You know that feeling you get when you first fall in love? Weak
at the knees, stomach churning, can’t think about anything else?
It’s great, isn’t it? On the other hand, it puts you on an emotional
knife-edge that makes almost everything else, from work to
eating, really quite difficult.
Some people get addicted to it. They just don’t feel alive unless
they’re ‘in love’. But of course relationships don’t stay like that.
Sooner or later you become confident and sure enough of your
partner not to worry or fret, and you get used to having them
around so you don’t jump at the sound of the phone. So if you’re
addicted to falling in love’, you’ll have to keep ditching your
partners and finding new people to fall for.
You may be wondering why I keep putting inverted commas
round ‘in love’. Well, there are two reasons. The first is that you
don’t have to be in love to have this feeling, and you may be
misled. It might actually be lust or infatuation and not love at
all. And the other reason is that I don’t want to imply that if you
don’t have this feeling you aren’t in love with your partner.
There are very good reasons why this heightened emotional state
doesn’t last forever. You couldn’t function, and the state has a lot
to do with nerves and excitement and after a while your rela-
tionship will inevitably stop making you nervous, and cease to
be as exciting as it was. You can still do exciting things together,
but the relationship itself will become routine, hopefully in the
very best of ways.
RULE 61
128
T H E R U L E S O F L O V E
Contentment is a
high aim
RULE 61
129
R E L A T I O N S H I P R U L E S
So what do you end up with if you stick out the relationship past
the point where you can’t sleep at night and can’t think about any-
thing else? Well, that varies of course. For some people what’s left
isn’t really worth having. But for those people who have a combi-
nation of luck, good judgement and a grasp of the Rules, what
you can end up with if all goes really well is contentment.
Contentment isn’t about fireworks, weak knees and flutteriness.
Which is why some people completely fail to realize that despite
its more subtle charm, contentment is worth a whole lot more
than short-term passion. And being content with someone does-
n’t mean you’re no longer ‘in love’. It means you are truly and
deeply in love in the best sense without any inverted commas.
So don’t get hooked on getting that fix of first ‘love’. Concentrate
on making sure that you follow the Rules so that as the first
flush slowly dies down, it is replaced by something that is more
rewarding, companionable, warm, fulfilling and loving. And
when that happens, don’t think about what you have lost, but
about what you’ve gained. That’s contentment and you should
be more than happy with it.
CONTENTMENT ISNT
ABOUT FIREWORKS, WEAK
KNEES AND FLUTTERINESS

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