In Mid-life interpersonal-relationships: Stages of Authentic-Love...
``In a world of constant conflict does love
stand a chance? We cannot help but wonder.
Newspapers are filled with inhumanity towards
another – many times under the name of greed
and good intention. Talk shows have lost the
art of meaningful dialogue and have little
respect for people who disagree. Politicians
and religious leaders seem to be in attach
mode rather than in dialogue for solutions.
Authentic love...This is the subject of our
encounter. In our last encounter I’ve presented
in matrimonial relationships...
Authentic love is not a feeling or emotion
as you will discover, but an attitude of good
will set in action.
The word `` love`` sounds nebulous to our ears...
we have lost its deep meaning... Soap Operas
defines love as nothing less than instinctive
hormonal drive triggers that creates high emotions,
progressively fading way with time.
As you will see in a moment, falling love is like
experimenting a high on coke, than the lovers are
confronted to their world of reality... that is
where authentic love can either begin or....
The English language is very general in its words
to define this. The Greek language is more specific
using at least four words...C.S. Lewis wrote a book
called The Four Loves in which he elaborates
in detail these type of loves identified to be:
Eros - (Ερως΄)
Ερωτισμος (erotismos) is the instinctive research
for pleasure - particularly sexual. The connection
with the other person is emotional.
ii)Storyi (στοργη’) or love
of affection - the fondness through familiarity
ex.: family members, relatives. It’s the most
natural, emotive and widely diffused kind of
iii) Filia - (φιλια’) - friendship -
It’s the love between family and friends or
people that share common interest or activities.
It is much narrower than companionship.
iv)Agapi (Αγαπη’) -
that brings forth caring regardless of circumstances.
This is the greatest level of love – the charitable
love who doesn’t expect anything in return.
I will elaborate the journey through authentic
love referring to those types of love.
The Journey towards authentic love
As you can see from the etymology of love according
to Greek roots, love is a journey ...it might begin
as an emotional passion but does not remain there...
We hear manycouples breaking-up because the emotional
high as fade away, they have no feelings for their
They don’t realize that what they are experimenting
is the end of a stage... The honey-moon period might
be over, but it doesn't mean that love is over...
the couple faces everyday- life confrontations -
learning to cope together.
Love is like a diamond... the mineral needs to be
cut and carved...you must work at it. The journey
might be tough but you know the saying: There's
no success without hard work and effort! There's
no ready-to-serve love!
I quote David Viscott who writes: "Relationships
seldom die because they suddenly have no life left
in them. They wither slowly, either because people
do not understand how much or what kind of upkeep,
time, work, love and caring they require or because
people are too lazy or afraid to try."
What does falling in love have to do with
ερωτευομαι(erotevomay in Greek)
The eternality of “in love” experience is fiction,
Dr. Dorothy Tennov, Ph.D
This question might puzzle you? I intentionally
added ερωτευομαι(erotevomay) to illustrate a point
that will strike you: whether you may believe me
or not, this beginning period of courtship we call
falling in love as nothing to do with love!To be
honest, I don’t understand why we call it this
way! We just mentioned that love is an
attitude of good will set in action.
The Greek word for falling-in-love clears
is out for us... recognize the word eros - the
instinctive research for pleasure – particularly
Psychologist Dr. Peck, Ph.D. describes falling in love to
be " a genetically determined instinctual component of
mating behaviour; a stereotypical response of human beings
to a configuration of internal sexual drives and external
stimuli which serves to increase the probability of sexual
pairing and bonding for the purpose of enhancing the
survival of the species.’’
When you are in love, you're under the impression
that your lover is perfect and, no matter whatever people
think about him/her, it simply has no significance to you.
Both of you feel intimate in your
relationship and that is all you want.
The dangerous word here is ‘‘feel’’ as both of you are on
a high - living an illusion. If you’re a parent having
teenagers living their romantic experiences, I am sure you
know what I am talking about!
According to Psychologist, Dr Deck, Ph.D. falling in love
is no real love for three reasons:
a) It’s not an act of the will or a conscious choice.
b) It’s effortless (there’s little or no discipline or
conscious effort on their part)
c)“The instinctual nature of the in-love experience that
pushes us to do our blandish and unnatural things for
each other is comparable to the instinctual nature of
a bird that dictates him the building of a nest.”
The one who is “in love” is not genuinely interested
in fostering the personal growth of the other person.
The interest is primarily to terminate your own
What happens when someone falls in love?
“It’s a temporary emotional high similar to taking cocaine.
The reasoning abilities of the lovers are disengaged and
they find themselves saying or doing things they would
never have done in more sober moments. When the emotions
subside they come back to the real world where the
differences are illuminated. As you will see, you are
the victim of your own human nature rather than choosing
What does “love” do to your brain?
(The biological in-love impact)
Dr. Helen Fisher, Ph.D. of Rutgers University researched
this and reached the conclusion that there are three
stages of love and each stage is driven by different body
chemicals and hormones.
The first stage of the “love” and is driven by sexual hormones (both found in men and women) and called
testosterone and estrogen
This is the amazing time when you are truly
love-struck and you cannot think of anything
else. The stress response is activated – which
increases your blood level of
(stimulating desire and reward by triggering
an intense rush of pleasure like the effect
of coke) are activated. This rush of pleasure
decreases the need for food and sleep and
there’s an increase of energy; we recognize
here an emotional high as the lovers take delight
in the smallest details of the relationship.
Neurotransmitters called serotonin (stimulates
pleasure) creates these obsessive thoughts about
the lover – constantly popping into their mind.
Researchers have demonstrated (through laboratory
tests) that the level of serotonin in “in lovers “
blood is equal to the level of serotonin in the
level of blood of people diagnosed with obsessive
Lovers have reached the level of attachment that
creates bonds and remain together enough to
procreate. The bonding hormones are identified as
This hormone is also called the cuddling hormone.
female hormone but also found in men)
Oestrogen: This is a primary female sexual hormone (steroid)
Vasopressin – important hormone released in the long
term commitment after sex.
Limbic resonance - (limbic system)
This system plays a role in love. (attachment and social
I would like to conclude with this quote from Gary Chapman:
“We cannot take credit of the kind and generous
things we do while under the influence of the
in love attraction stage. As you can see your
are instinctively induced by an hormonal force
that goes beyond our normal behaviour patterns.
In these circumstances many couples make the big
mistake to believe that this will last forever
when in most case relationships this will last
a year or two before the effect of the hormones
begin to fade away and you land into real life...”
You might be sensing that your relationship as
lost the feeling good and wonder if all this
was not an error, but wait...This is where
authentic love begin...so persevere into this
journey and you might discover the beginning of
a relationship renewal for you and for your
partner. You have journeyed through the
introductory phase of your relationship...our
journey continues as I will pursue elaborating
the real meaning of authentic love, its
characteristics and how it impacts your
relationship...for now take a breather...until
the next time...
The Five Love Languages How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman -
Oxford Greek Mini-Dictionary - by
Niki Watts, Oxford University Press Copyright © 2006
Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage -
unlocking the secrets to life, love and marriage
by Mark Gungor, Atria PaperBack
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