- Love should involve emotion and reason; but regrettably, your rational faculties can be swept away by powerful amorous feelings.
- By too readily trusting your beloved, should the relationship end badly, placing so much confidence in them can come back to haunt you.
- Distracted by the thrilling “high” of courtship, women may give up or postpone their pre-romantic plans, which they may later regret.
- If you marry your beloved, you’ll soon realize they were never as “special” as—in your dreamy-eyed “love-sightedness”—you believed they were.
Romantic love is typically the most exciting experience you’ll ever have. What could be more thrilling, more gratifying, or (in endorphin production) more chemically rewarding? Still, many dangers link to this love. It frequently culminates in disappointment, hurt, regret, or—at its worst—despair. Here are 10 examples of its negative potential:
1. By altering your consciousness, love can lead you to feel, and act, off-balance. The descriptive phrases “falling in love” or “head over heels in love” testify to how easily this euphoric state can “trip you up.” It can make you behave “lopsidedly” to situations that realistically hardly warrant such a reaction.
The expression, “love is blind,” additionally alludes to not being able to see straight, indicating a myopic vision prompting you to ignore details that could be crucial.
2. When powerful feelings about your beloved not only dim your clear-sightedness but also what your friends and relatives may be telling you, the chances of making a beguiled mistake increase further. Others may be much more aware of critical warning signs that, amorously (or stubbornly) viewing your partner through a heavily biased, favorable filter, cause you to discount or dismiss their concerns.
3. There’s a strangely involuntary, uncontrollable aspect to romantic love. With a diminished ability to think logically about what’s happening to you, you may not be able to grasp the irrational dynamics of your inordinate passion. And regrettably, this emotionally or lustfully charged attraction might well oppose your (no-longer-accessible) better judgment and not at all reflect your basic values.
4. It could be that when you speak to, or even think about, the person you’re in love with, you feel tense, uneasy, and nervous—even when there’s no one on earth you’d rather be with. And, however ironic, it’s well known that “highs” can produce as much stress as “lows.”
5. Your ability to think lucidly is compromised when you’re full of romantic feelings. Ideally, love should involve emotion and reason, the two coming together in a manner that makes rational sense. But your rational faculties can be swept away when amorous feelings take you over.
6. It can threaten, or undermine, your integrity. If your self-acceptance is limited, inflicted with notions (real or not) of not being good enough, you’ll hide from your partner whatever qualities you associate with personal weakness or inadequacy. Unwilling to risk criticism or rejection, you’ll edit your behavior accordingly, only letting yourself be known to the degree it feels relationally safe.
But risk-reducing stratagems can’t be maintained indefinitely. If the relationship becomes longer-term, your actual (vs. imagined) deficits will become increasingly evident, jeopardizing the relationship.
7. Trusting someone is never without danger. In romantic love, when you’re over-confident about your partner’s unconditional acceptance, you’ll likely bare your soul to them, taking risks you probably wouldn’t take with anybody else. By all-too-readily extending such trust, should the relationship end badly your prematurely placing so much confidence in them can come back to haunt you.
8. Closely related to the above is that if the relationship is cut short, you’ll likely become more cynical. And although this increased skepticism may protect you from dashing headlong into another misguided relationship, researchers have connected a suspicious attitude to a shorter lifespan, and less happiness generally. Furthermore, because trusting others represents a fundamental human need, what you presumably learned from your intensely painful disillusionment can make it much harder to trust a prospective mate going forward.
9. In a romantic relationship, it’s normal to become preoccupied with your love object. Your hopes, dreams, and fears can be so absorbing that you may not be able to adequately attend to other responsibilities and commitments—like your studies, vocation, and other important relationships and pursuits. But disregarding what remains key to your personal and professional welfare is perilous, it can lead you to fail a course, get fired from your job, and so on.
It cannot be emphasized enough that romantic interests ought to be balanced by (non-narcissistic) self-interests. Nonetheless, that can be a real challenge if you’re not sufficiently secure about being the other’s equal.
10. As pertains specifically to single women, Bella DePaulo, referring to several studies on the subject, reports that the career aspirations of many women end up taking a backseat to an all-consuming romantic relationship. Seduced by the extraordinary high experienced during courtship, they may give up or postpone pre-romantic plans. And later they may come to regret the "all for love" mentality that so distracted them from what earlier had been their foremost priority.
Doubtless, from your own experience of being in love you can think of more reasons to be cautious about its consequent thoughts and feelings, which can negatively affect your better judgment. My next post will list an additional 10 reasons. But right now you might want to add to the present list, to see how many of them dovetail with my upcoming post.
© 2021 Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.
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