Being realistic and rational about love doesn’t diminish the intense emotional experience that it love. It simply enhances it and makes it better. Unless of course, you love a complete jerk, in which case being rational will help you find someone better.
Valentine’s Day is this week. This is a rather stressful holiday for many people. It shouldn’t be like that. Love is supposed to be a wonderfully blissful emotion. Except that it isn’t. It’s intense and it can come with all sorts of other emotions that may or may not make for a blissful happy life.
I am a Humanist so I take a rational and realistic approach to love and I am better for it. I am currently in a wonderful relationship (marriage) with a wonderful man. To get here, I had to be rational about love. I realize this may seem counter intuitive, because most people want to be swept away by love.
Let me explain WHY being rational helped me to find the happiness of love and avoid the heartaches. At one point in my life I fell in love with a very sick man. The relationship was incredibly toxic to me. It was only by being rational (and seeking some professional assistance in the form of a therapist and a restraining order) that I was able to exit that relationship and find another that was healthier for me.
If you want a good relationship which will contribute to your overall wellbeing, you need to find someone who you can not only love, but who will be good for you as well. To do that you need to be rational and realistic about what constitutes a good relationship. Relationships aren’t just about emotions, though those are important. They are also practical partnerships and you need someone who is willing and able to be responsible for their part of the partnership.
Love is the emotion that makes me want to be responsible to my relationships. My reason and rationality is what helps me to actually be responsible. Reason and rationality also helped me choose the right person to commit to so that I had a good partner I can trust. This allows me to enjoy all the blessings of the amazing emotion that is love without the heartache that so often accompanies it.
I don’t see love and reason as incompatible. I see them as combining to enhance what is good in my life. Do you have a story about love and reason? Please share!