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  #21  
Old 02-18-2010, 11:00 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
But somewhere, down deep, I don't want to do that. I just want to be able to accept it - as the gift it is ?
And it's only when I go to return that gift and maybe our understanding is not the same that problems arise ?
I think that's it exactly.

Love is so personal and dynamic. Love is never the same twice. Even at two different times of the same day with the same person, I feel love differently.

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Originally Posted by redsirenn View Post
Furthermore, I think people have alot more control over thier emotions than they realize. I think there are times that you can choose to be happy, sad, angry, resentful, etc. Then there are times you cannot (medical depression) or times when it is certainly harder (death of a loved one).

Sometimes I choose to be sad, even if I do not want to be... Because I feel there are times when it is warranted and actually healthy to live in that emotion for a while. Other times i say "fuck off" to it.

This is all my opinion, of course... and how I try to live my life.
It took me a very long time to get to this place, but I completely agree. People who "choose not to choose" spend a lot of time having feelings that they don't want to have, unempowering themselves, and allowing others to "make" them feel a certain way.

I try really hard to avoid the term "you made me feel ___" because whatever someone else's behaviour, it was ME who "made me" feel however I felt about it.

It's the most empowering thing to realize that you control your destiny by controlling how you react and feel about the situations life throws at you. If you give that power away, you do yourself a great disservice.
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  #22  
Old 02-19-2010, 09:33 AM
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This is really interesting. I think I could certainly choose to love someone less or more, but I'm not sure I could turn it off completely. I suspect that like for my ex I would always have fondness waiting to be reawakened if that makes sense.
I can choose every day though whether to see my husband in a positive or negative light. I can tell myself internal stories about his motivations that tear holes in my adoration of him, or I can watch him, assume he is doing the best that he can always and feel myself full of admiration and longing for him. I think we have a choice and I think people choose sometimes not to make the effort to keep loving, because its not always easy over the longterm even if you are totally compatible.

I watch my Mum recently in her second marriage, believing that love will and should just happen and she shouldn't have to make an effort. Kind of like, love me the way I want you to, and until you do that I have nothing to give to you. I watched my parents marriage struggle along these lines, neither of them willing to put any effort in until all their needs were met by the other person. I think sometimes we have to just decide to love someone through times that they may not be capable of loving back the way we would like, but then I'm married to a man who decides to love me in this way all the time too. I suspect my ideas may fall apart if he were different.
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  #23  
Old 02-19-2010, 02:40 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Maybe an analogy....

I'm very intrigued by the discussion supporting (basically) 'love is a choice'.
I'm always crying that out about 'happiness'. I truly believe happiness is a choice - but that's off topic.

But maybe I can construct some small analogy here that might allows us to dig deeper.
Something I suspect all (or most) of us have either witnessed or experienced personally.

Let's say that we have some person in our life that may have been a very close friend for some time. Something we have shared a lot of our life with. In the beginning there was never any consideration of our friendship being considered 'love' (by the way we both understood the emotion). Just for the sake of clarity of the analogy - let's say that there is no real sexual attraction between us because that is something that many people need to associate love with.

Now...........all of a sudden, a day comes, driven by who knows what life event, that we realize this person means much more to us than just a good friend. We come to the realization that we are very emotionally connected to events in their life that bring them happiness or sadness.
We have the sudden realization that we would happily sacrifice much from our own life and happiness, security etc for THEIR benefit ! We might go so far as to realize we might lay our lives down for them if need be.

Isn't this a closer definition - or understanding - of what love is ?

And I think it makes the 'choice' argument very difficult - although not impossible. It appends a 'but' to all statements of love.

"I love you BUT............." ( I have the option of choosing NOT to)

Curious...........

GS
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  #24  
Old 02-19-2010, 02:46 PM
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I guess in my head I have two meanings of love and how to define each of them I don't know. I guess something similar to "to show love" and "to feel love".
I can certainly choose to show love (and this has the added benefit of increasing the feelings of love I have for that person). I don't think you can turn off the feeling of love, although it can be eroded over time of course.
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  #25  
Old 02-19-2010, 02:54 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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I guess in my head I have two meanings of love and how to define each of them I don't know. I guess something similar to "to show love" and "to feel love".
I can certainly choose to show love (and this has the added benefit of increasing the feelings of love I have for that person). I don't think you can turn off the feeling of love, although it can be eroded over time of course.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!

Yes ! I'm glad you brought that up because I absolutely agree that we can (and should whenever possible) CHOOSE to ACT in a loving manner.
As if we actually had that 'feeling' you speak of - even if we maybe don't (yet?).

And that part of 'choice' I suspect we can ALL agree on (?) and basically put to bed for purposes of discussion.

Which leaves us stuck with understand the 'feeling' part.........

