Why Do I Love This Person?: Understanding Your Motivation in Relationships

As a psychotherapist specializing in couples and marital therapy, one of the first things I ask is “What do you love about one another?" If the answers indicate little depth, serious trouble is indicated. Replies such "because she's pretty,” "he's fun to be with,” are troubling signs, indicating surface attraction. Once, to my horror, a client replied "Because we like the same kind of pizza.” Needless to say, this is not a foundation for a long lasting relationship!

All of this begs many questions: Do we truly love someone or simply what they do for us? Without question, we all know that money and wealth can be insidious manipulators in any union. So how does a relationship evolve from the meeting of facile needs to a stable, committed, companionship? Happily, after considerable introspection, many couples are able to identify their attraction to positive partner qualities such as compassion, intelligence, and an ability and willingness to communicate effectively. After all, if we cannot speak openly with our partners, what hope do we have? Perhaps more important, self-aware couples are able to recognize areas for potential growth, and develop a plan to jointly work on their relationship.

While some, especially new, couples may view such questioning as cynically casting doubt upon their whirlwind romance, nonetheless this type of critical self-reflection is vital in determining ultimate compatibility. Indeed, a little work now could save a lot of heartache later.

Action For The Day: After reading this article, perform a critical self-assessment in order to determine both you and your partner's motivation for continuing your relationship.

Emily Kensington is a psychotherapist specializing in couples and marital therapy. Her website is www.hearts-and-kisses.com.

Copyright © 2007 Emily Kensington