We will each arrive at our “domestication” crossroads in our own time. Here are some thoughts to guide you in figuring things out:
It has become clear that if we date only in our “zip-code,” we find a lot of comfort and alignment as we cultivate something homegrown. The problem is, people are dating outside their ‘zip-codes’ more often than not. Unless you take the time to understand the culture and subculture of where your partner learned to love, the outcome could easily be painful and disastrous.
There is a gap between understanding our domestication of love, and loving with such discernment, because the way we are normalized conditions us to survive within just that particular geographic location.
But this isn’t irreversible. We are capable of unlearning, just as we are of learning. As long as we are open to growth, this cycle never ends.
It is interesting that in this era, we care deeply about where we buy what we buy. Is it ethically sourced? Where is it made? Where does our food come from? What about our clothes? Our chocolate? Our soap? Yet we don’t seem ever to question: where did we learn how to love? Because surely, a love that’s made in sweatshops doesn’t feel the same as an artisanal love. Love expressed in North Korea doesn’t look the same as love expressed in North Dakota.
Understanding where we come from helps us build a more solid identity. The same goes for love. Where and how we learned to love, along with its expressions, shape our relationships, And it’s often the unsaid, assumed feelings and meanings that derail the relationship.
Until we map out where we learned what we learned about love, we will always be swimming in somewhat of a confused sea. Until we figure out the origins of our love, we continue to carry the consensus of what love is, according to our immediate physical environment, and forget to find out where our partner learned to love.