Falling in love for most people is extraordinary. Many feel that falling in love is something that only happens once in a lifetime and should be seized if the chance does arise. Romantic comedies make us believe that love is the basis for every long-term relationship that lasts into old age. Even as children we are often taught that falling in love is something special and an act of fate when it comes to that special someone. The images we are inundated with are false impressions of what love is in life. This is a mistake, love is a verb, not an emotion. More specifically, love is a choice we make.
All around the world, humans have expectations of both what love is an should be. Love is not about exhausting energy through meditation on a single person, obsessing. Love is also not about being indignant over a response or getting your way all the time. It is not even the same as all those stories that have been passed down through the ages, but it is also not how it is viewed today as selfish and subservient. This one-sided type of love will shatter a person. We also live in a time when falling in and out of love with multiple people is normal. Falling in love is so much more than a lust perpetual delusion, it is infatuation fueled by bodily chemicals that trick our judgment and devalue love to little more than an ephemeral state.
Falling in love is not simply a mental state of being and saying “I’ve fallen in love” is a useless expression. We need to challenge ourselves never to ‘fall in love’ again because this is little more than a watered down version of actually choosing to love someone. Falling insinuates feeling and feelings change moment by moment. Love should be constant in an attitude toward others and as a reflection of self, regardless of actual feelings.
Love is aware that choice is freely given and that to choose love, to make it the choice, requires repeated daily effort. A parent’s love for a child is unconditional, even when they misbehave. Perhaps adult love relationships should be approached the same way. If we approached dating without restrictions on love, there would be less heartache, but more compromise and kindness. This is good for every relationship.
To love a person is a choice we can make after finding out who a person really is, who they are when no one else is watching. Once you know someone and choose to love them with all you are and have, that love will grow each day, as long as you allow it. Never forget the choice you made to love someone and never expect that they will change for you. Accept the other person as they are, flaws and all. Take as little or as much time as needed to make the choice, but once you love someone, continue to do so. The chosen love is the kind that lasts.