Love Can Make You Fall Out of Love
What does it mean to love someone? I think it boils down to two components.
1. It means to make the decision to accept someone as they are. It doesn’t mean you agree with them about everything or endorse everything that they do, but you acknowledge who they are as a person. They are seen.
2. It means to bring someone close to you. Fear, the opposite of love, is to push someone away; to deny or reject them. Therefore, love is to bring someone close to you but not close to the point that they are a part of you.
The notion that love is someone being a part of you is dangerous because if that person dies or betrays you, it will feel like a part of you died or betrayed yourself. We see this all the time and have probably experienced this ourselves.
We can even suffer in this way when it comes to activities we love. When a gardener falls ill and cannot tend to her garden, the thing she loves, her health can rapidly deteriorate.
So how does love link to falling out of it?
When we meet someone, they are showing their best selves. So are you. The initial meetups may be good enough for you both to decide to get into a relationship.
Or maybe you don’t even make it to the official relationship part, but over time, the cracks start to appear. You both clash on a decision. Values are not in alignment. Subconscious thoughts about love are running the show and sabotaging the relationship.
But love is a decision, and so you power through. You both see more cracks but also repairs. You both go through more pain but also more pleasure. There is growth and you are both healthier than when you entered the relationship.
This sounds great but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the relationship will go the distance. In seeing who this person is, inside and out, you may realize that this isn’t what you want.
Their life path isn’t the same as yours. You can’t support one another in the way you would want a romantic partner to support you. Their values are diametrically opposed to yours. Or maybe as you both continued to fight for your love, you realized what you really wanted and they weren’t it.
I’ll give you another example. I’ve wanted to create an animated series since I was 18 or 19. I fell in love with animation ever since I got cable and when a friend of mine suggested that we should make one, it was like the brightest bulb in the world got turned on in my head. I knew what I had to do.
But the process in trying to make it happen was incredibly taxing. Ask anyone who has tried to sell a script or has to spend years doing stuff they don’t want to do in the hopes that maybe one day they’ll get to make their passion project.
It’s heartbreaking stuff. You look at others who are doing what you’re doing and it’s painful. I gave up on the dream and tried other things but eventually the call came back and I answered.
I tried again, still nothing. Then I decided to just do it myself. But the love story doesn’t blossom into what you’d expect here either.
I can’t draw, the various software I use are sometimes difficult; as I get better, I unconsciously challenge myself to do more; scripts are imperfect and sometimes it feels like it’s missing something; it’s a lonely process and to top it all off, it takes a long time to complete and there’s no guarantee anyone will care.
But hey, I love it. I love to make jokes, to make things move, to write and tell stories, to “edu-tain” and to make art. If I didn’t do this I would be really annoyed with myself on my deathbed.
I fell out of love many times on this ongoing project of mine. I stopped accepting and starting rejecting. I started to push it away from myself. But then I came back, I brought it close to me again, finished the first episode and have started to work on the second.
Even if I make a comfortable living from this and gain worldwide renown, I might still feel pain. The potential for that doesn’t stop. In fact, the potential might even be greater.
Love is like that. You build something amazing with someone but have no guarantee that it’ll last until death do you part. I mean let’s face it, one of you is going to die first and leave the other in grief.
You’ve essentially constructed this monument of love called a relationship and you will kiss it goodbye whether you like it or not. You will do this many times in your life with friends, family, lovers and activities.
Love makes you see someone for who they really are, and you may not like the truth. You may feel some resentment. You may want to leave. But because you and your partner made the decision to love, you try.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the decision to love yields an even stronger love, sometimes it reveals incompatibility and failure. But this is the risk you have to take.
When I put this into practice with my own romances, I sometimes think I’m a fool for trying again and again. But I should cut myself some slack. I made the decision to love and so this is what I have to go through to see the truth of who the other person is.
Nothing is promised to me other than experience and knowledge. But just like my animated project, I have no means to stop myself. Even when I try to avoid it, life conspires to make it happen.
It seems like a bitter trick to set me up with someone that won’t work but it yields a healthier me and a healthier them. I think that counts for something. It’s a process to maybe finding the love relationship that lasts.