Glad you brought that out !

GS
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  #26  
Old 02-20-2010, 02:39 AM
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Looking at what love means to us is the topic of an upcoming Poly meeting. Should be interesting to say the least in a room of 20-30 people!
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  #27  
Old 02-20-2010, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Looking at what love means to us is the topic of an upcoming Poly meeting. Should be interesting to say the least in a room of 20-30 people!
Like I said in this post, when you have a bunch of poly people together and ask them to define what love is to them, you're certain to get a bunch of different answers (as would happen with a bunch of monogamous people put together).
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  #28  
Old 02-20-2010, 05:55 AM
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I love the diversity on this topic. Even in my private conversations with Mono we have differing views...

Personally I love a lot and get hurt in my expression of it at times. I invest far too much at times and trust far too much. I make myself vulnerable with my openess and I find that others use me for that and instead appreciate that I am making myself vulnerable, tramp on my spirit.

Sure I dish out some of that too... we all do I think.

My take on it is that when I love someone and trust them in their love for me I make myself vulnerable... I'm not talking "I feel sad, cuddle me and love me for it" I am talking, "I am embarassed" or "I am mean," or "I hate myself because" or "I am confused, anxious, disappointed... all at the same time and am acting a bit crazy" Complete vulnerability where the other disappears and it is only me that exsists, yet they are still loving me and supporting me even if I am being selfish. That doesn't come easily and has to be a natural thing for those who love me... there is no faking it. It just doesn't work out. All is revealed when all of a sudden they are not there because they were pretending all the time that they were able to love me regardless...

Before you think I am some needy freak, let me just say that I have been there plenty of times when loves of mine are in need and need my unjudging love. It has been a test for me to see if that love I have is real or just something lessor or different.

I think that relationships start with a little love. More of a possibility of love. The more closeness is reached the bigger the challenges as lives merge with on another... the test is seeing how these things are overcome and how life comes back to balance again... when that balance reappears there is more love there I think.

It's got to the point for me that I find it hard to except a shallow depth of love. I understand that some people enjoy shallow waters and that works best for them, but it never has for me and I realize that I do better in deep water... I am more confident and feel more at home. I expect this too much when I meet new people... I think everyone is like me... I realize that isn't true as of late and have now decided to find out how people love before getting involved at any level with them. I'm hoping it helps my heart not ache as much.
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  #29  
Old 02-20-2010, 03:16 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I think that relationships start with a little love. More of a possibility of love. The more closeness is reached the bigger the challenges as lives merge with on another...
and

It's got to the point for me that I find it hard to except a shallow depth of love. I understand that some people enjoy shallow waters and that works best for them, but it never has for me and I realize that I do better in deep water...
This is nice RP,

I think it may lead us in a direction where we can discover more of the mystery.

I have experienced that 'love' is a very dynamic thing on one hand. Alive. It waxes & wanes with seasons and events in our lives. It changes not only in depth but in texture. Maybe that ties somehow to the depth you speak of. I think in many cases the net effect is growth over time. But it can swing the other way too in some cases. As we come to truly 'know' someone better - on a deeper level - it changes. This process takes time. I'm not aware of any shortcuts short of shared life events.

But then.........

There's the other 'piece' !
There's those times when something just reaches out and grabs you. Even though you may not have had the time to know the person to any depth, you FEEL something. You sense it through some mechanism that is not well defined yet - by science at least. An experienced person of course will question themself on whether it's only a 'physical' thing - attraction. If you're experienced AND honest - this test is rather quickly resolved. And if it's discovered that whatever 'IT' is, is something beyond a physical desire, you're left with the big 'what is this' !

And this is the question that I think many people would like an answer to.
Or maybe better to call it an 'understanding' than an answer.
And maybe it will be that we'll never truly understand - but only have to be open and accept it.

I don't know.

But I know it's something I have experienced several times in my own life. And although I have my own 'theories', I'm most interested in listening to others experiences & theories. Some source of a shared wisdom.

Thanks,

GS
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  #30  
Old 02-20-2010, 04:29 PM
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I too do better with a real depth of love. I have that with my husband, I wouldn't ever want it to be any different. This has actually been an issue for me when thinking things through about my ex, I don't think he would desire the kind of connection that I most cherish with people. I suspect when he talks about love and feelings for someone that he just doesn't mean the same things I do, and the things that I am used to from my husband. This is all leading me to believe we may be far better off staying as friends, letting that relationship go to whatever depth it naturally will and seeing what comes of that.

I have the problem even in friendships and family though, I struggle to value surface connection and I always want to share more of myself and to learn more about them than most people want to experience. I'm grateful that I have my husband to meet that need for acceptance and intimacy and one or two really special friends because I often find the rest of the world hard to figure out.
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