How do we choose the people we fall in love with?
In the modern world, under the ideology of ‘Romanticism’
you’re meant above all, to Trust Your Feelings!
Love is a mutual ecstasy at finding a beautiful person, inside and out,
with the rare capacity, to make us happy.
The romantic attitude sounds warm and kind.
It’s originators certainly imagined that it would bring to an end the sort of unhappy relationships
that resulted from the old ways of finding a partner;
the arranged marriage!
The only problem is that this call for us to trust our instincts
has very often proved to be a disaster of its own.
比如我们在夜店 火车站 聚会或网上碰到一些人产生的特别感觉
Respecting the special feelings we get around certain people in night-clubs, or train stations;
at parties or on websites
and that romanticism so ably celebrated an art appears not to have led us to be any happier in our unions
The Medieval couple shackled into marriage by two royal courts
keen to preserve the sovereignty of a slice of ancestral land.
Instinct has been little better than calculation in underwriting the quality
of our love stories.
There’s another school of thought:
this one influenced by psychotherapy which challenges the notion that trusting instinct
invariably draws us to those who will make us happy.
That’s because the theory points out that we don’t fall in love first and foremost
with those who care for us in ideal ways
We fall in love with those who care for us in familiar ways.
And there might be, a big difference.
Adult love is modeled on a template of love created in childhood.
And is likely to be entwined with a range of problematic attractions
that militate in key ways against our chances of growth and happiness, as adults.
We may believe we are seeking happiness in love but what we are really after is familiarity
We’re looking to recreate within our adult relationships the very feelings we knew
so well in childhood
And which were rarely limited to just tenderness and care.
The love many of us would’ve tasted early on was confused with other perhaps more destructive dynamics
Feelings of wanting to help an adult who is out of control
or of being deprived of a parent’s warmth.
Or scared of his/her anger or of not feeling secure enough to communicate our trickier wishes
How logical then, that we should as adults find ourselves rejecting certain candidates
not because they’re wrong for us but because they’re a little too right
他们在某种意义上过于稳重 成熟 善解人意 可靠
In a sense of seeming somehow excessively balanced, mature, understanding and reliable
given that in our hearts such rightness feels foreign and unearned
To choose our partners wisely,
we need to tease out how certain compulsions to suffering
may be playing themselves out in our feelings of attraction.
A useful starting place is to ask ourselves
perhaps in the company of a large sheet of paper, a pen and a free afternoon
扪心自问 概括一下是哪种人让我们提不起感觉 而哪些人会让我们来电
what sort of people in the abstract put us off and what kinds excite us.
To try to trace back qualities to the people who first loves us in childhood
and to ask ourselves how much our impulses really
are aligned with things that might make us happy
We could stand to discover for example that slightly distant and sadistic people
do always more interesting to us than the so-called ‘nice’ ones.
That should make us stop and think.
Our honestly described reactions are legacies
They are revealing underlying assumptions we’ve acquired that what love for us can feel like.
We may start to get a clearer picture that our vision of what we’re looking for in another person
might not be in a specially good guide to our personal happiness.
Examining our emotional histories we learn that we can’t just be attracted to anyone
we’re limited in the types we have because of certain things that happened to us in our past.
Even if we can’t always radically shift these pattern
it’s useful to know that we’re carrying a ball and chain
It can make us more careful of ourselves when we feel overwhelmed by a certainty that
we’ve met the one after just a few minutes chatting at the bar.
Or when we’re certain someone is just brawn or boring
even though objectively, they do have a lot going for them.
Ultimately, we stand to be liberated to love different people to our initial types
when we find that the qualities we like and the ones we very much fear can be found in different constellations
from those we encountered in the people who first taught us about affection long ago, in a childhood
we should strive to understand and in many ways, free ourselves from.