True love ? Mystery, fear, adventure, desire, the feeling of fully existing: five criteria to help better understand what true love is.
“But why do you stay with him (with her)? How many times have we asked this question to our friends stuck in painful stories? How many times have we asked ourselves what made them persevere in unsatisfactory relationships? No, that’s for sure, it’s not that, love. What is it, then? A feeling that would make us immutably happy?
Certainly not, says psychoanalysis. Love, the “true”, has nothing to do with serenity. Even after the beginning of fusion, and contrary to what one might imagine, love is not cushy; it capsizes, it shakes, it mysteriously binds us to the other in an epic that escapes all rationality. Exploration of some revealing signs.
True love : Find the other mysterious
Love is a mystery for those who live it, a mystery for those who look at it. We find, but we do not understand. Why ? Because what binds us to the other is inexplicable. To truly love is to go to someone, not only for his image (his beauty, his resemblance to such-and-such), nor for what he symbolizes (a father, a mother, the power, the money ), but for his secret. This secret that we do not know how to name, and which will meet ours: a lack felt since childhood, a singular, indefinable suffering. “Love is about our part of the unknown, explains the psychoanalyst Patrick Lambouley.
There is a void in us that can cause our loss, push us to kill ourselves. Well, love is the meeting of two wounds, of two faults, sharing with someone of what we miss radically and that we will never be able to say. True love is not “Show me what you have” or “Give me what you have to fill what I miss”, but rather “I like the way you try to heal.” I like your scar. ”
Nothing to do with the hypothesis of the “half of orange”, declination of Plato’s Banquet (LGF, “The paperback”, 2008), which we would like incomplete because cut in half. Love would then make us “one” and happy! “This is the cause of the forced bankruptcy of many couples, observes Patrick Lambouley. When some people realize that they still feel dissatisfied, they imagine that it is because they did not find the man or the woman that they “had”, and that they must change. This is obviously not the case. To really love is to say to the other: “You are interested in me. ”
True love : To be afraid of losing it
To love is to be afraid. All the time. Freud, in Malaise in the civilization, explains it thus: we become dependent because it will be necessary that the other support us always in the existence. Hence the fear of losing it. Light explanation by Monique Schneider, philosopher and psychoanalyst: “Love implies risk taking. It causes a phenomenon of vertigo, sometimes even rejection: we can break the love because we are too afraid, sabotage while trying to confide, reduce its importance by focusing on an activity where everything rests on oneself. All of this amounts to protecting oneself from the exorbitant power of the other on us. ”
All the more, Freud emphasizes, that Eros and Thanatos go hand in hand. I love you, I destroy you. Eros is our desire to bond lovingly to each other? Thanatos is the death drive that drives us to break the bond so that our self remains all-powerful. The love pushing out of oneself, the self fights it. “It’s hard to give up on yourself,” says psychoanalyst Jean-Jacques Moscovitz. We feel good when we like something pulls us.
Love touches our being, what we are in the world. Few people realize it. They find themselves alone and feel good in this loneliness since they are now safe from this death drive. But when, in love, we have survived tears and conflicts, we reach a formidable zone where sentiment is reflected. True love is not a business contract: it is a violent feeling that puts both partners at risk. We must never forget it when we doubt, when the other seems to “love us”. “When someone defends himself,” says Monique Schneider, “that does not mean that he is not in love. He may just be afraid to find his hands tied. ”
True love : Agree to engage with him in the unknown
Nothing is written. The romanticism of passion that would flare up and then go towards a predictable extinction is a myth. Love does not always take the path of a declining slope. He can take a reverse route. We must accept that we have no control over our feelings. “We do not enter a voluntarist or methodical world, adds Monique Schneider. We can go through contrasting episodes. To cross moments of ecstatic happiness makes that one can then fall from very high, of course.
But to be convinced that love is never certain means that we have inherited a past that prevents us from believing in ourselves and in the other. To really love, you almost have to believe in a kind of miracle. Freud speaks of a believing expectation. It is necessary to maintain the fire which can restart, not to require immediate satisfaction. Accept the unknown, be patient …
True love : Experiencing desire
No doubt: to love is to want the other. Better, confirms Jean-Jacques Moscovitz: “Making love helps to love. Without bodily exchange, something in love is not done. Love requires pleasure because there is desire. And lovers who love each other know an extra enjoyment. The gender difference vanishes in the report. We do not know who is the one and who is the other. The two merge. There is disinvestment of the value of the organ. We are a body. It is a pleasure that crushes. Without love, pleasure is seen as a way to get rid of a tension, while to enjoy in an emotion that releases waves, vibrations, a strong experience, you have to really love: “In love, we gets a different enjoyment, “adds Monique Schneider.
Does a drop of desire mean a dislike? Not at all: “There are moments of happiness where one is so happy that the other is what it is that one can simply be satisfied with the fact that it exists”, recalls Monique Schneider. Beyond these moments of contemplation, other women dissociate love and desire. “It’s not that there are fewer feelings,” says Jean-Jacques Moscovitz. On the contrary. It’s a bit like giving yourself too much will make them disappear. Here comes something of the child who is not settled, an ideal of love far too anchored in the paternal ideal. They have been women and become girls again: the relationship seems incestuous to them. The paternal dimension takes over, perhaps to protect itself from this fear of being dissolved in hand-to-hand combat. ”
These women take refuge in a loving love, distrust of the sexual relation, which must again be tamed. They can then go through another form of physical relationship, that of the embrace: to wrap the other, to wear it as if it were inside oneself. And when the desire returns, the desire follows. Nothing is fixed in these ebb and flow. Everything comes and goes.
True love : Feeling exist
“To be loved is to feel justified in existing,” Sartre used to say. True love is this experience of legitimizing the world, this illusion that our love is unique. The other is the embodied ideal, and we exist through his gaze. Love gives us a status of child convinced of its omnipotence, convinced that if it did not exist, the world would miss something. We elop each other.
This biblical theme of the Chosen One, Freud takes it into account to distinguish true love from charity love turned to good. We invest the other. We recognize its radical importance: we value it, we value it, we believe it to be irreplaceable. We made a find, discovered a treasure. We are not alone anymore.
The other also brings us his world, an opening to other horizons, emotions that we did not perceive with the same intensity before. We are more “awake”. We have the feeling of being safe since he knew to discover us. “To really love intensifies our feeling of being alive,” concludes Monique Schneider.