Love is one of the great mysteries of life. Sometimes it makes all the sense in the world and sometimes it doesn’t. Wanting to get to the bottom of what’s really going on in her head and heart. Elite Singles sat down to discuss the psychology of love with expert psychotherapist, Louisa Niehaus…
Carl Jung said: “Your vision will become clear only if you look into your heart. Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside wakes up”. Looking inward provides the opportunity to understand our relationships on a deeper level. While being out of touch with your inner fears, desires, and often unconscious. Emotions can lead to a disconnect between what you want and what you really have in mind. life and in love. Using a Jungian angle, Louisa discusses. What you want to know about the psychology of love. She explains that tuning in to the love you crave and understanding who you’re attracted to can unlock your ‘love coin’…
Looking at the psychology of love through an analytical lens allows us to glimpse. The surface of relationship patterns. Examining what is really going on in the subconscious provides a unique opportunity to understand questions. Like “why do we fall in love with someone?” or ‘do we choose who we fall in love with?’
Working with Jungian psychology to apply analytical concepts such as archetypes and dreams. Can unlock access to unconscious desires, your barriers to love, and the key complexes at play in your relationships. Louisa explains some of these big questions about love and the psychology behind it.
As a starting point, when it comes to love, people often don’t have a clear understanding of the love they want to create in their lives. What would you say is the first step in identifying the love you need? In other words, how can you begin to understand your personal psychology of love? flirtwith
LN: The good news is that there is a process to understand the love you need and the love you have. Through in-depth analysis, one can get subconscious answers; they can be accessed both in a therapy setting and by exploring these questions in different ways, like a course, to gain the tools.
In the Western world, we have been conditioned to believe that only the empirical, rational, and logical mind is relevant. However, love is psychology anything but rational. The vertigo, spontaneity and irrationality are so alluring that we never want the ‘honeymoon phase’ to end!
So how do you identify what you need in your love relationships? It is usually what is most difficult for you to reach. Or it’s the quality you long to find in another, and then you’re often disappointed or heartbroken when they haven’t been able to meet your needs. This need arises from an innate and unconscious longing for a sense of fulfilment; if it is fulfilled, then your psyche believes that you will be complete. We keep spinning our heads looking for this unrequited love until we find someone with a resonance who can answer the needs of this unrequited love.
Having experience as a psychotherapist and taking courses on how to awaken your love, what are the obstacles or barriers that can prevent people from enjoying a happy and healthy relationship in their life?
LN: In my experience, people are often not aware of what their key motivators and drivers are. It is often difficult for people to clearly articulate why they find someone attractive. There are the obvious factors like appearance, status, perceived reciprocity, psychology chemistry. However, it is surprising to discover that it is the unseen unconscious factors that cause the obstacles. It is very difficult to truly face the uncomfortable sides of our personality, which can be short-tempered, defensive, self-righteous, needy, or clingy.
However, most of us have a bias as to when we are “doing it wrong” in relationships. The older we get and the more experience we have in relationships, the more often we are able to experience ourselves through another. Meaningful relationships serve as mirrors. I advise reflecting on significant relationships and seeing if there are recurring themes. Are you choosing similar partners, people with similar personality traits? Sometimes these themes aren’t immediately apparent, but if you look closely, there’s usually a link between the mental or emotional space you’re in when looking for a relationship and the type of partner you attract.
We Fall in Love
The danger is that people who are very needy and looking for someone to mate with tend to attract an equally needy partner. This often ends in a situation of codependency, which becomes unhealthy for both individuals. In unhealthy relationships, both partners feed off of their mutual need to be needed. Often the true needs of the relationship are confused, neglected because the relationship is characterised by intense ups and downs, punctuated by feeding the other’s insatiable and unrealistic needs. flirtwith.com
This question is poignant as, without introspection and self-awareness, we look to the other for completion and satisfaction. When, in fact, we need to nourish ourselves to be as complete as possible, so that the alchemical addition of the magical other serves to embellish us more, but not to complete us. If we look to the other to complete us, we remain unrequited and generally dissatisfied. And I have found that this is one of the most common roadblocks in psychology relationships.
What do you think is the reason why we fall in love with one person and not another? Are there certain key complexes at play or what determines who we fall in love with?
LN: This may come as a surprise, but we fall in love with another because they embody parts of us, seen and unseen, known and unknown to us. There are aspects of our femininity and masculinity that come alive and dance with each other when we experience alchemical love. In essence, what you are seeing in the other, when you fall in love, is yourself.
