Lately, I have been questioning love. Is love something you fall into?
Is love like the pieces of toilet paper that inevitably get caught on your shoe, follows you around until you notice after several hours its there? Or — Is love like looking at the weather report with 90% chance of rain and knowingly forgetting your umbrella at home?
I have always been cynical. A question that continuously asked: What is love? At one point, I assumed it was for adults. As I got older, I thought it was like a imaginary creature. I never saw perfect examples of love. I never saw a rom com type of love in real life. Eventually I knew it as an expression of power dynamics. I often heard people exchange the word “love” in times of distress. Like, I’m saying “I love you” because I don’t want you to leave.
People exchange love like a bargaining chip. Many misuse love, use it as a reason for bad behavior, or use it to keep someone around. Like bell hooks, I believe that idea of falling in love displays a lack of choice. hooks states, “No doubt it was someone playing the role of leader who conjured up the notion that we “fall in love,” that we lack choice and decision when choosing a partner because when the chemistry is present, when the click is there, it just happens – it overwhelms – it takes control.” When I first read hook’s Romance Sweet Love, I was offended. As an admirer of hooks, I thought she was calling all of us out for being cowards and foolish products of the romantic comedy society we live in. But, she was right.
This idea of falling in love sounds terrifying. Who wakes up one morning and thinks ‘I am in love. How did this happen?’ Of course, there are certain steps to love that may become unnoticeable, but is it really something we just fall into? Like hooks, it is hard for me to believe that. Love is an active choice.
The idea of conscious love is not popular. But, what is wrong with having “will and intentionality” in love? hooks discusses how many think this concept is the end of romance. I would like to claim that it is simply changing the idea of falling into jumping. It is an active choice to jump into love. “By taking the time to communicate with our potential mate we are no longer trapped by feat and anxiety underlying romantic interactions that take place without discussion or the sharing of intent and desire.”
Maybe we are ashamed. Maybe we would prefer falling in love. Maybe we choose to say falling in fear of being wrong about someone. We blame falling because it is easier than consciously choosing someone and being destroyed by the disappointment.
I encourage you to say you jumped. There is nothing wrong with jumping. Leap into love. Don’t be ashamed. Many do not have the capability to love. Be proud that you do.
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