Tip #2 True Love is a choice

One thing that Hollywood does not teach us is that true love is a choice. Feelings come and go. It is a biological thing. Not a bad thing but we should not expect feelings to be there 24/7. One of my favourite quotes is “Choose your love and love your choice”. Reflect on this statement for a while.

We can’t choose how to feel as this is a biological process.Infatuation and physical attraction is the result of biology.But we can choose when, whom and how to love. This is a choice. It took me a long time to even understand and realise this. We are taught and trained that physical attraction or infatuation = love. This is the result of our society and media.

Think about the following question for a minute or two: “How can I really love someone  if I don’t know them? ”

If we think that the “perfect” relationship is feeling good or infatuated about the other person all the time, no relationship is going to be good enough.

There is no magic bullet. Take it slow and take the brain out of overdrive…this is when you will start moving forward. Hope this makes sense.

OK, now for another interesting exercise. Listen to the following song lyrics and try to figure out if this is true love or infatuation. Leave your comments below.

Whitesnake ” Is this love”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOJk0HW_hJw

You can find the lyrics here:

http://www.lyrics007.com/Whitesnake%20Lyrics/Is%20This%20Love%20Lyrics.html

Advertisements

24 comments

  1. This blog has been such an immense help to me! I’ve only been battling the worst of my ROCD for about 4 weeks now, but each day feels like a year. Thank you so much for taking the time to post your story and experiences. Your entries have been some of the only things to calm me down from a panic attack or ease one of my rougher nights. So glad I found this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

      1. “We are taught and trained that physical attraction or infatuation = love. This is the result of our society and media.”

        Hey Blip, SO this quote got me thinking. At the beginning of my relationship my partner and I were very hot and heavy. The passion, the intimacy, etc.

        The problem is rocd hit and now I’m questioning if i was ever in love in the first place or if it was just infatuation + attraction and me confusing those feelings with love.

        Can you help me?

      2. Love is something that you build over time. It is being sold as a cheap commodity these days but true love imho is something that you can only find or build after experience life together.

  2. Blip what’s your opinion on love and predestination? Do you think it’s a harmful notion for people with ROCD? Like feeling like you belong with someone but fear that “destiny” might take them away from you, take away your free will. It might seem silly to ask that.

    1. It is not silly at all to ask. I think it is a very valid question. What do you mean by “taking away your free will”? If you are with the person, you are already exercising your free will.

  3. I mean if predestination exists does that leave room for free will? If life has a set path for you and set people to be with, how can you be with the person you want to be with if possibly life has you predestined to be with someone else and you don’t know it. I run into that fear a lot. Like, I love the man I’m with and wonder what if the universe has me destined for someone else and takes me away from him or him away from me? I’ve also dealt with a lot of loss in my life that doesn’t help my rocd symptoms and feelings of helplessness. I guess no one knows, but it’s something I don’t want to happen. I know it sounds silly.

    1. It does not sound silly at all. That was one of the things that got me into trouble with ROCD in the first place. I always thought that I needed to be with someone that I was meant to be. And I was always looking for reassurance that I was doing the right thing.I did not understand that this looking for certainty was part of my OCD. I could argue that this was what trigger my OCD or that it was the product of my OCD – chicken or egg situation. But this discussion will not be very useful…

      In this sense and trying to answer your question, I would say that the notion of predestination is very bad for ROCD. It might even be produced by ROCD itself. The brain is in high alert and looking for signs of danger. Especially if you are a religious person, “predestination” is a very powerful belief. And OCD, latches on to our important beliefs. I worked out that I was having panic attacks and high anxiety because I thought I was possessed and someone told me that this way of thinking is very common in people with religious beliefs.

      According to my understanding of the knowledge of God, I know HE wants us to be happy. And that HE will never make any choices for us. And that the greatest gift we were given is the gift of free will.So predestination is something that goes against the nature of GOD. On the other hand, I do think that he might lead us to people that we can be compatible with and then we exercise our choice to be or not with that person.

      The fear that you express is a cardinal symptom of anxiety and it is the result of a brain actively looking for signs of danger. Hope this makes sense!

