Blinded in Love: The Psychology Behind it Explained
The phrase ‘blinded in love’ isn’t just something out of literature or songs– it’s an actual condition we humans experience. Of course, you don’t lose your vision, but your ability to see things rationally is heavily impacted.
Being so-called blinded by love can be a positive or negative experience, and in some cases, both. It may make you feel like you’re on top of the world. Every little thing you do with the person you love will make you feel whole and content. On the other hand, it could also fundamentally change who you are and negatively impact other aspects of your life, such as work or friendships.
But what does blind love mean? There’s been impressive research into this phenomenon that may have more to do with your mind than your heart. With ‘love is blind’ explained in the light of psychology, you can better understand how our deep affection for someone obstructs our ability to ignore even what is clearly in front of us.
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Blinded by Love Meaning
Blinded by love or blinded in love refers to people not being able to see or understand the imperfections or issues with their romantic partner. It originates from the phrase ‘love is blind,’ first used in the 1401 novel Merchant’s Tale by English author Geoffrey Chaucer.
Both phrases have been extensively used in literature, pop culture, and common language.
The term has a negative connotation, describing a lack of objectivity in the person it’s spoken for. People often use it to describe a relationship with a partner who may be incompatible or problematic.
It’s often also used for people who may fall in love with someone they aren’t supposed to by societal standards or norms– for instance, a wealthy person falling for a poor person.
Blinded in love can also be used to describe non-romantic relationships, such as a parent-child relationship where a parent refuses to acknowledge the issues with their child or their relationship with them.
Blind Love Psychology: What Does Research Say?
If you’ve been in love yourself or watched countless movies and shows based on it, you’d know that certain things about love are hard to explain. It’s believed that the subconscious mind influences attraction and affection for others. That may help explain why people fail to view someone they’re in love with objectively, sometimes actively ignoring their flaws and negative behavior.
If we go by Freudian concepts, the choice of who we love lies with the unconscious. That’s why he believed people couldn’t objectively comprehend matters of the heart.
Going further into Freud’s explanation of love, romantic interests and relationships are based on the relationship between the person and their caretaker (parents, in most cases).
Freud also believed that love can also be influenced by narcissism. He suggested that we deem our romantic partners perfect to satisfy our narcissism. The idea that someone so amazing loves us makes us believe they’re perfect even when not.
Some research points to cognitive bias or positive illusions in humans that deviate from reality. The study ‘Illusion and Well-being: A social psychological perspective on mental health’ 1988 asserts that positive illusions distinguish us from others, and we tend to self-enhance, which may explain Freud’s theory of our narcissism causing the so-called blind love.
More Research on Blind Love
More recent studies have linked being blinded by love to dissociation. In such instances, it’s not that the person can’t see what’s wrong with their partner but chooses not to recognize the faults and do something about it.
Philip Bromberg’s self-state model also helps explain the phenomenon of being blinded in love. According to this model, self-states are individual modules of the person, each configured by unique beliefs, cognitions, moods, memories, skills, values, and behavior. In a person with healthy development, these states co-exist coherently and overarchingly.
On the other hand, someone who has had problematic development may dissociate from a self-state capable of recognizing the faults and issues in their beloved.
For instance, someone whose partner is violent may not hold together the idea of them loving them with the idea of them hurting. Their unconscious mind only recognizes that they love them to continue their attachment and relationship. In other words, the mind fails to recognize, acknowledge, or process the acts of violence through dissociation.
Signs You’re Blinded in Love
Love is a great feeling that can make your life beautiful. And it can even lead to a healthy mental state. But love can also cause hardship, especially if you’re in love with someone who hurts you constantly.
In a perfect world, you’d think the feeling of love would automatically diminish or disappear when the other person hurts constantly. However, that’s not the case with everyone, and many people continue to exist in relationships that are, in reality, damaging them. They believe they’re in love, and they are, but it’s not the love that brings happiness or peace.
