In the broadest sense of the word, Love can blind you to the machinations of others. So if they don't have your best interests at heart they can use your feelings against you. Love binds us to others, and it can rob us of our identity if it is mishandled and used as a weapon. You must be careful who you give your heart and love to, it is a commodity that can be greatly misused and turned against you.
Now when you meet someone for the first time, you are exposed to the facade they present to the world or their public face or mask. It is only after time that we begin to see the real person hiding inside. You may wonder why some people seem to change over time, well it isn't that they really have changed they are still the same person, you are just seeing more of them than they had originally shown. In my heart I don't believe anyone ever intentionally plans to enter into a relationship with malicious intent, unless they are a psychopath to begin with.
There is a honeymoon period when you meet someone, that is the time period that begins when you first meet and start to come together as a couple. It is that grace period where the hidden person has yet to be revealed. This period of time can last up too perhaps a year. Love is a journey, it is not something that just boom happens and you are there, and neither are the subtle approaches of mental abuse. It is a gradual increase of criticisms and slight of words, that are aimed at wounding you, they are used in the heat of an argument, as I have said before word wounds may never heal properly, because they fester and infect long after they have been said.
Do we ever really know the real person? I am not sure we do unless they are 100 percent honest with you, and trust me those types of people are few and far between. It is time that becomes the great equalizer. It is over time that you begin to see patterns develop. People live by patterns, they are our routines, and habits, and if you are observant you can start to read them. If the relationship starts to become over bearing, or you start to loose your sense of identity, then I think you will agree that love is a curse. If your relationship is co-dependent and you have no individual independence then I would say again that love is a curse. The same aspects that can make love a blessing are surely the same that make it a curse as well. But there are subtle differences and nuances that you have to be aware of and look for. See Love is kind, caring, compassionate, long suffering, patient, enduring, blind to the faults of others, and when you are in the midst of it you can't seem to think rationally, and at times you don't even recognize what is happening because it is so subtle and slow that one day you wake up and wonder how you got to the place you are at, and why the hell are you still with the same person who has been putting you down for years and criticizing you, who has been so jealous and demeaning that none of your friends want to be around. The same person who had decided that you weren't enough for them any more and decided to step out and fool around with someone else. The same one that brought home a disease and passed on to you, because they were callused and careless and honestly never truly gave you a second thought. See in relationships the person who has the least invested physically, emotionally is ultimately the one with all the power over it.
Look for the signs that go along with the co-dependency, the controlling and violent tempers. Because before you know it you start making excuses for their behavior, you rationalize to yourself that you guys have just hit a rough patch, or your partner is just under a lot of pressure, or a thousand other reasons. Let me tell you something, it truly isn't going to get any better and if you stay, the mental abuse, the put downs, and snide comments, as well as the heated arguments are going to increase, and one day, before you know those same things have turned into physical abuse. I have to tell you I have been down that road, and stayed there for far too long. Sometimes it is easier to make the excuses, cling to the past, and hope that something might change. There will come a time and a place when you realize that it never is going to happen, that you have been wishing on smoke. That enough is enough and you are going to have to leave. Don't fall for their lies and cries that they will change and that it will never happen again, because it is Bullshit, they are not going to change, it isn't going to get any better, somewhere along the way the relationship got sidetracked and it has come too far to turn around now. No one has the right to lay a hand on another person. Pay attention to what is said when you are arguing, because you will find out that those are the true feelings of the person, and the resentments and disillusionment that they have been harboring. Listen closely, and when you hear them you should know that it is time to go and move on because life isn't going to get any better, it is just going to get worse.
Ultimately, when someone really loves you and you have gotten to know them truly, then it will be a blessing...
Love is kind, enduring, never boastful or proud, compassionate, caring, patient, long suffering and the list goes on. But what is love really? Love is a combination of intense attraction mixed with emotional and physical ties, that bind two people together. Love is a seed that is planted and if nurtured correctly, and tended to can grow and bloom into something spectacular. Love is easy going, never forceful, it is accepting, and takes time to grow and develop. It is a journey of discovery and growth, between two people, the catch is that there has to be open and honest line of communication with each other for it to work. There has to be a base of friendship and mutual trust and understanding. Problems arise when people try to move things along too quickly, they don't let it mature and grow at it's own speed.
For those of you that know me I have gone into great detail in the past about my previous relationships. I have been in several long term relationships, and I have come to the conclusion that the way to make it work out is that you honestly must be open minded. You have to be willing to try new things, experiment, think outside the box, you have to keep it interesting and alive. I believe that along with Love comes responsibilities, that must be taken on by both parties. It is a fluid, a moving and growing thing that is never constant, change is part of what a relationship is all about. Remember that it is a journey that we are on, and love is apart of that journey.
Flexibility, honesty, and compromise are the key ingredients to a successful relationship and the development of love. If you truly love someone and they love you, things feel so easy, you fit together, there is no struggle. You feed into each others wants, needs and desires. Your goals are intertwined to take you to the next level. You are accepting and you don't feel jealousy or envy, because you already know in your heart that they are yours. Love is a two way street and it is something that is felt and if you aren't getting back as much as you are giving out then I think you might need to consider bailing out and looking elsewhere.
A long time ago I wrote this abstract on love. I am going to reprint it here hopefully this helps you understand what it is supposed to feel like:
Love is patient, kind and understanding;
Love is accepting and enduring;
Love is a seed that grows and matures;
Love is freely given, never with strings attached;
Love nourishes and flourishes with attention;
Love is never judging or demanding;
Love is a flower that grows from friendship, respect and trust;
Love is laughter, sunshine and praise;
Love makes you feel good about yourself;
Love is confident, Love is strong, Love heals, Love nurtures, Love protects, Love forgives, yet never forgets;
Love is uplifting, it is wholesome and pure;
Love is a kind word, a firm hand, and a tough taskmaster;
With Love you can move a mountain, soar to the highest heights.
Love can be blind, it can bind you, it is believing and hoping for the best in human kindness;
And above all else it's yours to give and take. Give it wisely, nourish it with attention, reap it's harvest;
It should never hurt or cause pain, but if it does tend to it, its a sign that it needs something.
And if it isn't returned it can burn and wither, but keep the faith, when it finds a fertile place that is receptive and warm it will burst forth again and flourish.
As you have read this I hope you can see that Love is both a blessing and a curse depending on how it is manipulated and used. Think of it as a coin, on one side you have blessing and on the other curse. How you handle it and perceive it is what is going to make the difference.
Jaime, this is for you buddy, I hope it points you in the direction you are looking for. I have to tell you thank you for the topic, because from the original entry I wrote, I have a new topic for tomorrow. "Why are gay relationships so transitory?"
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,