I have a bit of a grudge with American television, movies, and popular music when it comes to the issue of romantic love. Most of the songs you’ll hear, for example, suggest this kind of crazy notion: “I can’t live if living is without you.” Themes that feature ideas like “you complete me” are blatant lies. Not only can you live and be complete without a partner, if you expect anyone to save your life or complete you, you’re guaranteed to end up in the bitter recrimination that ends so many relationships.
If you want the truly magical experience that romantic love can be, start where we always start: clean up your mind. This doesn’t mean ridding your mind of sexual thoughts. Quite the opposite. It means getting rid of any idea that an external circumstance, like being in a relationship, is responsible for determining whether you are happy or not. Once you know you’re complete, you are fully available for the wonder of discovering life and yourself through the experience of falling in love. This is literally like a drug trip. Your brain on love puts out so many delicious hormones that you’ll be stoned for a good two years. Knowing that this is part of the life you have created frees you to adore your beloved without grasping or fear, and you are able to absorb the challenges or losses you may experience without being devastated. Our crazy codependent culture notwithstanding, falling in love is probably the best reason to be human.