There are many factors that go into creating a love affair. It definitely helps if two people have some things in common regarding how to spend time. It also helps if they have common values about religion or spirituality and about politics, the environment, abortion and personal growth. It is helpful if they both eat unhealthy food or both eat organic food. It makes things easier if they are both stylish or both messy, if they are both on time or both are late. Physical attraction is also important. It’s great if they have common values about money and spending.
However, the couple can get all of these things, and they still have no love affair if one of the items is missing. Without this essential ingredient, not all other cool qualities would be enough to make the relationship work.
1| This key element is about intention.
Every moment, each of us is dedicated to only one of two different intentions: control or learning. When we intend to dominate, our deepest motivation is to be in love and avoid pain and a sense of security. When we intend to learn, our deepest motivation is to learn to love ourselves and others.
2| The drive to love rather than be loving can create chaos within a relationship.
Let’s take a look at a typical relationship problem and see what happens with different intentions. Jason and Samantha feel emotionally distant from each other, and have not had love in a month. The problem started when Samantha stated that she wanted to take an expensive vacation and Jason intercepted. Samantha got angry, Jason surrendered, and they have been away since.
Samantha’s intention was to get what she wanted. It’s the equivalent of an expensive vacation with love – if Jason does it for her, then he proves his love for her. She used her anger as a way to control what she wanted. She wants to control Jason’s feeling.
Jason’s intention is to avoid pain. He gave up himself to control Samantha not angry with him. He hopes that Samantha will give him whatever she wants, so you will see a good and loving husband.
However, because Jason and Samantha were trying to control each other rather than being loved for themselves and for each other, their interaction created an emotional distance.
3| What would this look like if they intended to learn?
If Samantha’s intention was to learn, she wouldn’t be angry. Instead, she would have liked to understand Jason’s objections. If Jason’s intention was to learn, he would not have abandoned himself. Instead, he wanted to understand why this special holiday was so important to Samantha. Samantha and Jason were taking care of themselves and each other, rather than wanting to love or avoid pain. In their mutual exploration of why each of them felt the way they felt, they had learned what they needed to learn – about themselves and each other – to reach a win-win solution. Instead of Samantha ostensibly winning and Jason losing, they would have come up with something they could live with. With some exploring his financial concerns, Jason may have decided that the vacation Samantha wanted would be good. Understanding Jason’s financial concerns, Samantha may have decided a less expensive holiday. Either way, they would both be satisfied with the result.
No matter what Jason and Samantha have in common or are attracted to each other, their love will diminish when their goal is to control rather than learn. It’s amazing how love quickly disappears when one or both partners have the intention to control. It is equally amazing how quickly he returns when the two partners have the intention to learn.