  4. I guess it just takes time and effort to change your way of thinking. It’s crazy that the brain can trick you like that. I also wondered if a common thing with rocd was differences between you and your partner. Say you have the core essentials of the relationship in common, but you don’t like all the same bands or the same movies or say you’re more artistic and your partner is less artistic. I find little things trigger it for me like that too. Is that normal with rocd? Do differences like that necessarily mean that you’re not good for one another? I guess that seems silly too since the core basics are more important.

    1. Well nothing is silly with the ROCD part of the brain. If you can see the brain as made of two parts: one that is highly rational and logical and the other that is highly irrational and illogic, most of the ROCD processes happen in the non rational part of the brain. And that is why trying to use logic and reason to solve ROCD is never going to work. I will write more about this on today’s post. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Thanks for the response blip. I’ve got another one for ya. I’ve noticed that one of my triggers (among many) is people saying “you just know when you’ve met the right one”. I’m sure a lot of rocd sufferers spike at that notion. How can anyone ever really know? Do you think any spiritual intuition really serves us since we are mentally ill and it’s more likely that it’s not spiritual intuition? I just get confused by that and it scares me personally because it’s like you can’t trust yourself in any way.

    1. Well, when people say that “you just know” stuff I think they live in a fairytale world and have been watching too many Hollywood movies. Here is why:

      1)I find this type of thinking quite “dangerous” in a relationship. When you start to have problems or disagreements it is not difficult to switch to “maybe this is not right thinking” or
      2)You start to have problems or disagreements that lead to abuse (physical, emotional or psychological) then you accept the abuse because it was “meant to be”
      3) How many Hollywood starts started their marriage on the same premise that “it was the right one” only to bitterly divorce days, months or years latter?
      4) When people say “you just know” that also tends to imply that you do not need to put any effort in the relationship and things just happen. This is what Hollywood wants to think. That is not real world living – children, bills to pay, work pressures etc
      5) Those cases that “you just know when you have met the right one” if we were to investigate them deeper, you would see that it was so because people already shared a set of common values or ideas and they were willing to WORK on their relationships. This is not to say that any point in time they did not have any doubts. But the most important determinant of happiness imho is if people are willing to work together.

      Well in regards to spiritual intuition, I tend to rely more on spiritual principles and not let intuition be a determining factor in my relationship. It is true that in OCD intuition is somewhat broken because the brain sends some wrong signals. I do not think that God wants us to live on spiritual intuition. He gives us spiritual principles for us to live on. I am tasked then to learn these principles and I apply them in my life. Jesus taught this same principle in John 7:17. He did not say “feel” but “do”.

      I think that we need to take responsibility for our choices and not pass on this responsibility to anyone else not even to God. We can consult God but the choice is ours in the end because He has given us this privilege. Otherwise what would be the point of having free agency if we were not to take responsibility for our choices? We could never be rewarded for any good we would do. If we do the best we can, according to the spiritual principles that we have received God will bless us because He knows we are trying to do our best.

      1. Blip,

        I would love to hear you speak more about your experiences with spiritual intuition. Like you, I have learned to ignore my spiritual intuition whenever it seems irrational or lacks compassion toward myself and others, trusting it isn’t truly of God (even though it might feel strongly that way).

        But when it comes to relationships I find myself often crippled by intuition, as it gradually surfaces and seems to come from the deepest/truest part of who I am. Even when “on paper” we have much in common, share core values, speak the same “love languages” and consistently choose to love one another, I have a strong, intuitive sense that the compatibility and my attraction are false, that I’m forcing something that will ultimately cause heartache, and that I’m holding on to the relationship more out of fear than genuine love. Not saying this is necessarily true, but when it comes from that deepest part of my being, it grows nearly impossible to ignore and it guts the relationship of freedom, confidence and hope. I’m at the point where I feel compelled to break off my current relationship because it feels so false at its core despite her wonderful qualities, our striking commonalities and the bond and affection that have grown between us.

        I guess I’m asking, does rOCD anxiety masquerade as intuition and seem “really real” in the core of our beings?

        This raises another question. Do you or others often feel like you’re “faking it” when you’re choosing the good and rational in your lives? I’ve spent the past several years on a mostly self-guided recovery from rOCD and similar issues, but it often feels like I’m not being true to my core self in choosing the rational and good over the seemingly irrational pulls of my heart.

