This is just one more example of how contemporary culture has perverted our concept of what love is. If love is to be meaningful and lasting, and on a good spiritual basis, love needs to be based on who the person is ... not on his or her looks. One can certainly be attracted to someone on first sight, one can be in lust with someone on first sight, but to love someone needs more than just the vibes the person gives off. It takes getting to know someone deeply, to understand who they are as opposed to how well they meet your needs, to truly be able to say that you are in love with someone.
The fact that two people may date and even cohabit for an extended period of time doesn’t mean that they have come to understand each other. The reason is that we approach a relationship through our ego and see the other person through the filter of the ego-mind. Most relationships tend to flourish or fail in the early period based on more superficial issues ... how well they get along, how good the sex is, how they meet each other’s needs. It’s always about what “I” need, how well “I” feel in the relationship; there is too infrequently a concern for the other person’s needs in the relationship.
The problem with that is that even if the relationship flourishes, these attributes often change over time. Either because they have children or get more involved with work. people find that they don’t get along as well and their needs aren’t met. Often the sex isn’t as good or as frequent. And as people age and their bodies change, the physically appealing young person they were often changes in the other’s mind to someone who is no longer physically appealing. Who the person is really doesn’t change ... although one often hears people say, “He’s changed so much.” It’s that the intersection of the two people’s needs, their egos, have changed.
Thus we have such a high rate of divorce ... roughly 50%. It’s not because people were truly in love and drifted apart. It’s because they never were really in love; they never really knew each other and were committed to each other. The relationship was based on surface matters and not a deep understanding of who each person was and a selfless love for each other.
Once I was dating someone and after a few months the person. crying, said, “I knew you weren’t the one the first time you opened the door. I won’t settle for anything less than romantic love, and if it means I’ll be alone for the rest of my life, so be it.” How sad.
So when you meet someone, be careful to look beyond the surface ... whether it’s very appealing or only minimally so. What lies beneath may in the first instance turn out to be someone who is not really compatible with you despite all the sparks, and in the second could turn out to be someone who is the best soulmate you could wish to find.