It can be hard to recognize and accept that you’re blinded by love. However, some telltale signs can show that your relationship is only founded on your inability to see and comprehend the issues with the person you love.
You find excuses for their poor behavior
One of the most obvious signs of being blinded in love is that you keep finding excuses for your partner’s bad behavior toward you or others.
For example, if they get angry with you for no reason, you think they probably just had a bad day at work. Similarly, if they cheat on you, you dismiss their infidelity by finding excuses that blame anyone but them, for example, the person they cheated with.
You prioritize their happiness over yours (every time)
Another sign that you’re unconscious mind is putting the person you love on a pedestal is that your only concern is their happiness. Even if something clearly makes you unhappy, you just ignore it and don’t voice your concerns because they might get sad.
It’s natural to want to see someone you love happy, but doing it at the expense of your own happiness may point to an underlying issue. And it can become a pattern, especially if the other person takes advantage of your love.
You believe they’re perfect
As we explored the causes of blindness in love, we frequently mentioned that it’s accompanied by the idea that your partner is flawless. While most of us know what constitutes a perfect partner, the partner doesn’t need to fit that ideal. Nevertheless, your brain may make you think that they are indeed perfect.
You may not see clear flaws that someone with an objective view may identify easily. If you idolize your partner and can’t even hear any criticism of them, you’re probably blinded by love.
You’re the only one compromising
In relationships where your unconscious mind blocks your objective reasoning, you may find yourself in a situation where you’re frequently compromising.
Relationships, in general, are a two-way road where both partners must come halfway from time to time. But if only one person does that, they love the other person too much to ask them to compromise.
You’re taking big decisions like moving in or marrying quickly
Normally, big decisions in romantic relationships, like proposing or moving in together, can take time. In a healthy relationship, the individuals may take their time to get to know each other more and move ahead at their pace.
On the other hand, someone who has fallen in love deeply and can’t reason may rush to take important decisions. You may think they’re perfect, and you’ll never find anyone like them, so you should make it official even if you or the other person haven’t had the time to know one another better.
You get angry or sad if someone points out flaws in your partner
It’s normal to feel bad if someone says something negative about a loved one. However, if you just lose your temper and don’t even think about why someone said what they said, you may have a problem.
While you should defend someone you love, especially if the negative comment is simply wrong, being overly sensitive to criticism of your partner indicates actively ignoring their flaws.
You don’t stand up for yourself
Being in love with someone doesn’t have to mean putting yourself second or letting them walk all over you. Unfortunately, in unhealthy relationships where love blinds the person, and they’re unable to see the injustice to themselves.
For instance, if your partner disrespects or hurts you physically and you don’t show resistance at all, you have a problem. There can be several reasons, including blindness in love, why you fail to stand up for yourself even when you can.
Your family or friends believe the relationship is not good for you
While you may be blinded by love, others are not. They can see that the person you love has flaws and that the relationship is toxic for you. And they may tell you that to help you out.
If someone in your life, like your parents or friends who you value and trust, tells you that your partner isn’t good for you or that they’re problematic, chances are they’re right.
Don’t Lose Yourself for Love
Although much research has been done, many questions about love remain answered. However, we do know that it’s possible to be blinded in love and that it’s not good. You may think or feel that your partner brings you happiness (and they may do that at times), but the reality may be that they’re not good for you.
How we love people and form relationships is also linked with our experiences. Things like childhood trauma or a personality disorder may result in being blinded in love. You need to realize that loving yourself is just as important, perhaps even more.
Being blinded by love, especially love that’s hurtful, can cause you to lose your very self. You may not realize it, but this type of love may chip away at your personality and ambitions piece by piece.
If you suspect or have been told by people close to you that you’re blinded by love, you may want to give therapy a chance. Unresolved trauma or another issue may have caused you to love someone who isn’t perfect or suitable for you. With the help of a therapist, you can unpack everything and learn to view the person you love more objectively.
You can also try couple’s therapy to bring the issues to light for yourself and your partner. If both of you can work on the relationship, you can continue to be in love, just not blinded by it.
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