So love is illogical, random and mysterious, yes? Not any more. We have cracked the code. In the last few years social scientists and therapists who practice emotionally focused therapy (or EFT) have made a breakthrough. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, we have a map to this passion, this fever that has baffled poets and lovers all through human history.
Here is some of what we know:
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1. We are born to need each other. The human brain is wired for close connection with a few irreplaceable others. Accepting your need for this special kind of emotional connection is not a sign of weakness, but maturity and strength.
So don't feel ashamed of this need for a safe, loving bond.
2. In love relationships emotional hurt is a mixture of anger and sadness but most of all, fear. Fear of being abandoned and rejected. This hurt registers in the same part of our brain as physical hurt. It is too hard to push these feelings aside or ignore them. The first step to dealing with injuries in love is to pinpoint the feeling and then to send clear messages about this hurt to the one you love.
So don't just "ignore hurts" with the idea that they will up and go away.
3. The strongest among us are those who can reach for others. Love is the best survival strategy of all. We all long for a safe haven love relationship. Self-sufficiency is just another word for loneliness.
So risk reaching out and fighting for this safe haven. It is the best investment you'll ever make.
4. Relationships can survive partners being very different. Even if you think you are from different planets it's okay. The one thing love can’t survive is constant emotional disconnection. Conflict is often less dangerous for your love than distance.
So after a fight, put it right. Repair it, heal the rift between you.
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5. There is no perfect lover. That is only in the movies. We shut down when we think we have failed as lovers, when we have disappointed. But our lover doesn't want perfect performance. In the end he or she needs our emotional presence.
So it's okay to say "I don’t know what to do or say." Just stay open and present.