March 23, 2012

The Power of Extraordinary Moments: Do You Choose the Person?

The orginal article can be found on this page.

Is love an addiction? Are all relationships addictive? This article explores how all healthy relationships include at least one addictive moment and how, in unhealthy relationships, this one moment is often the basis for the whole relationship. You can check the first part of the article here: Is It Love? and the second part here: What is love?

Do You Choose the Person?

The answer. No, you don't. Love chooses you.

But don't you ever choose love?

No. Never. Ever. And yes, I can hear the crowd murmuring angry rhubarbs against me and against this idea right now.
How can I be so sure we don't choose?
Because I do not believe in "unconscious choices." I simply do not believe they exist. And I am not alone. Many well known personality theorists also believe this. For instance, Alfred Adler, one of the founding therapists of our current therapies, believed, as I do, in "unconsciousness" rather than in "unconscious choice."

What's the difference?
The difference is, saying you can "choose" someone means you believe you can choose to fall in love. Wow, is this idea a beauty! You know how many people punish themselves because they believe they don't fall in love because they just can't choose to let go? Most of the people suffering in relationships. And most of the people who suffer from not having a relationship.
No matter what people think though, the truth is, falling in love is a moment, nothing more. Granted, it's a magical, instantaneous, infectious, addicting moment to be sure. One minute, you are feeling one way about your life. The next, you feel totally different. Still, this moment is one life chose for us, not a moment we chose. So even if we believe we allow it to happen, no one "allows" it to happen. We simply allow it to unfold once it has already happened.

So what about all the people who say they've never fallen in love, those who say they've just kind of grown to like a person?
Perhaps what they're saying is the literal truth. Perhaps they're in "like" with this person, and not in "love." Either way, though, my point is, if you're in love, you fell, no matter whether you know the moment or not. More over, no one chooses these moments. Life chooses them for us.
So how do we end up with the people we end up with if we don't choose?
Here, I'm going to tread lightly. This question is simply too complex and loaded a question for me or anyone else to answer comprehensively. In fact, I see being asked this question as analogous to being asked to predict weather. So while you can get some clues by looking at the sky and at weather instruments, at least in the days right before and after the time you want to predict, the experts know, there is no way to accurately predict either weather or falling in love.
Now, would those addicted to knowing tomorrow's weather please stand up. Now go to your local weather predictions and strike out all instances of the words "partly" and "chance of." Tomorrow, look again to see how accurate those stricken out predictions were.
My experience is, the correct-prediction averages fall to pretty much the same level as what you and I could do on our own. Perhaps less accurate. In fact, the best predictor for rain, snow or clear skies is still someone's arthritic joints. If they know how to find the good in these afflictions.
So is these any reason to learn to recognize the weather-predicting signs? Yes, there is, if only to be better connected to your world and your life.
As for predicting "love," I believe this same idea holds true in that, there is some good in learning to recognize the falling in love signs. For instance, people who fall in love always fall in love with a person who has an opposite "character type."

Opposite "character type?"
Yes, opposite "character type." And for those unfamiliar with Emergence "character types," let me just describe them briefly.
All people in situations wherein they and someone else simultaneously have needs have a default position with regard to who gets their needs met first. For example, say two people arrive at the entrance to the book store at the very same time. Each person will have an automatic, internally scripted response to either go first or go second.
Now before you start thinking this has anything to do with self worth or self confidence or gender or culture or anything like that, please hear, I am only referring to peoples' initial, default internal reactions in these situation. Thus, every person has programmed into them one of these default internal reactions, and there are actually only two basic reactions.
I call these two basic reactions, our "character states," and I call them, being in a "me" state, and being in a "you" state.
As to what these two titles means, being in a "me" state is kind of like being in a "me first" state, while being in a "you" state is like being in a "you first" state."
Either way, my point is, we each have programmed into our characters one of these default responses. Either we're a "me first" person or a "you first" person. Thus, every time we share a mutual need situation with someone else, we enter one of these two states. Further, entering one of these two states is a normal and healthy response.
Being a "me" means simply that people who start in a "me" state feel it is normal and natural for them to go first. In fact, they feel they should be allowed to go first and that it is their right.
Remember, I'm talking about peoples' internal natures, not their mental or emotional training or wounded responses.
And the "you" state people?
People who start in a "you" state feel the other person should go first. In fact, they feel uncomfortable when someone wants to let them go first, just as "me's" feel uncomfortable when someone doesn't want to let then go first.
Please know, these two states are neither selfishness nor injury no matter what my descriptions sound like. And if you're really interested, you can read about "character types" in depth elsewhere on the site. For now though, I am making but one point: all romantic relationships occur between people of opposite character types. One starts in a "me" place, the other, in a "you" place.

