When I began to think about love, it was romantic, it was always romantic. Sunny skies, warm kisses, gentle hugs, sweet nothings in your ear in the middle of the night, snuggling up to someone warm who makes you feel safe; that sort of thing. It was never the simple stuff, like having someone who doesn’t bother you when you’re trying to write, or having someone who can identify when you are upset or when you are happy. Those things never caught my attention. I’d always had it, and never noticed if it was gone. The most I cared for was the swelling of the heart strings and thrumming of heat shooting through my limbs. I wanted the thrill of being toyed with.
After a while, after being a toy, I guess you could say, I realized that it wasn’t an emotionally fulfilling way to see romance; it was romantic, yes, but it wasn’t satisfying. It didn’t give me what I needed, and I stopped wanting it too. From these experiences, I’m going to postulate another theory like my friendship creation theory. I plan on writing a romance, so I want to have something to go back on when I finish with this theory.
Love comes in stages, gradually adopting a more mature viewpoint.
A and B meet and see each other.
A is attracted to B and develops that attraction in their head. They swoon over them and coo over them in private and develop the attraction through interaction with themselves or with others. This could be talking to friends, this could be daydreaming, or it could just be straight up interacting with the person and reading into what they say.
A eventually tells B about their attraction.
B now has to decide if they feel similarly or not. If they do, they tell A they are attracted to them back, if they do not, they might still tell them they’re attracted to them and try to cultivate the attraction into something real because of a number of reasons.
A begins to learn a lot more about B.
A may or may not continue to be attracted to B because of their habits, and personal things. This is up in the air and determines the rest of the relationship.
Usually love comes in stages; the first stage is Puppy love, where A and B are attracted to one another, and have endorphins flooding through their system every time they’re around one another; the second stage is a bartering, where A and B determine how much they can sacrifice and would have to sacrifice to be with the individual they love. They fight a lot and without a determined procedure to end arguments, they can ruin their friendship and negate the puppy love.
Sometimes this second stage only starts to happen after they are married. They begin to learn more about one another and discover that they actually both have pet peeves that match the other’s bad habits. The fighting becomes too much, and they divorce, or move out.
I think there is a third stage too, after bartering and compromise, they begin to develop an independence stage of love, where they know one another’s limits, and begin to respect one another’s boundaries again. This gives people a chance to go back to what they really liked to do, such as hobbies, sports, games, and begin to cultivate children. I think this is the stage where most long-time married people end up, and is the final stage of love.
Sometimes you can go through the first two stages very quickly, other times you can’t. It depends on the people.
I do believe that people can cultivate a fake puppy love for an individual, not that it’s fake so much as fabricated. I know that the mind is a powerful tool, and if you tell yourself you’re stupid for long enough, you suddenly stop remembering things like 2+2=4 is the sum of two and two is four. The product of two and two is also four. There’s other evidence in things such as confidence building, and the idea that you can “fake it until you make it” which is completely based on the idea that the longer you tell yourself and act a certain way, the more true it will become. Self-fulfilling prophecies are one real example of how that works.
There’s no reason Love wouldn’t be the same way. If you tell yourself you love someone enough, and you expect love to be the puppy love fluttery heart, warm hugs, and kisses, you’re going to feel that way towards them eventually. I think the safer road is to look for someone you’re compatible with.
Instead of looking for that first stage, look for the second.
Look for someone you can fight with and come out the other side still friends, and in agreement most of the time. Find someone who can tell you off and not kill your emotionally delicate balance. Then, when you’ve found that person, love them. They are the ones who will eventually begin to give you your own space, and produce a meaningful relationship with you, creating boundaries, and establishing times when you just need a hug. These are the people you want in your life, whether it’s all romantically inclined or not.