/relationship.
Extract from my upcoming book, 'Achieving Success and Realising Happiness'
I acknowledge that I was influenced by the thoughts and work of the futurist and late writer Alvin Toffler in writing this article.
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