An interview with Lisa Opitz. Topic: “Love”. Lisa is a German student living in Amsterdam. We met her in Café Brecht in Amsterdam and talked about attraction, authenticity and what it takes to fall in and out of love.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
No. I believe in attraction at first sight but not in love at first sight.
What’s the difference between being attracted and being in love?
I can be attracted to someone from the very first moment, love has to grow.
When does attraction turn into love for you?
Firstly, I want to underline that we’re talking about a specific kind of love here. The love that I live in a relationship with a partner. Attraction turns into love when you shared certain things about yourself and you built up a certain kind of trust.
Do you mean sharing secrets or allowing the other to really see you?
Both, actually. Sharing details, which I’d usually only share with close friends and letting yourself be seen in a way that you wouldn’t show yourself on your social media.
Is love important?
It’s essential for life. But in this context, I talk about all kinds of love that I can feel. Especially in times when I noticed that I was pretty alone, I noticed how these kinds of love keep me up and give me the power to go on.
What kind of love are you talking about as far as your daily life is concerned?
Love for friends, love for my family and the love for my partner of course.
Is any of these the most important one?
I’d almost say the first one that you ever experience. Maybe very Freudian, but I believe that it is through the love of a mother that you learn to receive and to give love. I think that you can have big troubles in life if you didn’t have that special love. I mean building up loving relationships with a partner or friends.
Do you believe that all kinds of love are essentially the same?
I think that at the core of it, it’s always the same feeling, but with different side effects. As, for example, the attraction that we talked about, which I don’t feel towards my mom. But essentially love is something that you can be devoted to unconditionally and which devotes itself to you equally unconditionally. Ideally without any big efforts or feelings of obligation.
Is love unconditional?
Good question. I think that there are certain conditions and criteria that a person has to fulfill for me to fall in love with them. But I do experience the love for my family or people who have been by my side for most of my life as unconditional.
What needs to happen for love to end?
I don’t believe that love ends when a big mistake or a major betrayal of trust happen. That can cause disappointment but the love for the other person will still be there. I believe that love can only end when you fall out of love step by step. I think that a negative process of ongoing negligence towards one another needs to happen for love to end. I don’t believe that love ends with death or as I said a big damage in the trust towards another person.
You made a difference between long-term friends that you love unconditionally and partners that need to fulfill certain criteria. Do you think that time alone can make love unconditional?
If I look at it like that, yes.
How do you experience love in your long-distance relationship?
It needs a lot of trust at the base. I never imagined that a long-distance relationship would be suitable for me, but I do experience this trust and a faithfulness, which I wouldn’t even be able to explain. In a long-distance relationship, it’s really important to find a way to share details of daily life with each other and to find an interest in the daily events that the other person goes through. Of course, the times when we see one another are important, but they are not what decides whether a long-distance relationship works out or not. It’s really the times when we don’t see each other. If we manage to arrange those, the relationship can work.
How can you be sure of your boyfriend’s loyalty when you don’t actually see each other every day?
I can’t be sure of that, but I also couldn’t if we actually shared an apartment. I don’t need the feeling of seeing him for at least 8 hours a day to feel sure about that.
Place of Birth: Bocholt, DE
Parents: Father Rainer (58, used to be a banker, now retired), mother Christel (60, nursery school teacher)
Siblings: Alina (24, works in an auditing company)
Study/Profession: Teacher for German as a foreign language, studied English and Netherlands Germany Studies
Relationship status: In a relationship
Romantic or realistic? Romantic
How many Facebook friends do you have? 300 something
Adventure or Stability? It changes on a daily basis. I didn’t figure it out yet. Today, it’s adventure. I’m meeting strangers who ask me questions (laughs)
Coffee or Tea? Coffee (with plenty of milk)
My favorite spot in Amsterdam: Café Noorderlicht in Amsterdam Noord
If I were a bitterbal, I’d be filled with… a lot of idealism, a bit of fear and some Almkäse (German cheeses produced in the Alps)
Sitting on a mangotree feels like… looking at myself from above