I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men.
I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential.
I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness.
Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray and Love)
Sadly, Elizabeth is not alone. Welcome to the dark side of falling in love.
I can’t recall a single positive meaning of falling, other than falling in love. Whoever invented this term must be a passionate and idiot at the same time.
Imagine, when you fall in love, your first and foremost emotion includes a high level of excitement, bursts of energy and highly hopeful view of the world.
But when it receded, it became the seeds of anxieties, desperations and depressions throughout the relationships that follows.
The culprit? That surreal character we invent on the person we fell in love with. The reason? Our demand to see what we expect from this person.
Sounds familiar? Read on.
When we fall in love, not only we narrow our eyes on to the goods, the positives and the sweets of the person we fall into; we also create and project an imagery of a perfect human on to them.
We develop a shield, put a layer and use a filter that disable us to see the reality of our partners. We see what we want to see. Even when the eyes see facts, our brain hijacks it.
Then we start to create a bubble, full of enjoyable fakes, colorful promises and sweet lies. We think of what best that will happen, and forget the worst that could happen. We intoxicate ourselves by making excuses to anything that would rip those fake realities away from us.
We name people with associations that please our brain and reward us with more dopamine. We bypass our link to reality and instead lay a direct line between the person we fall in love with and the desired future we are dying to gamble our life on.
Even when we spot mistakes, shortcomings and gaps, it rarely turns into question marks. “S/He will change,” was the common lie our brain cheats on us.
Falling in love is one of the easiest way to proof that we, humans, are irrational. And, while human, being irrational is costly.
Be – Don’t Fall – in Love
Worry not, I’m with you. I’ve gone through what Ms Gilbert had. Sadly, several times. In fact, I’m probably the winner on this. #sigh
Didn’t I learn from any of those? Id’ like to believe so. My previous writings testify on that.
But I didn’t learn enough. Or, I still somehow yearn those sweet fake experiences and wishing that honeymoon never ends.
But, honeymoon do ends. Even if you don’t want to, reality will claw back into life.
And, sadly, I didn’t fall irrationally in love with my future partners only; I fell in love with my ideas, my achievements even the candidates that I recruited for work. No. not necessarily they score perfect marks; but it is the fakes, bubbles and lies that I created to sustain the optimism of falling in love.
Falling in love is about us, not the person we fall in love with. It’s about our perceptions, emotions and feelings and not that of the person we fall in love with. It’s about how we tell our brain to view the person we fall in love with.
Falling in love is like a couch: exciting and comforting. But I might need to replace the third and fourth legs with reality and rationality.