Falling in and out of love
Some time ago I was asked what I do when I fall in love with someone I can’t be in love with. Someone out of scope, someone taken or someone with whom I could never have a functional relationship. What do you do to hide your love? How do make yourself fall out of love? I had no answer then. Of course I had fallen in love with someone like that before, a forbidden love, but being in love was a constant state of mind then. When you are young you are always in love, or at least I was. I had permanent butterflies, sometimes only tickling my insides, sometimes overpowering my every thought and feeling. I had grades of being in love, but for sure I was always in love. So falling out of love was just a case of redirecting it.
Nowadays I long to feel like that again. I am but scarcely in love or tempted by the idea of love. I never regarded love as a dangerous endeavor when I was younger, but now it’s permanently engraved on my mind like a warning sign. There are many dangers to consider in love that I never thought of before. It’s a sticky affair. And then I am not even talking about getting hurt yourself, I have gotten good at licking my wounds, I’m talking about the hurt you can bring to others. Love is undeniably linked to hurt, like life is intertwined with death. And in youth we never link the two together, so it’s only when the reality sinks in that we begin to consider the duality.
So as we age, we choose carefully which love we let into our hearts. We tread carefully and suspiciously on the path to love. We look for warning signs everywhere, and are not easily convinced to keep walking. Disappointment lurks around every corner and we tend to prepare ourselves as best as possible for that possibility. Looking left, right and center and making sure we leave breadcrumbs to find our way back. Just in case.
But what if love hits us in the face unexpectedly? What if seeps in through cracks and holes we didn’t even realize were there? What if we don’t realize which path we are walking on until the very end and the damage has been done. When the butterflies are flying into our face out of nowhere. How do we go back then? We didn’t prepare or heed to the warning signs. We have given ourselves no way out, we stumble back but lose the way or fall down. What if we find no one at the end of the way? Or for some reason the road has a dead end? Blocked so unexpectedly you find yourself questioning the very cause of it. What do you then? How do you fall out of love? Real love. Not butterflies, but true appreciation and soulful love. Hard to find love.
I’m not sure I have got the answer to that more than when I got asked the question. The caress or claws of love always leave marks, but the mind and soul find a way of healing themselves. We balm the soul, spend time on convincing ourselves that it’s okay and stitch the open parts up by distraction. We find another, cheaper love or dive into a new hobby, series or book. We eat a little more fries, or go running at 12pm with music blaring through our headphones. We get an extra chai latte on Sunday and put more energy into work. And when the stitches are in place, we look into sewing up the thing more permanently and when the wound has turned into a scar, big or small, we might walk down a new road. Even slower, more carefully. But we do. The heart and soul find ways to heal, when there is patience and optimism.