An idea love: Is he the one? Of holding on and continuing to search

Romantic love has become the central motif of our couple relationships. The fact that it is the cement of two people’s lives is a fairly recent invention. A lot has happened since then. In this Column our two authors deal with Lena and Rahel with the origin of romantic love. Where does it come from, where does it want to go? Is love between swipe left and swipe right only a product of the love economy?

As a rule, you enter into a relationship with a person you think is the right one. With him you want to plan the future and spend the rest of your days. A dog, a child and a house no longer seem too far away. But how do you know that the person you are with is the right one? And isn’t there someone else who suits you even better?

At the beginning of a relationship, everything is great. The rose-colored glasses turn your partner’s quirks into lovable quirks, and you wouldn’t even think of taking them off yourself. It is too nice to float in seventh heaven above all serious things. But after a while, when you’re not just enjoying the happy hours of the end of the day with each other, because everyday life has crept into the love nest, you see clearly for the first time in a long time after months of gushing. And not everything you see is beautiful. Conflicts are brewing, now and then you’re annoyed with each other. At this point in a relationship, the likelihood of a breakup is highest. Disappointed expectations and incompatible life plans ruin the image of an ideal relationship.

On the other hand, this is where it is decided who really likes each other, perhaps even loves each other. But this is only the first hurdle. Relationships always reach such junctures where a couple has to find their way to each other again. It will happen again and again that one has difficulties to come to a common denominator, because one goes through different developments and drifts apart at times. Many people start to wonder about this. After all, this does not quite correspond to the idea that one had of a perfect relationship. Shouldn’t everything run smoothly, feelings always be equally strong, making love always exciting? If your partner doesn’t seem quite as much like your soul mate as you thought at the beginning, can he or she even be the right one?

The agony of choice of online dating

The increasing interconnectedness on social media as well as the seemingly endless offer on Tinder and Co. intensify these insecurities even more. The world is a big place and there are so many people. How are you supposed to decide? One is subject to the temptation to leave the door open at least a little crack. Just in case, of course. With the oversupply, the expectations also rise, but not of oneself, but of the person sitting across from you. And if something doesn’t fit, then you (often) give up far too quickly instead of working on it together. The throwaway mentality doesn’t even stop at love, although sustainability is so important. Because if love is not allowed to disappoint, the search for it quickly becomes a gauntlet and is often nipped in the bud by high expectations. That doesn’t mean you can’t have expectations, but they should be realistic. Because the perfect partner does not exist, just as you are not perfect.

So if you’re in a happy and loving relationship and you still feel the need to keep looking, it doesn’t have to be because he or she isn’t right for you, maybe you’re just not ready for a commitment. And if you are ready, have a partner you love and who loves you, but are still unsure, it might help to question your own definition of love. After all, it’s not uncommon for our romantic understanding to be shaped by outside influences. Movies and books in particular often present us with a somewhat distorted image of ideal love that doesn’t have much in common with reality.

The search for true love

To love does not mean that everything is always easy, but that you decide to master the difficult phases of life with your partner. A partner in crime, so to speak. Because you can experience good times and good times with many people, but it is only when things don’t go so well that the strength of a connection proves itself. This also includes sometimes losing each other as a couple, doubting and questioning everything, approaching each other and reinventing themselves together.

The prerequisite for this, however, is that you stop chasing an over-idealized pipe dream, a supposed “what if” scenario that may never happen. Sometimes to love means that you have to be ready for that love yourself, to realize that you have long since found the lid. Because one thing is certain, there is not one person, but many potential partners with whom you could be happy, you just have to commit at some point. This is by no means to exclude alternative relationship models, but even here you can’t avoid setting certain rules and, above all, finding someone or even several with whom the desired type of relationship should succeed.

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Image source: Anastasia Shuraeva fromPexels; CC0 license

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