The Four-Quadrant Theory of Modern Love: How to Achieve Long-Lasting Beautiful Love

Modern people often have this question: Is there still a long-lasting and beautiful love? The answer is yes. A particularly important fact is that love has not faded over time, but has taken different forms. Many people have the misunderstanding that love during the honeymoon period is the best, and all efforts after that are to maintain and maintain the original appearance of love. If it is different, love will no longer be beautiful. However, research has found that people with good love never maintain the original freshness and passion, but accept changes in love with a very open mind and appreciate the beauty of different stages, which is very important. We must constantly update and coordinate in love, so that it has more diverse forms.

So, what is good love? Are there specific criteria for judging? Here I would like to talk to you about my four-quadrant theory of modern love. People think that love can bring joy and happiness, and good love can also make people grow. Therefore, when discussing the love model, I first defined two coordinate axes-the horizontal axis is happiness, which becomes more and more happy from left to right; the vertical axis is growth, which grows better and better from bottom to top. These two dimensions are divided into four areas, among which hedonic and reciprocal relationships are good, consumption-binding relationships are bad, and growth-healing relationships are ideal love models in long-term relationships.

hedonic love

This kind of love is passionate and joyful, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to personal growth. The happiness here has two meanings. The first level is the physical meaning, I like your appearance, I like your smell, I am very happy when I am with you. The second layer is the spiritual meaning. I really want to do things with you, because doing things with you is interesting and meaningful. There is a scene in the movie “Titanic” where Jack teaches Ruth to spit. Ruth is a noble lady who pays attention to rules and etiquette, while Jack advocates freedom very much. Rose said to Jack: “I hope you can teach me to ride a horse and spit like a man.” Jack was surprised: “You can’t even spit, well, let’s go to the deck and spit out.” The two are very happy together. Did Jack really make Ruth grow up here? No. But because of some happy things they did together, they quickly fell in love.

Hedonic love is very attractive, but the central challenge is whether you can trust the pleasure and enjoy the relationship. The process of enjoying happiness is a lot like riding a roller coaster. You have to trust it and know it is safe, so that you can fully enjoy the release at that moment. But we are very alert to happiness, because rationality often follows happiness. The other party’s family background is different from mine, with a lower education than mine, and less income than mine… Reason quickly overwhelms sensibility. Past experience tells us that the parents who love us always say that it is good for you to be happy, but they object to most of the happy things you do, and tell you that happiness is dangerous. Therefore, when people encounter happy love, they often find it difficult to continue and feel that the future is at risk.

Nevertheless, hedonic love is full of passion, “the love doesn’t know where it starts, and it goes deep”, it is closest to our imagination of love.

reciprocal love

Two people are more complementary and promote each other, but they are not necessarily full of passion and happiness. Sheldon in “The Big Bang Theory” has a high IQ but a low EQ. We felt that he could never find a girlfriend in his life, and he himself didn’t quite understand intimacy, so when he gave his friend’s wedding speech, he said: “I have never understood why people spend their lives seeking to live with another person. .Maybe it’s because I’m too interesting myself to need the company of others, so I wish you as much happiness in each other as I give myself.” But after meeting Amy, who is also highly intelligent, Sheldon has changed . Amy supports him in doing all kinds of weird things, and the relationship between the two is getting deeper and deeper as they complement each other. Shelton said at his wedding: “Although I can’t express my feelings for you now, I will spend my life proving to you how much I love you.” This is a typical reciprocal love, which has nothing to do with physical attraction or passion , Two people discover each other in their daily relationship, which makes themselves more complete, their life is broader, and their relationship is more stable.

This relationship leads to a very important growth called the development of a sense of belonging. Reciprocal love makes us more sure of who we are. Through complementarity, everyone grows and is willing to explore a bigger world. Today, in a society where the self is constantly being shattered and denied, a good love actually helps us establish our own value, making us feel that it is not so terrible to actually connect with the world.

In addition to complementarity in character, there are other manifestations of reciprocal relationships, such as complementarity in hardware. In film and television dramas, rich male protagonists are usually unpopular. The heroine wants to highlight her independence, so she must not love money. But in everyday life, intimacy and money are not so opposed. What we love may not be money, but the ability of the other person to make money. Considering material conditions does not necessarily damage love. The matching of certain hardware makes our life easier, with fewer obstacles and a wider space for development, which may also be a good kind of love.

Consume bonded love

This is the worst and most common form of love. In this kind of relationship, there is usually a strong desire to control on one side. Many people regard the desire for control and possessiveness of the “dominant president” in love idol dramas as an expression of love, but this actually has the attributes of coercion and violence behind it. The sweet reversal in idol dramas is almost impossible to happen in reality. In real life, this kind of partner’s desire for exclusivity will continue to escalate.

When a person says to you “I love you so much, you should listen to me”, you must be alert, is this the equal relationship you want? I will give you four criteria. If your relationship meets two of these conditions, you must start to be alert that this relationship may be slipping into a consumption-bound type. First, after being with the other person, you become less and less happy. Second, the other party always belittles you, which makes you more and more dissatisfied with yourself, and you rely more and more on the other party’s evaluation of you to judge yourself. Third, the other party begins to restrict your social relationship, and your life circle becomes smaller and smaller. Fourth, the other party often makes demands that you cannot meet, which makes you feel indebted. Consuming a bonded relationship will produce two extreme manifestations: one is violent bondage, such as domestic violence; the other is mental bondage, such as PUA (mental manipulation).

growth healing love

This is the most ideal long-term love model in a romantic relationship. Typical of this type of love is your ever-increasing desire to explore the world, to learn a lot from your partner, and to be extraordinarily happy. It is often said that love makes you and me better, and that is such a pattern. Love not only makes us feel happy, but also makes us grow up, love life more, and face difficulties in life with more courage and wisdom.

Here I want to emphasize that if you are running towards this goal from the beginning to find the other half, it will be too difficult. Many growth and healing relationships develop out of hedonic or reciprocal relationships. The direction of our efforts is to enter into a good love relationship first, and then add the time dimension to make it better and better, and move towards a growth and healing relationship. Therefore, allowing emotional changes is a prerequisite for having better relationships.

However, the love of many people has not gotten better and better, but has gradually become a consumption-bound type. The core reason is that growth and happiness are often contradictory. It doesn’t mean that if you let the other person grow, he must be happy. If the growth you think is not what the other person wants, there will be problems in the relationship. One of the biggest killers of love is to ask the other person to do what you think is the “right thing”, because when you emphasize the value judgment you think is “right”, you often only see the thing, but not the specific person, especially the person. What is the other person’s needs behind doing the so-called not so correct thing.

Whether it is a hedonistic love or a reciprocal love, it is a good start, but as time goes by, the relationship between two people deepens, the relationship changes from shallow to deep, and the appearance of love will also change. What we pursue in the initial relationship is empathy, that is, the happiness of understanding each other and understanding each other; but in the long-term relationship, what we need to face is differences, and being able to handle conflicts well is the core condition for a long-term relationship. It is impossible to keep the beginning of love forever, because the passion and novelty will always pass; on the other hand, it also limits our imagination of love. In fact, through in-depth communication, including the handling of conflicts, our understanding of each other will rise to a new level, and the alliance between two people will also go further.

Fromm said that love is an art and an ability that needs to be learned. Learning love is a very important emotional education. It can not only help us deal with intimate relationships, but it is equally important for dealing with other social relationships.

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