How to find love, keep it and inevitably lose it

In this one, I talk about love. How you find it, how you keep it, and why you eventually always lose it.

Love takes many forms. You love your mum, your dog, your job and your wife differently. In fact, latin even has a different word for each kind of love. English, on the other hand… when you read the word “live”, which meaning did you go for? To live, or Saturday Night Live?

Many people (especially engineers) think finding love is the hard part. I disagree. We already have love - especially for our jobs. The hard part isn’t finding love - it’s keeping it. Once you find it, you take it for granted. That’s how we work as humans. We’re not satisfiable and we always want more. Another job might pay more or help you grow more, or another car might finally improve your self esteem. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just how it is, and might even be good for us.

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The sad truth is, as humans, we don’t care about the people we love

It’s like giving someone a gift. We don’t care about the person receiving the gift as much as we care about what the gift is, if the price isn’t too high/low, if the gift is novel enough and what the other person will think of us when they get the gift. The gift is for you as much as it is for them. It makes you feel like a good person. That’s why you do it.

With love, we only care about ourselves too. You hate being alone and watching other couples being romantic on valentine’s day, so you go out to find that feeling for yourself. It takes effort - you need to show love to get love. Showing love is hard until you trick yourself into thinking you care about the other person. It only makes sense. It’s much easier to love when you care. But, here’s the huge mistake you just made…

You don’t care about the other person. You care about that feeling of love and you’d do anything to prevent losing it.

That is, until, it’s not that important anymore. Love is only one of the many things you want. Once you fulfill Maslow’s basic needs, it’s onto other things. Love, reputation, money (which isn’t a real need - it just helps realise the other ones) and self worth are the big four. At any given moment, only one of them really matters. When love isn’t on top any longer, we stop doing things for the people we “love”. It’s not because they changed or did something wrong - which they often start to feel, especially if they still love you. It’s just not a priority for you any longer.

“You only know you love her when you let her go”

Finding and keeping love #

I said this one was about how you find love, how you keep it and why you eventually always lose it.

When finding someone, remember that you’re acting on an urge. This desire for love won’t last forever. At some point, you’ll take it for granted. With that in mind, you should minimize the mental gymnastics you’ll need to do in the future. Over time, it gets harder to keep loving and tricking yourself into thinking you care about them. If you get the sense that a potential partner will be hard to love (from looks, something they do or say, or anything at all), don’t do it. You will fail. You will drop your guard and you will hurt them.

However, once you do find it, you’ll now have to keep love. When it’s a top priority, that’s really easy. So we only need to worry about what to do when it’s not your top priority. The problem is … I don’t know how to do that

“And you let her go”

 
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