Love is portrayed as this cosmic connection that two people feel at their first glance in majority if the romantic movies. It is highly exaggerated. Media distorts our idea of love. It gives us unrealistic expectations and when they are not met, they lead to fights, breakups and divorces.
To this day, in multiple parts of the world, arranged marriages are still taking place. In most cases, couples who are arranged together experience a lack of initial chemistry. However, after their marriage, they find the love that adds a spark to their relationship. This begs the question; can you learn to love somebody?
Studies have shown that the divorce rate for arranged marriage only came up to 6% on a global scale. The question still remains if these couples fall in love with each other after their wedding. Majority of us are now used to the idea of it coming before marriage.
But can it possibly be the other way round?
Every couple has their unique situations, and each marriage has their good points and bad points. Chemistry grows over time. You can read more about the involvement of chemistry in relationships here: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/chemistry-counts-in-relat_b_8908814
Obviously, some level of attraction is needed in order to start a relationship. But can you really depend on that initial attraction as a sign that the relationship will last a long time?
This brings in other questions. How can you make the right choice for yourself? What happens if the initial attraction fades away and you fall out of love?
Can you learn to love and STAY in love?
The truth is, how much you love someone can increase or decrease. But you never stop loving someone you truly loved with all your heart. You just find something you value more.
Studies also show that personal factors also play a huge hand in making a relationship successful. Happiness and self-confidence, to an extent, can determine whether what you think/don’t think is right for you is actually reality.
Arranged marriages are ones that are set up by family or matchmakers. In most of these marriages, people LEARN to love each other through various qualities like curiosity, attention, compassion and kindness. A willingness to learn about and accept them, to examine what brings them pleasure, to overlook imperfections and to demonstrate a respectful and nurturant behavior. People can learn to love overtime.
Studies have shown that the love in love marriages started to fade within an average of two years. On the other hand, the love in arranged marriages slowly grew and got stronger even when the marriages crossed the 5 year mark. The conclusion of this study was that couples fell more in love as time grew in arranged marriages. But, this does not mean that the people who did not have an arranged marriage experienced a decrease in their level of affection. The point is that even without the initial attention, people managed to acquire a strong connection.
The point of including this study is not to determine whether an arranged or a love marriage is better. It is to determine whether love can be learnt, or if it is a natural occurrence that we should just leave up to the universe and fate to take care for us.
So, can it be learnt?
The conclusion of this blog post, however, simply is that, yes, it can be learnt. Flaws can be overlooked. This can apply to any relationship. Whether it is a lover, sibling, a friend or even a co-worker. Every relationship needs some level of chemistry to be a successful one. Good news is that this chemistry can be worked on and maintained. Therefore, by being curious, attentive, compassionate and kind, it is possible to learn to love someone, despite the lack of initial chemistry.