Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all. --Toni Morrison
Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart, or burn down your house, you can never tell. -- Anonymous
Love isn't a decision. It's a feeling. If we could decide who we loved, it would be much simpler, but much less magical. --Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate. --Sigmund Freud
True love is a discipline in which each divines the secret self of the other and refuses to believe in the mere daily self. --William Butler Yeats
The heart was made to be broken. --Oscar Wilde
Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one. --Fredrich Halm
The difference between friendship and love is how much you can hurt each other. --Ashleigh Brilliant
These quotes highlight the conflicted nature of love and falling in love. You may want to experience it dearly or are reeling from losing it. Either way its the season to ponder it. I'm exploring ideas by my favorite Italian sociologist Francesco Alberoni. His insightful books, "Falling in Love and Loving" and "I Love You: A Theory of Love" are remarkable in their originality, clarity of thought, and accessibility.
- The climb to the top of the roller coaster--passion, abandon, and love. How do we fall in love and start this wonderful and terrifying ride? Dr. Alberoni holds out this provocative idea. That to be able to fall in love you must be unhappy. You must feel deeply unsatisfied with your current life--despairing of your life and what it holds; then you're ready to fall in love. This is what prepares you to fall in love. It makes sense. If your life is settled and you've grown accustomed to its stability and relaxed into it's comforting regime, you'll have no room anymore for falling in love. You may date and seek out new loves, but your life is how you prefer it and without that pang of something more; of real dissatisfaction-you'll enjoy and even love new partners, but falling in love with its blinding passion will elude you everywhere you seek.
- He hits you with another thought--you don't really fall in love with people you know. You really fall in love right away, when you hardly know the peron at all. Isn't that true? When you think about it, you realize that you've never fallen in love with someone slowly and after a time of getting to know them. You may deeply love someone that way, become friends, learn to appreciate them and love them. But falling in love is always sudden and often it's a complete surprise. Try to fall in love and see what happens. You can choose to love someone, but falling for them? He's quick to point out that it's just as wonderful to quietly grow your love and love deeply without such intense passion. It does seem that "falling in love" is but one path, borne out of the extreme unhappiness you may be experiencing at that time. Falling in love, rather than growing in love, it simply a starting point in the process of loving and building a relationship--a life project--together.
Falling in love is not an easy thing to figure out. I want to explore this idea of despair and love more in my next post. It's strange how falling in love seems to begin, and many times, end with despair.
Have you ever fallen in love? Have you had a great love that grew slowly? How so?