Chapter 1 - Love, Romance and Reality

What is love?

This list includes:

  • Sexual desire: a biological drive which is great fun, but no
    proof of genuine love or compatibility
  • The need to pair: a drive that reproduces life in all living things
  • The need to be closely bonded: a basic human need that
    develops from our childhood attachment to our parents
  • The need for intimacy: to know another and yourself,
    physically, intellectually and spiritually
  • The desire to feel whole and 'completed' by someone else
  • The desire to feel 'in love': an expectation created by cultural
    myths and media stories
  • The wish to love someone, often without asking whether
    you're making a good choice
  • Fantasies about your ideal 'dream lover', which your
    imagination attaches to someone despite what the real person
    is like
  • The wish for a self-esteem boost from someone appreciating
    you (the old song says, 'You're nobody till somebody loves you',
    but letting someone else tell you who you are can set you up
    for manipulation and disappointment)
  • The desire for the elusive and unattainable – similar to a dog
    chasing a car and then not knowing what to do when it catches it
  • Addiction: romance gives a 'high', causes withdrawal cravings,
    and can cause dependence

In short, anything on this list can feel like genuine love but is not –
or is, at best, only part of the real thing. This explains why so many
intelligent people look back on their romantic decisions and wonder
who temporarily removed their brain!