When surveyed, the following two were always the top answers to the question – When in a relationship, what are your worst fears?

1) That I will lose him/her, i.e. the relationship won’t work out.
2) That he/she is cheating on me.

Let’s place (1) under an analytical microscope first and see where that leads us.

There is something strange yet exhilarating about the feeling of Love; hence, why the old adage, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” continues to hold true. But, like that of a drug, Love transforms us into something we’ve never quite imagined ourselves to be: Love makes us impulsive, rash, crazy, blind, foolish, clueless, angry, disappointed, happy, warm, emotional, vulnerable, addicted – Love is an emotional rush, an emotional satisfaction. Obviously, we want more of that which makes us feel satiated.

Unlike centuries before, the societal standards and guidelines for courtship and relationships have evolved, and along with that evolution, comes an influx of accumulating expectations of the counterparty. When these expectations are not met to or above standards, the subject develops a sense of disappointment, sadness, and (sometimes) even paranoia – Dissatisfaction. In order to fully explain this phenomenon, let me present the following analogy:

There are two components to drug addiction: physical dependency and psychological dependency.

In physical dependency, the addict becomes accustomed to the effects of the drug and continues to use it in order to feel “normal.” Eventually, because the said addict has become accustomed to the results, he/she must increase the quantity consumed in order to achieve the same amount of satisfaction as before, i.e. overdosing, due to changes in the brain’s mesolimbic dopamine system. If, however, absence of the drug were to occur, the person would feel withdrawn and depressed.
In psychological dependency, the mind becomes emotionally reliant on the effects of the drug and does not feel capable of functioning without it. Again, absence of the drug would result in depression as well as stress.

In the above presented example, the drug symbolizes Love. A regular Friday night movie may seem exciting and fun at the onset of a new relationship but it becomes mundane, and you end up wanting and hoping for something more meaningful.

Love itself, however, cannot be gauged by mere ‘amount’ or ‘quantity’ like that of, say, cocaine. Instead, many individuals in a relationship evaluate the degree of Love based on the magnitude of reciprocated actions. For example:

“Barbara” always made Chicken Noodle Soup and personally delivered it to “Bob” every time he developed a cold, but when “Barbara” became sick, “Bob” merely told “Barbara” to go buy some medicine, leaving “Barbara” feeling neglected and underappreciated.

A person generally prefers to receive the same degree of Love from others as he/she distributes to these individuals.

How does all this tie in with (1)?

An individual commits to a relationship because he/she cares for a certain someone, and that individual enjoys the sensation he/she gets when that caring aspect is mutual. But, because the person becomes so engrossed in this feeling, he/she becomes dependent and is unable to let go for fear that another opportunity to love and to be loved is chimerical and unattainable.

** Due to obligatory engagements, I shall have to postpone typing the remainder of this entry (2) with the assurance to my readers that it will be completed sooner or later **

(Originally Posted 10/8/06)

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