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Did you hear the news about the young Russian girl who tattooed the name of her new boyfriend on her face after their first date?
There’s been a controversial debate about this all over the Web, with some respecting the girl’s right to make decisions about her own body and others shaming her for making an impulsive choice that has now permanently “disfigured” her…all in the name of love.
As a marginalized group, many of us learned from a young age to protect ourselves against homophobia.
Therefore, we may be more armored to cope against social backlash and empowered to do what we want to do with our lives.
This news story, however, brings out an important question gay daters must contemplate as they search for love: What would you be willing to do for love? How far would you go?
There are three important things I believe are essential in making these kinds of decisions:
When making a personal decision or sacrifice with a new dating relationship, self-awareness means knowing who you are and what you stand for with your value system.
Does the decision you’re about to make align with your belief systems in a logical way, or are you feeling emotional and wanting to do this act as a statement?
Negative repercussions usually follow with the latter.
“I encourage caution and
tempering excitement with logic.”
This means loving yourself enough to know what you will and will not do to protect yourself in the context of a relationship.
Are you doing this for you or for the other person?
This requires assertiveness and standing up for yourself and your values. It also requires an assessment of both the short- and long-term consequences of your decision.
If it seems like a good idea now, will it 10 years from now? Will this decision enhance or hinder opportunities in life (social, occupational, etc.)?
Remember, most theories of love and attachment identify the “honeymoon phase” as the first stage of a romantic involvement.
This exciting time of a relationship’s beginning is marked by high chemistry and attraction, desiring contact with the other a majority of the time, and is high on hope and expectation.
Psychologist Dorothy Tennov coined the clinical term limerence to describe this euphoric state and blissful longing for the new love interest that gets kicked in with the release of the body’s attachment hormones.
It’s a time fueled by the fantasy of your ideal mate that gets projected onto this new love object, and his “shortcomings” and incompatibilities tend to be minimized or dismissed.
The honeymoon period has been slated to last from several weeks to a couple of years and is highly individualized to the couple. Knowing these stages of love is important to your decision making.
Is what I’m about to do driven by my values and logic or by the blinding influence of limerence and the honeymoon phase?
As hard as it may be to imagine this relationship not lasting at this moment, would I regret my decision to act upon my desire if the partnership ended at some point or when we reach the “power-struggle” phase?
You can use these elements to help you in making informed decisions in dating. New love can be an exciting and joyous time, but it can also render one vulnerable if not careful.
I encourage caution, tempering excitement with logic and taking time to ensure your new dating partner is a truly compatible fit — this is something that is typically not capable of being assessed after a first date and requires consistent shared experiences over time to observe and evaluate your interactions with each other face to face.
What are your thoughts about the Russian girl’s decision? What are some things you’ve done “in the name of love,” and how do you feel about those decisions now?
What other suggestions do you have on this topic?
You can see the full story here with photos.
Photo source: tribktla.wordpress.com.