Desperation in romantic relationships can yield amazing sex, but sustainable it is not. Fear of scarcity makes us misers of the ones we love, and miserliness is the opposite of generosity. Real love, I have come to understand, is enacted as a practice of ongoing generosity.
This is a dynamic I have observed not only in love, but in all areas of life. I think fear of losing what we have almost always causes us to waste it, ultimately. It is hard to enjoy a blessing that is hoarded. I want to love as though there is an endless supply of love, as if by enacting it, I multiply it.
“I suggest that our ability to tolerate our separateness—and the fundamental insecurity it engenders—is a precondition for maintaining interest and desire in a relationship. Instead of always striving for closeness, I argue that couples may be better off cultivating their separate selves. If cultivating separateness sounds harsh, let’s think of it instead as nurturing a sense of selfhood. The French psychologist Jacques Salomé talks about the need to develop a personal intimacy with one’s own self as a counterbalance to the couple. There is beauty in an image that highlights a connection to oneself, rather than a distance from one’s partner. In our mutual intimacy we make love, we have children, and we share physical space and interests. Indeed, we blend the essential parts of our lives. But “essential” does not mean “all.” Personal intimacy demarcates a private zone, one that requires tolerance and respect. It is a space—physical, emotional, and intellectual—that belongs only to me. Not everything needs to be revealed. Everyone should cultivate a secret garden."