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Emotional Asymmetry in Unattainable Love

Emotional Asymmetry in Unattainable Love.

My extensive research on unattainable love leads me to believe that every individual in unattainable love is capable of finding someone to love them back, however, there are reasons why some of them remain in one-way love or fall in love with unavailable love objects and the existence of ethereal cords is one of them. Some people get into the destructive pattern of only really falling for people who are ‘unavailable’ in some way, perhaps because they are with someone else or emotionally unable to commit to a relationship. Unconsciously making unavailability a prerequisite for falling in love is like insisting on going swimming only in dry deserts – it’s never going to really work. If you have been doing this, or you suspect you have, at least become conscious of it and reflect that it’s a self-defeating strategy.

Finding someone who can give you what you need is another way of making the pain of unattainable love less difficult to bear. Loving whilst being loved in return; that great emotional symmetry is what really fulfils your emotional needs. As discussed in my article Cutting Cords in Unrequited Love, at the point when your feelings in a relationship are not shared, the outcome can be excruciating for both of you, particularly for the person who is more dedicated to the relationship.

Romantic love, as has been explained, is not an emotion. Rather, it’s a motivation system- a need that compels the lover to seek a specific mating partner, it’s a drive, it’s part of the reward system of the brain. The brain links this drive to all kinds of specific emotions depending on how the relationship is going. All the while, the prefrontal cortex is assembling data, putting information into patterns, making strategies, and monitoring the progress toward this great prize of life.

Some scholars say two, maybe three years is an ideal time for limerence to last. During this stage, that is called infatuation, you experience increases of norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain and of testosterone, too, since lust forms an important part of limerence. When you move into the attachment stage, after limerence, where you see an increase of vasopressin and oxytocin, the other hormones return to normal. Most couples in attached relationships have less sex than those in the infatuation stage. After the infatuation stage is over, sex takes a back seat. The phrase addicted to love applies to women and men who crave the excitement and sex of infatuation, floating from one intense affair to the next, leaving a pile of heartbroken, attachment-seeking partners in their wake.

While conducting research on unattainable love with reference to gay and lesbian sex, scholars found that 9% of women and 10% of men reported homosexual behavior, desire, or identity. One-third of those who had same sex partners in the past year did not consider themselves homosexual. 50% of gay men and 75% of lesbians have had intercourse with the opposite sex. 67% of gay male couples have sex at least three times a week in the first two years of marriage compared to 61% of sexual couples and 33% lesbian couples. Various authorities estimate that gay men have had somewhat less than 50 sexual partners while the figure was less than 10 for lesbians. Another study indicates that men have six long-term sexual partners while women have two.

A good relationship is where both partners feel the support of being pushed to achieve their best, yet being loved for what they are. Both the partners need to feel important in the relationship. Praise and encouragement are the essence of a relationship, but in unattainable love, you tend to settle with the absence of all of these and continue to follow the love object blindly. Your one-way love is never fulfilled. The relationship never begins and you keep holding on to the hope, in spite of knowing that your beloved is not going to reciprocate the feeling you value so much. Your beloved has such control over you, instead of learning from the situation and making the right decisions at the right time, you stagnate yourself in an unfulfilling affair. It sets up an inclination towards self-mutilation.

Any personal experiences or comments on this subject are welcome.

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