How Love Affects Your Psychological Health
Love is a change, as the psychoanalyst Christian David claimed in 1971. He compared this feeling to a "new birth". But what changes does love cause? How exactly does it affect our psychological health - whether it’s the first surge of passion or a long-term relationship?
Feeling of falling
First of all, being in love is a huge shock. At first, anxiety and doubt violate our inner calm, threatening the measured course of our life. There are fear and disorder. It seems that we are getting involved in something unknown. We desperately want to understand if another person needs us, and how much he is interested in our presence.
Love - which is so idealized – isn’t only a pleasure. This is also an occasion for numerous questions and concerns, explains philosopher and psychoanalyst Monique Schneider. She talks about our vulnerability, and the "breakdown" that appears at the beginning of the relationship: our individual self suddenly weakens because of the unexpectedness and beauty of the other person. It’s because of it, we are seized by a sense of falling. The object of our thoughts is another person - mysterious, elusive, and unknown. In this state there is a place for anxiety: is he fixed on me? How long will this last? We begin to live in a discontinuous mode: every next moment becomes unpredictable.
Acceptance of coexistence
When the relationship doesn’t turn into an attempt to forget, merging with another person, they gradually take the form of trustful reciprocity. There is an existence divided with another person. Love calms the exhausting soul searching. There comes a new world that creates life in a different way. We are surprised to find out that we can feel very good with someone who is unfamiliar to us.
If the love story drags on and acquires a spiritual content, it’s embodied in everyday life by taking into account the tastes and habits of each other: who is a homebody? And who is a vegetarian? We begin to love long evening walks, even if earlier we were bored with it, and now we build a joint life together, participating in it on an equal footing.
When we adapt to another person and at the same time influence him, the changes that began in us, don’t lead to the destruction of our personality. Intellectual and sexual mutual understanding is far from dissolution and getting rid of the selfhood. On the contrary: in a well-balanced relationship, the partner convinces us of the need to be exactly who we are. To feel loved is to justify your existence. With a new sense of confidence and tranquility, we can try to quit the hateful work, go abroad, do away with the complexes, and pin down our own ambitions, which we refused earlier because of the fear of failure.
Getting the most out of life
The more time passes, the more positive changes happen to us, because the taste of life together gives our existence fresh colors and scope. The couple gives space for joyful intimate rituals. It's like a conspiracy, invisible to others, but firmly connecting two people. This childish easiness, rejoicing, and confidence in the partner transform us, allowing us to get into the most valuable areas of ourselves, into dreams and secret desires that have been stored since childhood.