Loving is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
What does that mean?
Lovers looking at each other is the infatuation stage of a relationship, although even old married couples do it from time to time. They seem to stare as much for the pleasure derived from it, as they do to convince themselves that the relationship isn’t a dream.
As the relationship deepens and matures, people start spending less time staring at each other, and more time facing their future together. Prior to this point, they have been two people considering the possibility of becoming one.
After this point, they are two people in the process of becoming one. Their relationship is sufficiently stable that constant looking at each other isn’t necessary for reassurance. They begin to look beyond themselves and face their future together, side by side.
Why is looking forward important?
Looking forward, or looking the same direction, is important because it gives a common view and a common goal to people. As long as people are looking in the same direction (nominally forward, as that’s where the eyes most humans are), you’re looking at (and hopefully seeing) the same thing, and moving in the same direction.
When people start looking different directions, that’s when things start to come apart. Have you ever been part of a large group that goes to a carnival or a theme park? In my experience, some immediately look to the rides, others to the games, still others to the vendors. As each group faces, so do they go. Suddenly it’s not one group any more.
As a group of friends spending an afternoon at a carnival or theme park, it’s not that bad, no damage done. For people in love, it can be a dangerous thing to their relationship if it goes unchecked. Yes, having different interests has it’s place, but the primary focus should be together, looking the same direction, not looking different directions.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Think about a relationship, either one you have had, or one you have known about, where the people involved were looking exclusively at each other. When I think of the relationships like that, the first word that comes to mind is “puppy love” or infatuation.
Now think about a relationship where the people are looking, together, in the same direction, towards their future. When I think of the relationships like that, the first word that comes to mind is “mature” as in a stable relationship, well founded and stable.
I understand that not everyone is in a romantic love relationship at the moment. On the off chance that those not presently entangled may one day end up in such a situation, I invite you to read on. Those who have given up on it, I won’t try to convince you otherwise, but invite you to read on anyway, just in case love ever sneaks up on you again.
Looking in the same direction presumes a common goal, a common destination, a common future. Does your past experience match the pattern I have described so far? Mine most certainly has, as have most of the relationships I have seen friends or family involved in.
In your relationships, do you have a common goal? Not just your romantic love relationships, but your other love relationships, familial, brotherly, etc. As my son is a young teen, he is starting to look other directions, but largely looks the same direction as my wife and I. My daughter is still mostly looking at us (to continue with the quote).
What might your common goals be? Grab some paper and write down the most important love relationships in your life, and write a few of the common goals next to each. With that complete, look at each relationship. How certain are you that the other person would write down the exact same thing? Have you discussed these goals recently? Do you think it might be a good idea to do so? In case you hadn’t guessed, that’s a hint.
Love, like life, is an ongoing process, a journey. Keep your loved ones close to you, and facing the same direction, as you walk down life’s path. I believe it is worth the effort, to work with those you love and make sure you’re on the same path and looking the same direction.
From: Twitter, @Beyond_I_Do
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/antoinedes154902.html
Photo by nathalielaure
Happy Saint Valentine’s Day, for those who celebrate it!