Monday, January 25, 2010

On Falling in Love

Why do we fall in love?

Boy or girl, we are naturally programmed to seek out that fairytale ending, our "happily ever after". More often than not, it ends in disaster and pain, but we keep trying, hoping we'll find "the one" some day.

When you meet someone you think you would like to date, do you get excited? Don't deny it... Being with that person makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. You can't help but wonder how you would be together, if the search is finally over, if this is it, the moment you fall in love for the last time, "the one". Unless, of course, it's a purely physical attraction and those are your intentions from the start. But disregarding that option, if you're looking for a relationship, you might wonder about the future.

For some, these initial long-term thoughts are a test. Do I see myself with this person? Could we still have fun hanging out after the initial spark is gone? Will we be holding hands as we grow old?

It might sound sappy, but it's true. We all do it. It's an internal response system that is meant to help you reject the insufficient options so you don't waste your time. It's not just psychological, in fact, it's more likely biological. After all, male or female, the clock is ticking. There's a sense of urgency to finally finding the security of life-long company, whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, independent or co-dependent, whether you've already built a life for yourself or are just laying down the foundations for your future.

We long for the company of a warm body on a cold winter night, for snuggles by the fireplace and a hand to hold as you walk through the park, someone to share ice cream with on a hot summer's day, someone to comfort you when you're mad or sad and tell you that it's going to be alright. We cannot help but look for it, though we know that it's only when we stop searching that we truly open ourselves up to love, and to being loved.

Why this compulsion that so often leads us in the wrong direction? There is nothing positive about settling for a relationship that is stagnant and prevents you from growing. It's a waste of time and yet we do it anyway. Why do people so often stay in abusive relationships? We convince ourselves that it's not so bad, that our partner doesn't really have that many faults, that he/she doesn't really mean to hurt us, and that maybe, just maybe, we could be a little more patient, give a little bit more, and then, it just might work.

Human beings are lazy, yes, but we don't like to give up. Nobody likes to feel like a failure. We have a hard time admitting that it's just not working. That's why break-ups are so hard, for both sides. No matter how much or how little you've invested in the relationship, by breaking up, you're admitting that you were wrong, it was a waste of time and, more importantly, that your search isn't over. The dreams go out the window when you hear the words: "I'm sorry, you're not the one." And every time, you grieve, as if it was. In your mind, you had already committed your heart and soul. You had already fallen in love. And now, you've lost it all: what you had, what you could have had, what you thought you had. Time to start from scratch, rev up your engine, folks, because the harsh dispiriting search is back on.

It's why we have rebounds. And relapses.

We just cannot fathom being alone, not having someone to share special moments with, not having someone to grow old with, not having someone to die with.

We are afraid of being alone, no matter how much we enjoy it. We'd like to have our alone time during the day but come home to a warm, occupied bed. We want to have it all.

And that's why relationships fail. Because we're trying too hard to convince ourselves that it's the right match. Because we don't want to keep searching, because that's too hard, on the heart, on the mind, on the body... Because we'd rather have the knowledge that things aren't perfect but at least we've got someone to call. Because we'd rather have something than nothing at all.

We fall in love, right or wrong, whether we want to or not, because we need to. Because the very definition of being human is to seek out comfort and acceptance and love. Because it's a biological longing to procreate and to leave something of yourself behind when you go. Even though it means more tears than smiles, more heartaches and crying, more desperation and more pain, we keep trying to fall in love, keep hoping this is "the one", keep searching for our fairytale ending, our "happily ever after".

Why do we fall in love? Because we don't have a choice.


Jason said...

Very well said and oh so true. The search for that special someone often seems to have more downs than ups.

But when you think you've found that person it's sometimes such a feeling that, as you mentioned, even in the worst of times, you don't want it to end. Sometimes you can be with someone for years before you realize that there is something missing, and yes, you get very comfortable. Breaking up is so difficult, it messes with feelings and emotions. It's rarely easy, for either party.

As I started writing my comment I think I had a point I wanted to make, but I got sidetracked for a while and forgot what it was. D'oh!

I'll come back if I remember. It don't think it was anything substantial, just ramblings me thinks. :)

Naila J. said...

lol! Well I'm glad you took the time to ramble :)

Blogs like these are meant to make people think! It's nice to hear that it did :)

Jason said...

I keep wondering if I should get back into blogging someday soon.

Once upon a time I had a pretty active blog, I wrote about anything and everything, a lot about tech and gadgets too (no surprise there, I'm sure). But early last year, I messed up my wordpress database and lost my entire archive of posts from years past.

That's not why I stopped blogging. But when I think about it, I wonder if it's time I start a new archive of random crap. I miss waking up to comments on posts.

I actually like writing, just have to find things to write about.

Naila J. said...

I try to write down an idea... I know it's a good one when I start composing as soon as I've thought about it. Often, I don't have time to write it right away, and in the past, I'd let it slip. But now, simply writing "Blog on ..." on my To Do list helps me post regularly :)

CosmoChick said...

Very honest post, I appreciate how you express certain thoughts that sometimes, we're not even willing to express ourselves.

It's also nice to realize that the way we feel is not specific to us, you've highlighted that it's instinct and that we all feel this way.

I don't supposed you'd want to follow this up with a post that gives us the answers on how to fall in love with the right "one"? :)

BTW, great blog, ended up here from a trail that started at the Montreal Girl Geek Dinner this month ("clearing the clutter")

Naila J. said...

Thanks! It's always cool to discover how people stumble upon your blog :)

I wish I had the answers on how to fall in love with the "one"... but I think it's different for everyone. The only thing I can suggest is to just let it be. Once you're positive with yourself and understand that you don't NEED the "one", you'll naturally open up your heart and give out the vibes that will attract the "one".

Funny, huh? You have to let the idea go in order to confirm that the "one" really does exist!!

Jason said...

Naila, you're so wise!