There are unconscious impulses and beliefs that affect our decisions and actions in relationships. The analysis of these impulses allows you to become aware of how your complexes attract complexes in others. For example, if you are a masochist, you will look for a sadist. This type of attraction will make you feel complete with the other since both carry complexes that are in synergy, even if they are not good for you. That’s why when relationships end, you feel like a part of you has been ripped out, that you’re not whole anymore!
What is the ‘coin of love’? Can you explain that concept?
LN: The currency of love is the vernacular or unique language that is used in our main love relationship to buy, exchange, participate, trade and play. For example, my currency is communication: I love communication, talking, sharing, understanding, being understood. My greatest gift to another, in my opinion, is to be direct and clear and that is why I enjoy receiving this currency in return. But my communication currency has also served a purpose in that it prevents the need to play games in the early stages of relationships. However, if this doesn’t mesh properly with the other, one’s coin could serve to alarm a partner. For example, although it is a main factor for me, the level of clarity and communication can be overwhelming for another person.
Others may have a currency that equates to acts of service or help. For example, they may want to help you with homework, fixing things, walking the dog, etc. With love coins, don’t be surprised if they are also evident in the physical aspects of a relationship. When you identify your love coin, it is so deeply ingrained that you will also find aspects of your love coin in your intimate physical psychology relationship. In many ways, it is similar to your love language.
What do people need to know and understand about their own love coin? How is it possible to find and identify it?
A love coin is a very strong asset. It is its equivalent to the dollar. It can also be equated to your personal signature. It’s so intrinsic to you that defining it precisely could be a challenge. I often work in this area with clients. Some signs are how you say and do things, what important acts you do for others that make you feel happy and fulfilled. These acts are often very apparent at the beginning of a relationship when you want to be seen at your best. One tends to offer the best of oneself and this is seen in the light of its unique currency.
It is not always possible to define it in its entirety. It is those characteristics of yours that emerge unsolicited when you are in the midst of a new relationship. You may want to do small acts of love and service, like baking or fixing things.
Or he could be clearly expressing his feelings and intentions, expressing his admiration, pride or joy for the other. Your love coin makes you unique and will attract others due to the exact way you relate to them. Your currency will give you the ability to navigate into another’s world, if they recognize and enjoy your currency. For example, someone who doesn’t like being helped or helped with small tasks will not find resonance with a person who does.
However, at the risk of being contrary, I would caution people not to get too obsessed with trying to precisely define their currency. Rather, be aware of it and allow it to retain a magical quality that lights up when you meet a magical other! Sometimes we get too caught up in trying to self-analyze and evaluate ourselves to be perfect beings and attract a perfect other.
What would you like people to understand about the psychology of love?
LN: I wish with all my heart that people allow themselves to enjoy love more. The more experience we have of life and love, the more cautious we often become. Learn to recognize and understand yourself and your past relationships, to free yourself to love.
Love is beautiful. We are exceptionally beautiful beings! We get tired of love, using phrases like;
“It’s so hard to find love”
“There are very few good men/women out there”
“People have a lot of baggage”
Once we have been through several relationships or have reached a certain age, we can become overwhelmed with what is commonly referred to as “baggage.” If you’ve travelled, you’re familiar with the fact that real suitcases are much lighter these days. I firmly believe that with greater self-awareness, our own baggage will become lighter. That, in turn, will enable us to better navigate the minefield we perceive the dating world to be.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a partner and a satisfying relationship?
LN: Take the time and effort to get to know yourself! First, discover your own beauty, what makes you happy, fulfilled and joyful. Don’t expect someone to magically fill it. Paradoxically, no one will know what fills you better than you. This is the classic mistake, we look for the other to fill a void, when in reality, your satisfaction and inner fulfilment will be further complemented by someone who electrifies and enhances these qualities in you. These intrinsic qualities in you must be grounded and solid, so that even when there are difficulties or obstacles in your relationship, always know that there is a core within you that is resolved and intact.
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Discover your shadow, your unconscious, be aware of what you bring to a relationship. Learn from your previous relationships. It takes two to tango. It is very easy to completely exonerate yourself from your role in your previous relationships. Have the courage to own those parts of yourself that aren’t particularly nice. If you have the courage to do so, the next time these parts pop up spontaneously in your relationship. You’ll be less likely to see them and adjust your behavior.
This gives you the awareness to work with the dark parts of yourself, to better navigate a familiar and uncomfortable scenario. Many of my clients in private practice and in my courses are aware of what I call ‘family arguments’. The familiarity of these arguments can come from the beginning of your own relationship history, regardless of the partner. So light up these patterns and you’ll be free to change them!