Are We Addicted To Romantic Love?


Phoenix Relationship Coaching’s Associate Coach Robin Wright-Thurnley’s take on relationships, dating, and marriage.

My day begins with my arms wrapped around my Wife; making small talk while we watch the sunrise from our garden after meditating.

For me, this is one of the most romantic parts of my day.

There was a time when I wasn’t romantically inclined. Public displays of affection would make me turn my head away in disgust.

I was on the other side of the love coin – my first marriage had failed, and I was bitter and in emotional pain for a long time.

Witnessing first-hand the love shared between other couples stirred a longing within me for my own happiness.

I had agonised over the failure of my marriage and considered what I could have done differently to make it work.

One of my male friends suggested I work on being more romantic.

I watched a lot of romantic movies to establish what women liked about them, and realised they were an over-idealised version of romance and romantic love. One I couldn’t possibly live up to. What chance did I have of finding love again?

I vowed I would give my all the next time I fell in love. I’d be romantic, and overwhelm the object of my affection with so much romantic love she wouldn’t be able to find fault with me. I went all out on candlelit dinners, swanky restaurants, walks by moonlight, endless gifts and flowers.

The entire Hollywood Movie romance – and complete overkill.

It didn’t quite work out – my girlfriend found my obsession with being romantic too much to handle, and soon bailed on our relationship.

I was addicted to having a romantic kind of love – for a little over a year, then I got on with my life.

Took the of focus off finding love, and started my own business.

Love was the last thing on my mind.

There are many types of love, and finding one which suits you both takes time.

Grow together through what you go through, and you’ll find that perfect kind of love.

As humans, one of the fundamental needs or basic needs we crave is love. To love and be loved in return.

When we love, the pleasure centre in our brains lights up. MRI scans will indicate that love lights up the pleasure center of the brain.

When we fall in love, blood flow increases in this area, which is the same part of the brain implicated in obsessive-compulsive behaviours.

When our love is returned to us, the same response is activated.

Problems begin when we want to be in love like in the Movies – the unrealistic expectation to randomly meet another while out walking the dog in the Park, and being in love six minutes and a bowl of popcorn later.

Have you even considered whether you’re on the same page romantically with the object of your affection?

Each person’s interpretation of romance will differ. For my ex-girlfriend, it was clearly not the same interpretation as mine. It took some time, but I looked at my values, and my self-worth.

Did I like who I was, and what I believed in?

I realised that being overly romantic felt false, it felt forced, and betrayed my own values.

How did I expect to be loved and have my love returned when I wasn’t being my authentic self?

Once I had established what my core values were, my approach to love and romance was more measured, more certain, less intense, and felt more real to me.

As though sending out a message to the Universe, the right kind of love and level of real romance found me, unexpectedly.

The way I love now has a higher frequency. A unique vibration which elevates the more I spend time with my Wife.

Each of us reflects our true self back to the other. It feels natural and real to love and be loved in such a clear and definable way.

Romantically, I find pleasure in the slightest gesture of affection because of its authenticity.

Sometimes its the scent of a hot meal waiting for me when I get home from work.

Others, its the scent of her perfume when she’s not in the room.

Little things which remind me I am worthy of her love, and she values me.

The takeaway here is that only when you step back and examine whether your emotions are in control, are authentic, and are real can you begin to live the life you have imagined – and love honestly, openly and courageously secure in the knowledge it is returned to you tenfold.

About Robin Wright-Thurnley

Robin is an Associate Coach at Phoenix Relationship Coaching where he guides men towards achieving their dreams of lasting love.