        Thanks for this site and in advance for your thoughts.

        WM

  6. Blip, I’ve been struggling with lots of relationship anxiety lately too. I think it all stems from the fact that the first time we got together I didn’t really feel anything- no sparks- but I gave him a chance and he’s definitely grown on me. We are very happy and when we’re together I feel little to no anxiety, but when we’re apart I feel A LOT, which is challenging because we are long distance. It almost seems like my mind won’t let me believe we’re in a relationship when we’re not together, and I don’t miss him, and then I feel guilty for not missing him. It got so bad the other day that I almost broke up with him in a panic, and then when I opened my mouth to say those words, “I miss you” spilled out instead and the anxiety instantly went away. Obviously it came back a few hours later but for that time it was so nice to be free of the anxiety.

    Anyway, I was thinking about what you wrote in this post and wondering if then you think it’s possible to fall in love with anybody, as long as you commit to loving them. My boyfriend loves me very much and I desperately want to return all of those feelings, but it’s like I have a mental block…probably from the anxiety… that just won’t let me feel those things for him when we’re apart. I also find that my brain can’t really process how he feels for me, it’s just unfathomable to me that he would feel that way and I can’t feel it at all. When we’re together it comes easily but as soon as we part ways and go back to our long distance posts it’s like all of that belongs to another world. Does that sound familiar to you? I have always had anxiety issues so I have a feeling/HOPE this is related to those and not just the fact that i’m not interested in him, because he is a definite keeper and I can see us being very happy together in the future, and I’m willing to commit to loving him. But right now my anxiety and lack of feelings makes it seem like that is out of reach. Thoughts?

    1. Hi,

      I think lesson no.1 that I took from ROCD was that the more wanted some sort of feelings to be there, the more elusive they were. For ROCD sufferers love tend to be slightly more complicated. But I also think that it will work out better in the long run if we stuck to principles instead of feelings. I will give you an example. Growing old and finding our other half as physically attractive as a 20 year old is a myth. Attraction can take a deeper meaning which normally happens as the relationship develops. BUT if we are expecting these same feelings of infatuation to be there until we die, we are setting up ourselves for a fall.

      This means that we have to make a choice along the way. Like every “normal” person does. What this means as well is that we need to put values before feelings. Specially when anxiety prevents you to enjoy good feelings. I am not saying that you should not be attracted to the person but that you need to find your own balance as things are not black and white. If you were not in a relationship then things would be black and white. Once you are in a relationship and you are struck by ROCD and all your feelings get sucked out of you then things become grey. The mistake is thinking that the feelings are not there because of the relationship when the problem is our ability to feel that has been hampered. And this is something that you can only find for yourself. There is no formula other than deciding to put values before feelings. Your friends might say that you do not feel anything because you have fallen out of love (not sure even if this phenomenon is true) but the reality is that only you know what goes on inside your head and how anxiety mess up with it.

      1. Amazing stuff, Blip.

        I actually just had a conversation like this with my girlfriend this morning. Amazingly, she loves me even more for being so open about my conflicted feeling or lack of feelings and agrees that it actually puts us on more solid ground for the future should we get married because we will be choosing to love, rather than just responding to the emotions of the moment. And, yes, that makes me the luckiest man on earth to have her given my rOCD. 🙂

        WM

    2. Hi there, I have recently come across this blog and have read it with immense interest…your comment in particular is the one that I relate to the most in terms of what I go through. Thank you for explaining it so well, it helps to know that I am not alone 🙂 I note that you posted back in April, so I hope that you are coping better with things now and have managed to work through your rOCD/anxiety issues. I too have had anxiety about other things in the past, and have worked through them, but dating/relationships have always been my sticking point. I know I need to work through it and am hopeful that I can…I have found a specialist therapist so I am looking forward to working with her on it, and I wish you luck on your continued journey 🙂

  7. I am the happiest person alive today. I have struggled to find an answer to my doubts for so long. I am in a relationship now with a wonderful person but my thoughts are driving him and me away from eachother. I am constantly bickering him about things he does, trying to make me feel better if he changes but nothing helps. I want to be with him all the time but when I am with him I can’t stand the thoughts of me not “allowed” to be with him because I feel lack of love and butterflies and attraction.
    I have never heard of rocd before and have been so sad because friends are telling me that he may not be the right one, I should keep looking, but I don’t want to… And I found an answer today, a wonderful feeling that this is me.
    I want to be happy and calm, so I can do things in my everyday life that aren’t about being with him or not.

