Saturday, December 01, 2007

How Do You Fall in Love?

Someone asked me that question last night. And no, that person wasn't asking about circumstances or methods, that person was asking about how I would know if I were in love. That person wasn't asking in general, either. The question was only for me.

I had answered with a cheesy freestyle poem that I wrote right then and there. I really don't know why I bothered to put it in that way or if I subconsciously stole it from some other writer who writes cheesy freestyle love-love schmutz. I mostly got it from a line I told someone a long time ago, "If I knew the reason why I love you, then it would be easy to find a reason not to love you." In any case, my first answer to the question was this:

If I knew the "who"s of who I would fall in love with,
I would not need to pine for that person anymore
If knew the "when"s and the "where"s,
I would not need to search anymore
If I knew the "why"s;
Then I would find the reason not to, anymore
If I knew the "how"s;
I wouldn't fall in love anymore.

To put it simply, if I were to be completely honest, the only answer I would give to that person's question would be "I don't know". How do I fall in love? Like most people, I would say that my heart beats faster at the sight of the one I love. My cheeks become flushed at the mere thought of him. My mind is always filled with thoughts of him and his mere presence makes me happy. Unfortunately, these very things are also indications of an infatuation. How to differentiate love and infatuation from each other is a completely different matter, if one considers these two things different at all.

I believe that we cannot choose the people that we develop strong feelings for, whether those feelings be love or infatuation. But, regardless of this, I also believe that falling in love needs some kind of decision. Two years ago, I would have told you that the key to falling in love is "social distance" and "attraction factor" (the former being explained by my Proximity Theory of Relationships and the latter being a basic necessity of falling in love). However, I've given up putting emotions into these pretty little boxes and tying them up with neat little bows. It's just more fun to see how wonderfully chaotic and illogical feelings are.

So, leaving that tangent, we go back to the question. How do I fall in love? I don't believe in love at first sight because I don't believe we fall in love in an instant. The realization that we are strongly attracted to a person takes a while to set in, at least for me. Once it sets in, the decision to accept these feelings takes an even longer time to make. Only the decision, the transition between "I don't know how I feel..." and "I'm in love!", is seemingly instantaneous. But, like other "Eureka!" moments in our life, it is not, really.

And, falling in love is a continuing decision, in my opinion. I've fallen in love three with three men in my life, but I've fallen in love countless times. At different points in time, I find myself reevaluating how I feel, checking if I still love that person. For our relationship to be meaningful, at those moments, I decide as often as those moments come, that I am still in love.

1 comment:

Vince Ragay said...

Nice, valid question to ask at a young age. But more so in old age. Like it or not, age only makes love even more mysterious and thus challenging. Again, you have shown how much you know and how much you can ever hope to know without the advantage (or disadvantage) of age.

You are right: the how, the who, the when, the why and the whatever-else are merely incidentals in the greater question of why we love at all. As Hawking might have wondered at the Universe: Why go through all the trouble of existing?

Why go through all the trouble of loving when love tends to disappear somehow? Why go through all the efforts of living when we will die anyway?

But knowing we will die does not stop us from living. A few despair and die off. But no one curses life or God because of death. Job’s wife wanted Job to curse God and die, not because of death but because of suffering. In fact, for her, death was the cure. We suffer because we do not want to die, if given the choice.

Hence, for some, not loving is the cure. And it is that also; but only a momentary cure. Love always overwhelms the heart. How? Why? Who knows?

The heart was designed to love. It feeds on beauty that exists everywhere in life. We live because not to do so is a violation of God’s purpose. We love because not to do so is a violation of what and who we are. We humans carry the perfection of beauty within us. In loving (God or people), we simply recognize what is in us. Loving, therefore, may be our way of going back to God, to the god that is in others and to the god that is in us.

The incidentals (human variations) make falling in love real and real-time. The journey is the destination. The falling is the love itself. Hence, the falling out or the very absence is the death (or rejection) of beauty itself.

The overarching matters (divine principles) make falling in love unreal and eternal (that is, incomprehensible). The process is the being. The falling (or the rising) is the perfecting-in-love itself. Hence, the falling out (or the unbelief) is the very absence of the essence of God-life itself.

In love, we merely act out our divine nature.