Saturday, December 11, 2010

Capacity to Love

What determines a person's capacity to love? Is one's ability to love limited? What limits a person's ability to love others?  If a person is not fully loved by their family of origin, are they then destined to never learn to fully love others?  If a person desires to learn to develop their capacity to love others, is there an age at which they have a harder time learning to love?

Just as people get older, they have a harder time learning new technology like computer and texting, they seem to also have a difficult time learning social skills, like the ability to open themselves up to loving others.  I have met several people in their 40's and 50's who have parents that were emotionally distant. Although their parents did love them, it was a limited love, a love that was conditional, judgmental, reserved.  Some of the offspring of these parents have been able to go on and learn on their own how to develop a large capacity to love their spouses or significant others and children.

 I have found, however, that many of these offspring are emotionally distant from their spouses, are not able to connect with, or commit to an important relationship--even when they strongly desire to.  Their capacity to love and emotionally commit to others seems to be limited and even when they seek out counseling, few are able to learn how to love. They keep their loves, their children, their siblings at a distance.  They do often have a few close friends.

Can a person learn to love, or is a person's capacity to love limited?

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