The mentality of love
We must understand that all attempts for love are bound to fail unless one develops one’s own personality. This is done by the cultivation of certain qualities, among which are self-discipline, patience, courage and faith. Thus, the reasons for the failure are never sufficiently examined; people, in fact do not realize that love, far from being merely a thrilling sensation or a delightful state into which one “falls” is, on the contrary, an art that requires knowledge and effort.
However, to succeed in love we must learn about love, proceeding in the same way as we do if we wish to learn any other art, such as music or carpentering or architecture. We must master the theory and the practice.
People generally believed that romantic love, as depicted in films and other popular media, conveys false notions to young people. Love, emotion and passion are not the same thing, but the distinction is made only rarely in films. The passion is often based on sensuality. True love that lasts must be based on something deeper than the flesh and deeper than emotion or felling. It must rise above emotions and sex-appeal.
Thus, the church has never underestimated sex attraction or emotional appeal, for these are part of love. But in true love there must be a spiritual link which will continue to bind when physical and emotional attraction fades. It consists in a union of wills, a desire to give oneself and sacrifice oneself for the beloved; it desires only the good of the beloved.
True love is measured by the completeness of the marriage promises- the “Yes” that agrees to accept sickness or health, riches or poverty, good fortune or misfortune, better or worse “till death do us part”. Pius XII said in one of his addresses to young couples as follow “Supernatural charity alone, the bond of friendship between God and man, is able to forge between you, links that nothing can break, neither shocks nor troubles nor the trials that are inevitable in a long life together; only divine grace can lift you above all the little daily worries, above all the differences in testes and ideas which germinate and grow like weeds among the roots of weak human nature. This charity and this grace- are not these the strength and virtue that you sought in the sacrament of marriage?”
In a sense, you should understand that the true love needed for happy union must be based, not only on physical and romantic attraction, but on these qualities of character which remain when passion and emotion grows cool, as they inevitably will. Thus, for the adequate use of the grace of sacrament, there must be this basis of true love to work on. Otherwise there will be no real happiness. When the initial romantic state of bliss fades, and when responsibilities take its place, husband wife may find to their dismay that they have nothing in common. True love, on the contrary, deepens with the passing years.
Now, we should observe the love scenes in films with more discrimination; for our whole attitude towards the sixth commandment can be influenced by the portrayals of lust and licence and infidelity that we see in many films. Nowadays, adultery, free love, pre-marital relationships, pornographic sadism, prostitution, even perversion, are commonplace themes of popular films. Thus, our own moral standards must be high and inflexible if we are to view them objectively and without harm to ourselves.
It is generally known that entertainment world shamelessly exploits romantic love, and teen-agers often know too much about sex before they can understand the deeper needs of love. Through inexperience or rashness, they may fail to understand, until it is too late, what is the real significant of love. This has led to thousands of unhappy teen-age marriage and a big increase in the number of teen-age unmarried mother.
True lovers, besides being like-minded, must be mutually complementary; that is, there must be an element of contrast, each must enrich the other.
Rule of conduct, you should let your friendships grow slowly. Love, as contrasted with infatuation, usually grows slowly. There is time to think and time to pray. You must have time and opportunity for character of the other. Nor must you rely too much on your own judgment. Above all, you should seek help from God in prayer, and God will surely direct you into safe paths.