Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I have doubts about marriage, mainly because I see couples that do not love each other and decide to live together for other reasons than love itself. When I fall in love and I feel the other person does not feel the same way about me, I keep telling myself that it is a emotion I should not identify with. Also, it makes me feel I am losing control of myself; therefore, it must not be real love (what I feel for the other person) but just an emotion from my ego that I should not identify with.
Is falling in love a behavior from the ego? Does the need to be with someone come from the ego? If real love is unconditional love that should be given to any human being, how can we justify feeling in love for a special person we might consider marrying? How can I marry someone without falling in love? How can a woman and a man be in real love?
— Roger S., Douglas, Georgia
Although you've posed several questions, they all come down to one: Can I trust every infatuation I fall into? As you must know by now, the answer is no. Infatuation is a giddy beginning. It makes you feel light-headed and consumed by runaway emotions. "This is it, love at last!"
That's how it should feel, but infatuation is brief, and it leads to deeper stages of connection. If you have found someone who responds to you, love can proceed mutually to the next stage—you come back down to earth and start the mundane business of figuring out how to relate. Infatuation takes place on a cloud; lasting love is about sharing one closet, deciding who will live in what house and remembering to get skim milk instead of whole if that's what the other person prefers.
I suspect that you are a bit addicted to infatuation and resist moving on to the more realistic phases of love. In other words, either you have doubts about relating in a serious way or you are stuck in adolescence. My instinct says the latter. Look yourself in the mirror and realize that having crushes and going steady should be in the past. Your present need isn't for Miss Right. It's for a bit of growing up.
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
Published on January 20, 2010