  8. Hey there, I’ve been suffering with ROCD (I think- sometimes obsessively think that I’m just telling myself it’s rocd) for a fair few months now. My recent spike that actually happened this morning is scaring the life out of me and I just need someone’s opinion. I have been with my partner for 3 years now, and a few months ago I found this one male fairly attractive which sent me into an anxious spiral. I deleted him off Facebook as everytime I saw his name I would panic and freak out. Since then I hadn’t thought of him since, but just this morning my boyfriend mentioned him and that his manager was looking to possibly recruit him (which is very unlikely due to the job he does). At first I didn’t think anything of it but then suddenly I had anxious thoughts such as ‘what happens if fate is telling you something’ ‘what if you have tried to push him away but fate is bringing him back’ I love my boyfriend so much and want to be with HIM and no one else but I’m fearful and anxious that this is a ‘sign’ and that I’m fighting fate. Please help, I’m desperate!

    1. Hi, there is no quick answer to OCD. It is a slow recovery process. And it starts by taking full responsibility for our actions and not divert these to our OCD. There is no point in trying to address symptoms without addressing the disease.So you should focus on OCD not its symptoms.

  9. Hi there Blip. I have been trying to figure out how to e-mail you but to no avail. Hopefully you or another member sees this comment and is able to give me some advice. Lately it seems as if my anxiety has spiraled out of control, and I have noticed myself constantly thinking, thinking, thinking about my relationship, and nothing good comes from it. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years, and this last year has been long distance. I know that long distance relationships can be hard as is, but with my constant ‘do I love him’ thoughts, it becomes 10x harder. Thinking back when I first started dating him I remember constantly asking him, ‘are you happy with me?’ and ‘do you really want to be with me?’ He’s stuck with me through it all, and I know that I want to be with him. I have been trying to practice mindfulness but at the same time I’ve been trying to dispel my bad thoughts and it just seems like I’m trying to juggle too much.

    I suppose my question for you or anyone else is, what’s a good way to begin recovering? I’ve read your posts about the topic but I’m just not sure where to start. Any and all help would be appreciated!

  10. Hi,
    I haven’t been offically diagnosed with OCD, but I’m pretty sure I have it. Since I can remember I have always been an over-thinker and worrier. But after my boyfriend received open heart surgery 5 years ago and my beloved dog passed away 3 years, my OCD has gotten out of control and comes in extreme bouts. I have also suffered from panic attacks and depression caused by my obsessive thinking/analyzing and ruminating. This past year, I started school full time and am not working. Then 3 months ago my boyfriend started school full time at night, therefore we don’t see each other as often. I always had slight relationship questioning, but could put it aside and not worry about it. However, since he’s been going to school, I have started obsessing if this is the right thing, “do i love him” and everything you could possibly think of….. It has gotten to the point where I sometimes get anxious when I with him and have become numb to any feeling toward him, but deep down I know I love him so much and he is the love of my life and I wouldn’t want to live without him. This obsessive thinking has lead me to become very anxious and depressed. I keep wanting to feel the way I used to and when I don’t and can’t seem to “feel”, I become more anxious and depressed and start to question everything even more. It is truly distressing and a vicious cycle. I am trying to find a psychologist I can go see but because I go to school everyday from 8-5, it will be very difficult to fit this into my schedule. I will be graduating in august and find it impossible to get through this last semester, I am so overwhelmed with school as it is and all I can think about is my relationship, it’s starting to consume my life. I just keep telling myself that this is what OCD does, it attacks the most important thing in your life. My mind it truly a monster and my worst enemy….. Please help!!!

    1. Hi there, OCD is a very difficult condition to live with. No doubt about it…The trick is to take one day at a time. Seek for appropriate help and above all be patient with yourself. Please the “how to use this blog” section to get you started…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s