How much of this helps in the predictive stuff?
A lot actually. For instance, I can pretty much understand now how at times, I can mentally find a woman extremely attractive, on paper at least, but still have no chemistry. Why? Well I start in a "you" place and so must she. This is simply a case of two wall sockets trying to fit into each other. Definitely a no go situation.
"Plugs" only fit into "sockets." And "me's" only fit into "you's."
Is knowing this a predictive thing though?
Not really, although it does help me to understand some of how people do and do not fit with each other. In fact, in the thousands of cases in which I've looked at peoples’ character types, I've not seen one exception as far as romantic attraction. Even so, knowing about character types is more like being able to tell storm clouds from puffy summer clouds. You know something about what may happen. But you still can't predict what will absolutely happen. Not even close.

So ok, the first part of this part od the article is interesting by the point of view, about saying "I have a type". You know when someone asks you "What kind of guy is your type?" And you say stuff like "Oh you know, blonde, blue eyes, not too tall, funny, sarcastic, caring and so on". Well, according to this article your type doesn't really matter. Which sucks :P 

But then again, if you have a type, you pay more attention to guys, which could be your perfect guys. And hence, there is more probability that you'll fall for them, because you are paying attention.

And also, you know when your friend is saying "No, ofcourse I am not in love with him! I don't know him at all." or stuff like that. But when you look at her, you can practically see the stars in her eyes while she talks about him or while she got an message from him. It's not the part where we decide to fall, but the part where we acknowledge that we fell. Porbably hard.

About the "you" and "me" part. Well, this is interesing. Before reading this article I've never ever tought about it that way. But lets admit it, it does make sense. 

So, what do you think about all of this? Do you think we choose or life/moment/destiny choose us? :)



5 comments :

Sam said...

This is a tough one! I wish I could say what I think but I'm really not sure! I love the thought of spontaneously falling in love and it doesn't seem natural to 'choose' who you fall in love with. But, on the other hand, I am a huge control freak and the idea of being able to decide what you feel for someone and when appeals to me some of the time...

Mimi Valentine said...

Ohhhhh, Nea, I honestly have no idea! I'm not that experienced in love yet because I'm still in high school (and no, the majority of real teenagers do NOT meet awesome werewolf and/or vampire hotties when they're sixteen to be a part of some epic love triangle LOL!), but I like to think that love will find you when you're ready. :) I don't think it's possible (or at least as much fun) if you go looking for love. It ruins the surprise and the thrill and the magic. Or at least I'm hoping that love is meant to be spontaneous and not a plan! ;)

Haha and I don't really have a type! The only thing that my guy has to be able to do is make me smile. :)

Another really insightful post, Nea! And I hope that your psych classes are going great too! :) <3

Hilda K said...

Oh my, this is such a fun post LOL! I don't really have a type for sure. If I like a guy... well, I like him. Like Sam, I like to control my life so the idea of inability to control my love life is kind of unsettling LOL! xD

This post makes me remember a famous quote. 'Love will find you when you're ready'. In my most depressing moment (usually on lonely Friday night LOL), I wanted to kick stuffs and said, "I'm READY! Where is love??' I guess maybe the universe want me to wait longer. :P

Thank you for sharing, Nea! I love reading your posts, so inspiring! x)

Patricia said...

If there was a love button, I'd click it. Thanks for this great post!

My mom and I had a discussion about this last month or so, and a few friends of mine tried to convince me that you can chose whom you fall in love with.

I can see where they are coming from, but I'm thinking that it isn't a choice. Then again, I have a big problem with the free will vs "fate" concept, which makes it even harder for me to think about love, subconcious choices vs subconsciousness without being driven crazy LOL

Anyway, wonderful post and I want more of these!

Railer said...

Wow, this one is good. It brings up a lot of interesting points.

Two things struck me, having a type and the "you" and "me" theory.

I have to start with the "you" and "me" idea because it quickly reminds me of yin and yang. It is an Asian philosophy that dictates how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. In my mind the "you" and "me" idea dictates how compatible or how comfortable two people can be with each other. When you speak of your "type", I think that would more refer to what ignites the initial attraction with someone as well as what you require to help keep the relationship strong. Those qualities that you look for make the compatibility work while the "you" and "me" factor add the comfort level to the relationship.

In essence, you need both in any good and strong relationship whether it is a romantic one or simply one of friendship.

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