Suresh wanted to speak to me about something so we met last Saturday in a cafe where I usually sit and work. He told me that he is madly in love with Geeta but she only considers him as a friend. He has not confessed his feelings towards her as yet. Suresh is married and has children. His workplace is close to hers so they meet often.
His wife does not know anything about the feelings he has for Geeta who he met a couple of months back while attending an event. They met a couple of times and he helped her with some personal stuff. Subsequently, he started having feelings for her. Now he keeps thinking about her. He can’t sleep. He can’t eat. He obsessively checks his text messages. He gets anxious when there is a delay in her response.
He wanted to speak to me before he confessed anything to her. He told me that he had been constantly fantasizing about Geeta. He sees her as perfect, understanding, kind, and compassionate. And that he never felt this way about his wife. With his wife, it’s always about issues, children, bills, and mundane work.
But Geeta brings a new energy – a new feeling unlike anything. He imagines holding her in his arms, touching her lips, and making love. He imagines living with her like a perfect couple. He feels she is special and maybe she feels the same for him but he’s unsure.
Suresh described everything vividly but something stopped him from expressing his feelings and that’s the reason why he came to me. The very first thing I asked him was, “There are two Geetas here which one are you talking about?” He was quite perplexed and said that he knew only one Geeta. I said, “No. This Geeta that you have described to me is only in your imagination and you can never really have any relationship with your imagination. Then there is the real Geeta who you don’t know that well. Perhaps, you don’t want to know the real Geeta because that would shatter your fantasy.”
Suresh felt a bit irritated by my comment which was something I anticipated. The problem is that Suresh is not in love with Geeta but he is in love with the feeling of being in love. He is in love with the feeling of being needed and wanted because they all bring the attention back to him.
Anything that comes in between Suresh and his fantasy is an obstruction for him. Fantasy Geeta is wonderful, loving, generous, kind, and so on, and will continue to be this way. She only lives in his mind. The real Geeta, however, is very different from the image that Suresh’s mind is projecting on her.
In other words, Suresh is in love with himself. He wants to have a relationship with a fantasy image which is impossible. The image is himself. It is what “he” is. These fantasies only reinforce the feeling that he is apparently in love with. He is the feeling.
Perhaps, he may have felt the same for his wife at some point in the past but the intensity of emotions he is experiencing right now for the imaginary Geeta has made him block how he feels about his wife. A limerent brain can do this to us where the flow of chemicals is so strong that one loses touch with the reality of the situation. Suresh is anxious and confused. It shows on his face. Deep down he knows this reality but he’s so in love with his present feelings that he blocks everything that comes in the way of them.
The obsession is never with another but our own projections (what we want to see in another rather than what they really are) and it sustains separation. True love never separates but unites. These feelings can happen to anyone irrespective of what situation they are in, but in true love, we do not bind the other but free them. The ability to acknowledge the other’s viewpoint no matter how painful it may be for us is an act of love. In such a unity, one accepts and respects the other person’s feelings whatever they may be. There can be no conditions imposed on love because love is what everything is made of.