Love finds a way

Despite digital dating of one format or another giving us a pretty comprehensive ‘pre meeting’ understanding of potential partners, I’m not sure we humans actually select romantic partners. 

I think that usually our ‘thinking self’ finds it difficult to decide and that our ‘feeling self’ elects - or in other words - love just happens and we don’t choose who we love.

Evolution has decided that mixing genes is best for humanity, but attached to the more basic drive to reproduce is this strange thing called love. There are different types of love. There is sibling love and good friends we love. The parent child attachment is supremely powerful. In my experience as a psychotherapist, and this is backed by the statistics, humans never really recover from losing a child at whatever age that child dies. 

“What about amorous love? Many of us who have experienced passionate love will probably agree that relationships go through various phases.”

There is often an initial physical attraction and this will probably change with time, one way or another. I would postulate that enduring love, where a couple stays together forever, also goes through many stages. These steps are not uniform as each partnership is unique in itself. Sometimes relationships just fade or fail, so what makes a successful loving and contented relationship?

I would propose that awareness of yourself is essential; what is truly important to you in your life and relationship? Understanding your negatives as well as your positives and being aware of which of your little ways your partner loves and which they find less lovely or even irritating. Being aware of your partners little annoying idiosyncrasies as well as their more attractive ways is beneficial. 

Try to be mindful and sensitive to which relationship elements are essential to you and your partner. Remember to be thoughtful and empathic.

Flexibility towards, and a huge dose of acceptance, of your loved ones frustrating habits or differences will almost certainly ease tensions. This flexibility and acceptance is where both parties have a relaxed and balanced approach to what happens and how it happens, or you both look at things in a calm, mindful and almost philosophical way. What is more important: winning a pointless argument or the happiness within the relationship?

If there is a time when one partner impinges upon another’s core values or beliefs or definitely does not want something to happen then an agreement by way of both parties expressing themselves congruently and considerately is desirable. Think before you speak and try not to be hurtful. Be sensitive… carefully consider what you are going to say and compassionately try not to upset the person you love.

Generally, I encourage optimising one’s life, making it fulfilling, contented and rich. If you have found romantic love, and some of us never do, try not to take it for granted, but instead treat it as a precious gift; cherish and nurture it. 

Shane Lutkin is lead Therapist at psychotherapy organisation, Emotionalskills. If you’re struggling with emotional issues, call 07986 488690 or email

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