Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What's falling in love got to do with it?

I don't think I believe in falling in love... well not in the way my romance novels will have you believe it happens.

I think those moments mid-relationship that you snuggle in one another's arms and look deeply in one another's eyes have more to do with infatuation and passion and sexual chemistry than love.

I think love, real true love, is about making a plan for where you'll meet if a bomb goes off and all mass transportation stops and cell phone service isn't working. It's about hearing a loud noise late and night while in bed with your partner and not wanting them to go outside without you... just in case something happens to them.

It's about friendship. Partnership. Patience.

I fully believe in the 7 month rule- that after 7 months in a relationship with someone the initial attraction animal ceases. If you've not developed an attraction outside of your physical infatuation, your relationship will be lacking.

After 7 months with someone, if you still think they are the most attractive person in the room... if you can't imagine your current life without them... if you think about them more than once a day... if you want to kiss them when you stand beside them... the truth is, you're probably in love.

BUT, what the hell does it matter?

Why do we need to tell someone we love them?

I was pressured into saying it with the one and only relationship in which I've exchanged "those words". With Jerk, of course.

He said it so early on, like after 2 months, and I just didn't know if I wanted to say it. So he kept saying it to me. Over and over again. Finally, I ended an email with "I love you." Then a couple of weeks later, I ended a phone conversation with it. And finally, about 2 months after he said it, I said it back to him. I think it was a result of peer pressure. Plus, I didn't want to hurt someone who thought they loved me.

And what did it do for either of us? For our relationship?

Nothing... it's not like we were miles away from one another. My dad always ends conversations with me saying he loves me. I guess, being so far away from each other, it makes more sense. No matter what disagreement we may have, he wants me to know he loves me. So, yes, that makes sense.

But for what exactly do I need the guy I am dating to say it?

After the way my relationship with Jerk ended- I started it with "I don't know if I love you." Then two months later, he announced the same in a cab ride on route to a party. I chugged Southern Comfort and picked a fight with him. He left me alone in Central Park that night. I called my mother hysterical at 4am. We reconciled... sort of. But finally, he just stopped saying it. That's when I knew it was over for good.

Maybe, you only need to say it if you think your feelings might change. Perhaps it's just ammunition to be used against your partner if you know a break up will come eventually. (Am I officially becoming a pessimist Angelina? Is this what happens when I stop watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show Season 1 on DVD and over analyze?)

One night in bed, APK announced that he wasn't sure he was falling in love with me. This was back in April. I wasn't sure I was either. But still. No one want to hear such things.

Truth be told, since then, I can say I'm there- in that place I basically am refusing to say on principal. Not "in" that place... but just there altogether. Like, I worry he might die when he's not near me. And I can't imagine my life without him. And sometimes I wake up sad that he's not beside me in bed or happy that he is (I say sometimes, because most of the time I wake up trying to snooze my alarm until I end up rushing to get ready for work).

Is it possible that rather than fall in love with someone, you know you like them alot and you take it slowly and eventually you wake up and realize you're just there.

You support them. You don't want to not have them in your life. Isn't that sort of similar to our friendships? Slowly, you build up trust and learn to rely on people and then one day you realize that you hope you never loose them.

In my opinion, slow-cooked gumbo is much better than ready-to-serve.

Is it possible that falling in love doesn't exist at all? That you become infatuated and sexually attracted to someone instantly. Then, you recognize how great a time you're having getting to know them. And then, over time, you realize you don't want to imagine life without them. And so can I just assume that falling in love is a combination of loving someone you're sexually attracted to?

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