“Madly In Love” Is It An Illusion Or Reality?

The state "in love" gives us the illusion that we have an intimate relationship. We feel that we belong to each other and can conquer all problems.

Love, the most important and most confusing thing one can come across in his/her entire life. Psychologist have concluded that the need to feel loved is a primary human emotional need.

But we must also agree, that it’s the most confusing word.

  • We love people: mother, father, spouse, friends.
  • We love animals: dogs, cats, bunnies.
  • We love nature: flowers, trees, weather.
  • We also love objects: Cars, houses, food.
  • We love activities as well: swimming, reading, rafting.

Parents indulge all the child’s wishes, calling it love. A man is involved in an adulterous relationship and he calls it love.

So what is is we say when we say love?

The emotional need for love simply starts at childhood, follows us into adulthood and into marriage. We needed love before we “fell in love” and we will need it as long as we live.

A man said to me recently, “What good is the house, the cars, or any of the rest of it if your wife doesn’t love you?” Do you understand what he was really saying? “More than anything, I want to be loved by my wife.”

When a wife says, “He ignores me all day long and then wants to jump in bed with me. I hate it.” She is not a wife who hates sex, she is desperately pleading for emotional love.

This pattern slowly becomes the inner ache and becomes unbearable. And people slowly realize that the behaviour pattern or the misbehaviour of their spouse is destroying the marriage. The dreams of “living happily ever after” get dashed against the hard wall of reality.

The stories continue like this

  • Our love is gone, our relationship is dead.
  • We used to feel close but not now.
  • We no longer enjoy being with each other.
  • We don’t meet each other’s needs

In the context of marriage, if we do not feel loved, our differences are magnified. We come to view each other as a threat of our happiness. We fight for self-worth and significance, and marriage becomes a battlefield rather than a heaven.

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Welcome to the real world of marriage, where hairs are always on the sink and little white spots cover the mirror. Where arguments centre on which channel to tune in and who will switch off the lights. It is a world where shoes do not walk to the closet, where socks do not like laundry. In this world, a look can hurt and a word can crush. Intimate lovers can become enemies and marriage a battlefield.

Why does this happen? Why do we become disillusioned?

Because people who are “in love” lose interest in other pursuits outside of the relationship.

The state “in love” gives us the illusion that we have an intimate relationship. We feel that we belong to each other and can conquer all problems. That thinking is always fanciful. Not that we are insincere in what we think or feel, but we are unrealistic.

By nature, we are egocentric. Our world revolves around us. None of us is totally altruistic. The moment we return to the world of reality, we express ourselves. He will express his desires, but his desires will be different from hers. The illusion of intimacy evaporates, and the individual desires, emotions, thoughts, behaviour patterns take the centre stage. They fall out of love. The waves of reality begin to separate them.

At that point, either they withdraw, separate or set off in search of new “in love” experience or begin the hard work of learning to love each other without the euphoria and obsession. They understand that love is an attitude. They understand that the most basic need is not to “fall in love” but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct.

Whether or not we agree with this conclusion, those of us who have fallen in love and out of love will likely agree that experience is true.

Image source: YouTube / a still from DDLJ

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About the Author

Anushree Dash

Gender Equality Advocate, TEDx Speaker, Social Reformer, Sociopreneur, Human Rights Activist, Pad woman of Odisha , Writer, Motivational Speaker, Art connoisseur... An impenitent, non-conformist, adventurous, boho soul and an admirer of life. Loves my Indian read more...

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