As part of my February Love Challenge, over the past week and half I’ve had the opportunity to coach 12 singles who want to get ready for love. And one of the comments that I keep hearing over and over again has to do with how most of these singles have given up on finding love because they no longer believe in the idea of “romantic love”. As one of them put it, “I just stopped believing in romantic love because it’s just not real, always sets me up for disappointment, failure and heart-break.”
What I find most interesting is that when I asked these singles what is it exactly that they mean by “romantic love”, most of them made some kind of reference to Disney movies, and knights in shiny armor. So I ask, “isn’t this an over simplification of what romantic love is truly about?”
With Valentine’s day just a few days away, I’m thinking it’s very sad that the idea of “romantic Love” for most people has been replaced by popular associations of valentines day, violins, red hearts, chocolates, soft music and knights in shining armour. And for other people “romantic love” is simply something that is way below their level of sophistication!
What if we could think more deeply than that and get to the heart of what romantic love is really, really, really about? What if Valentines, red roses, and violins have nothing to do with the essential meaning of love between two people who deeply care for and love each other? What if we are in fact not sophisticated enough to even begin to understand the depth of the emotion (energy in motion) behind love?
What if in actuality we are running away from romantic love because deep inside we are frightened by the passion, devotion, and commitment that true love requires?
The core of true romance lies only within the mind and the heart of the man or woman who is willing to expand his or her emotional range and truly express his passion, devotion and commitment to the recipient of their love. And it is a choice. To express one’s love, and risk rejection or ridicule is actually one of the most courageous actions anyone can ever undertake! And receiving that love requires even greater courage! It will bring your biggest fears to the surface, and with it all your dark shadows or disowned aspects of yourself!
As a Latino man who grew up around some of the most passionate people in the world, to me, “being romantic” means treating your relationship with that special someone as VERY important, and behaving in ways in which you get to express just how important that relationship truly IS to you. Flowers, or any gift given from that place can be a lovely and meaningful gift. Given from a more simplified, or emotionally safe space where there’s no intimacy, or no risk, can simply be a meaningless gesture.
I believe that True Romantic Love is to the lover and beloved an expression in the microcosm of the Love that our Creator has for each one of us! So, why not express it?
This Valentines day, if you plan to celebrate it, truly celebrate it, how about if you use it as an opportunity to expand your own capacity to give and receive love by expressing your love in a way that you’ve NEVER expressed it before! Yes, I’m challenging you to step up to the plate, and expand your capacity to express your love!
Here’s a powerful sentence completion exercise inspired by Nathaniel Branden’s work. Simply fill in the blank and complete as many answers as you can:
- If I brought a higher-level of love to my relationship with my partner today, I _________________.
- If I chose to be 5% more romantic today, I _____________________.
- If I treat my relationship with my (partner, best friend, husband) as truly important, I ________________.
And what about the image of the knight in shining armor? What about the wonderful world of Disney’s? According to Nathaniel Branden:
The image of the knight in shining armor could represent a woman’s longing for a man she can admire. It could also represent the immature wish for someone coming to rescue her, coming to make the world safe for her. As such, it is more a projection of adolescent insecurity than a projection of mature love. From the male perspective, it could represent a man’s desire to achieve an admirable soul and to be so perceived by the woman he loves. But it could also represent the craving of a man to play hero for a “weak and helpless” female. Romantic love is a relationship between independent equals, not between a waif and a rescuer.”
So, isn’t it time we stop dreaming of knights and shining armor? Specially those riding a black Harley Davidson or behind the wheels of a Bentley or Ferrari?
Here’s an inspiring video with a song to help you get started on your journey towards true Romance. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love is a Choice
by Ariana Hall
Love is a choice that you make when you are in love with life
I Love, I Love, I Love you.
I’m afraid. But, can you feel my heart. It’s my choice and I choose love.
As soon as I knew, As soon as I knew, I will guide us through the frustration and all the pain, and back to Love.
I Love, I Love, I Love you. Feel my heart. Can you feel my heart? It is my choice, and I choose Love.
I’m afraid, and I’m still here… Love is a choice, and I LOVE YOU!