Love has 3 faces

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Every love has the feeling of not resembling any other. In the line of the Greek philosophers, the psys reveal however three typical profiles of the state in love, in which we can all recognize us.

To speak of love is to associate physical desire, exchange and complicity. However, love is declined in an infinity of nuances: fusion, reason, dependence, hate … But the same mechanism is always at work: “It is in the relationship with the mother that we find the matrix of love that will be privileged next, “explains Didier Lauru, psychoanalyst. Our adult behaviors are an opportunity to prolong – or repair – the experiences of the early days of childhood. The common thread between the different ways of loving?

The idealization of the other and the devaluation of oneself. Blinded by emotions, one marries our partner with all the qualities of which one thinks oneself most often deprived. Hence the expression “fall in love”: one descends a few steps and one installs the other on a pedestal. “It’s self-esteem that falls first,” explains Didier Lauru. Then? “Everything is a question of degrees” – idealisation, denarcisation, dependence on the other – which, according to specialists, determine three great profiles: Eros; his opposite, Agape; and Philia.

Eros: The passion love

The heart rages, excitement alternates with fear, physical desire is insatiable, lack obsessing us from the first separations. Our landmarks are jostled, we lose a little. This state is peculiar to the encounter with love. “What drives us towards a relationship is first and foremost the desire for exaltation and this opportunity that the partner offers us to live more intensely,” explains Claude-Marc Aubry, a psychologist. This partner is then less experienced as a subject than as an object. The object of our deficiencies and our fantasies of an ideal love, an object charged with filling our emotional shortages … The intensity and duration of this passionate state vary according to the strength of its projections on the other. “It lasts between six months and two years,” added Claude-Marc Aubry.

After that? “He has changed,” “I do not recognize her anymore,” one surprises one to say. “The reality of the other always ends up imposing itself on us. Either one accepts it and enters into another type of relationship, either one is incapable of it and disappointment, and therefore suffering, is irreversible. One can then switch to hatred: the exacerbated emotions remain, but change pole. Or in addiction: “Without it, I feel empty”, “Without it, I am nothing. “Remained as an object, the partner becomes indispensable to live.

To love with passion is to discover in oneself a capacity to live emotions whose intensity one did not know, and to break with a daily sometimes poor in emulation. Love passion has beneficial and instructive qualities for and about oneself, but because it is based on narcissism and egocentrism, it can not be the sole basis for building a true two-way relationship. Which is possible only if one can look at the other really: it is by deciding to appreciate his partner with his defects and his qualities, but also by regaining consciousness of what one is, of the couple, that one can slip from an unreasoned passion to a more constructive and appeased love.

Agape: Love-Friendship

As passionate love encourages withdrawal into oneself and the couple, this love-friendship invites us to open up to the outside world. One is an accomplice, one understands oneself, one listens oneself, one is interested in one another and in the world … And suddenly, this friendship a priori unambiguous is transformed: looks change, desire s ‘installed. According to Didier Lauru, “this moment corresponds to a moment of idealization of the other which, very often, coincides with that in which one feels – or believes – beloved of him. This “intuition” makes one want to indulge in loving feelings hitherto inhibited by a lack of self-confidence or the fear of perverting the friendly relationship. The love relationship is based on solid foundations: those that led to friendship, sharing a common passion with a strong communication.

A turn without skidding? Not always. According to Didier Lauru, “the relationship that prevailed until now is forgotten for the benefit of a new encounter in the love mode. “One loses the memory” … Proof that the love, even the most “calm” and progressive, is always a little pathological! ”

This love-Agape, can we find it in all relations? “Yes,” replied Claude-Marc Aubry, “one can quite consider that sexual friendship is a definition of” good love “. “Good”, because to addiction, this love opposes the attachment nourished by an agreement developed over time and experiences shared. Only “possible drift”: caught in perfect mutual knowledge, the partners no longer feel curiosity or need to seduce. The emotional warmth sets in, at the risk of lassitude and the urge to find elsewhere “sensations” strong …

Philia: Deep Love

It is love combining desire and reason: one knows how to live “free together”, one loves oneself, but one does not belong to one another. “Deep love begins with the realization of what the other really is, far from fantasies,” explains Claude-Marc Aubry. Love says “mature” or “enlightened”, “it requires a good understanding of oneself and the other, but also to outsmart the traps and mechanisms that link us to the past and that lead to dependence. The imagination suggested by the feelings of love does not prevent one from seeing the reality of the other, or that of the couple. And the idealization of the partner narcissizes us rather than make us lose confidence in ourselves.


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Sylvie Bellaud-Caro recalls that this love brings together three elements: me, the other and the relationship. “There can be harmony, conflict, joy, sadness … whatever. What is fundamental is that the two partners remain independent and then meet in the couple to feed him projects, desires, experiences to share. ”

But how can I tell the difference between a “I love you deeply” and a “I love you passionately”? “Reflecting on the intensity of her feelings,” the therapist replies: do I miss to the point that without him, I have the impression that I no longer exist? Or simply because I would like to share this moment, this conversation with him? “Attachment is not addiction. It is respect that makes the difference: self-respect – listening to one’s own desires, not forgetting one another – and respect for others. If the word respect does not echo our romantic ideals, it will soon impose itself as the best safeguard of love.




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