For the last couple of years, I have been thinking deeply about what emotion makes relationships sustain. I was (and, even more so now, am) convinced that love – generally believed to be the central sentiment – is inadequate at best and disingenuous at worst. Although still light years away from an ‘answer,’ I am beginning to realize that the seminal feeling is admiration. A deep-seated admiration for the potential greatness of the other person, and a yearning to help them fulfill their potential, ought to be the key emotion for long-lasting relationships.

We all are a work-in-progress. Love would make you accept it. Love allows you to sometimes overlook those shortcomings and love the person despite, and in some cases, for them. However, it is the admiration of their potential better selves that leads you to encourage them to become a better version of themselves. It pushes you too to be a better version of yourself; to grow together. And here’s another thing that I have observed is great about admiring someone for her or his qualities – it dissuades you from being possessive. While love leans towards possessiveness, admiration encourages you to let go if it is in their best interest.

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