Can You Love Someone's Unknown?

Can you truly love someone's unknown? This may be the secret to keep the desire alive in your relationship!


Andra Enache

2/26/20243 min read

The Lovers II, 1928 by Rene Magritte
The Lovers II, 1928 by Rene Magritte

In 1928 Rene Magritte painted the famous image of two lovers who although they were physically close were not able to see each other. Although as surrealists go, the meaning of the art is up to the viewer, yet for me it is a beautiful portrayal of how love works. “The Lovers” became a masterpiece and a reminder about the fragility of relationships.

The Lovers II, 1928 by Rene Magritte

It raises the question: Can you truly love someone's unknown?

Throughout a relationship, no matter how long it may last, there is always an element of mystery surrounding the other person. Despite our best efforts to understand and know our partners, there are aspects of their inner selves that remain hidden. We may know their routines, how they respond to certain situations, and their general behavior, but there will always be a part of them that remains elusive. We hold onto the known because it feels familiar and safe. We create an illusion of the person next to us because it is scary to admit that you don’t know actually what goes through their mind at night.

And this is the paradox. Because as scary as it may seem, it’s the unknown of someone that brings desire. It is the curiosity and desire to uncover the depths of their being that fuels our emotional connection. We are drawn to the mystery, the possibility of discovering something new and profound about our partner. However, this unknown can also be a source of frustration and disappointment. When we realize that there are aspects of our partner that we may never fully understand, it can create a sense of distance and disconnect. We may feel as though we are unable to truly connect on a deeper level. In relationships, especially long-term ones, couples often get stuck to the routines of everyday life. That initial excitement of discovering each other’s quirks can gradually give way to a sense of knowing everything this is to know. You do not let yourself explore new sides of your partner.

This comfort in familiarity can be a double-edged sword. While it provides a sense of security, it can also lead to complacency and a diminishing sense of novelty. Especially in long-term relationships, you must be aware that you are constantly changing and, if not practicing curiosity, you won’t get to understand your partner’s inner world and evolution. While it provides a sense of security, it can also lead to complacency and a diminishing sense of novelty. Lovers' by Rene Magritte serves as a poignant reminder that physical proximity does not necessarily translate to emotional closeness. Relationships need to adapt to different stages of evolution and of life. Growing together is a sum of small adjustments made by a couple based on your growth. It becomes more and more crucial to continuously cultivate a sense of curiosity and openness.

Just as "The Lovers" reminds us of the fragility of relationships, it also serves as a reminder that love is a delicate balance between understanding and accepting the unknown. It is through this delicate balance that we can truly experience the depth and beauty of love.

Some questions for you to self-reflect (or with your partner):

  • Are you comfortable not knowing every detail about your partner's past or thoughts?

  • Are you willing to rediscover over and over your partner?

  • What are parts of you that you wish your partner knew better?

  • How can you bring more mystery into your relationship?

So, can you love someone's unknown? Yes, you can. Love is not about knowing every detail and aspect of a person. It is about embracing the mystery and accepting them for who they are, unknowns and all.