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The Perils of Falling In Love...

There are so many...losing them, losing yourself, losing in general.  The risk is endless and all encompassing, and yet, we all sign up for it repeatedly.  

I think at the outset, the problem begins when we suspend our natural born cynicism, and allow attributes to be perfected in the beloved that are perhaps not really there, or are not there in the quantities and qualities that we delude ourselves into believing are in fact present.

We fall in love partly because of our ability to stop seeing people as they are, and instead see them more in an image more to our liking, the beloved often cooperates with this delusion quite nicely, which results in a great deal of frustration and apathy later on.

Is love and loving perhaps an antidote to the cynicism we all seem plagued with for our own survival?  We fall in love because it is the only exit point in our otherwise dreary existence of seeing things as they are and with a head that cannot escape the fatalism of life and its abject impermanence.

In all coup de foundres (love at first sightings) are we not able to achieve this grandeur by being able to set aside our natural inclination toward reality based thinking, setting aside all the cynicism and natural born inclinations to see people as they present, but where this whole debacle of love and loving is concerned, we set that quickly aside to ascribe attributes to others, often ones they possess (maybe) in quantities that are purely fictional?  Do we really, I mean really, fall in love with another just to grant someone qualities and belief in that we cannot ever give ourselves?

I mean, I know I have.

In fact, my entire loving history is pock marked with the blemishes of me ascribing qualities to the beloved that they barely possess.  And the reality of it all, falls so much shorter than my imagination conjures.  I believe them capable of great love and passion and longing and commitment, when in reality, the person I have imbued with all this great loving prowess, is actually more fence post like than anyone, most especially me, would care to admit.  (True story, a long ago boyfriend, was nicknamed and called, behind his back, of course, The Fence Post).

I didn’t see him as a fence post to be sure.  I thought I loved him.  And yet, when I think back on that relationship, I can’t think of one thing that was loving in that whole debacle.  Not one.  We didn’t get along.  We fought all the time.  He always trying to make me feel bad for my goals and ambitions, me always trying to get him to open his mind and to think a little outside the box, and the geographic location.  We had a lot of sex.  That is about the sum total of our entire relationship.  Drinking copious amounts of alcohol and then having a great deal of sex that was of a dubious quality.

I am not sure why I needed this relationship, I just know that I did.  He was all I wanted at the time, even though I knew, with all that I was, that he was never a long term thing.  I was totally devoted and committed to the cause, but that commitment, that cause, I knew all along was fleeting.  He didn’t have what I wanted, excepted in a very temporal way and manner.  As awful as it sounds, he would do.  And so he did.

But what is fascinating to me is that you could not have convinced me of that at the time.  At the time, I called it all kinds of things: exciting, real, love.  And in reality, it was only one of the three.  I will allow you to use your amazing powers of deduction to figure out the one...

I think, in fact, I know that in order to fall in love, one must, absolutely, set aside reality and all reality based thinking in order to get past the glaring defects in the shape of the intended beloved before us.  It is truly the only way to get there.  If we were capable of seeing the intended as they are and not as we wish, want or need them to be, most love affairs would never even get out of the starting gate.  We need the delusion and the suspension of cynicism in order to move forward.  It is an indispensable part of falling in love, and perhaps, we could even say it is the first and largest peril in the whole fucking process.

When we are smarting from love and loving gone wrong, we are capable of seeing the beloved’s character in grave relief.  We see their inhumanity, their faults, their wretchedness.  Fuck, I am not sure about you, but sometimes my view in love’s aftermath is quite a despicable debacle.  I mean, I am shocked at how much I loved, or attempted to love a person I didn’t even really like, or respect, or enjoy, or, well you get the idea.  

But just moments before, and by moments I can mean days, weeks, months or years, I was totally smitten.  Totally out of my mind in love with someone who now, ex post facto, I can’t fucking stand.  This is why divorce and divorcing is so awful because this is not an experience that is reserved for me alone.  Nope, we all do it.  A lot, repeatedly.

But for most of us, in the beginning, it is all good.  The good is all we can see.  I think in some ways it is not unlike the love you feel for your children.  I mean, they are not all that cute upon birthing them, and then they cry and poop tar and scream and make your nipples so sore you wish you didn’t ever have them to begin with, but as you gaze at this tiny person that just, quite painfully, left your body, you know that you love them with everything you are and that you would quite happily lay your life down for theirs.  Falling in love is kind of like that, except in loving others, not your children, there is an expiration date on your delusion.  At some point in time in the not so distant future, you will see, and not be able to help seeing that this person you placed so much stock in, really isn’t all you cracked them up to be.

So in the beginning, which is where most problems start, the falling in love is able to move forward because of your own ability to push aside who the person actually is, for the person you desperately wish them to be...I have a friend that says, quite correctly, “it always looks good going in!”  And how right she is.

Today I am hyper focused on the mental machinations that allow us to want to bring this other closer, more intimately connected to our lives.  The mental gymnastics that must be accomplished in order to get us over any of that pesky reality based thinking that life requires of us, to this complete suspension of disbelief about this person we just met.  If we didn’t have this flight from reality, would love ever be able to take seed and grow?  I don’t think so.  I think this delusional folly is absolutely required of us and them in order for the love affair to hasten to whatever destiny awaits it.

I am just starting at the beginning, this first most delusional flaw in love’s treacherous course.  There are many as it turns out.  And those will be blogs for another day, to be sure.  But for today, I ponder and reflect and turn around in my mind, all the ways I must leave myself in this early stage of falling in love in order to achieve the desired effect:  a committed loving relationship.  The mystery of the person before me, the intrigue, the absolute knowledge that this person likely doesn’t really have all that I think I see, but this complete inability to walk way just then.  It is like I have to stay and find out, like it is some puzzle of my own making that I must solve, fuck the costs.  

And as bad as it turns out, we tend to do it again, over and over again until we either die or find a love story that we can actually commit to not living without. And for most of us, that means until one of us decides, actually, I can live without it, and then does.  And then the whole heartbreaking cycle begins anew...the crushing blow, the heartrendering devastation, the melancholy, the despair, the feeling that you have been leveled this time for real and for all time.  Only to rise from your own fiery ashes, to love again.  Like the proverbial phoenix, we rise from the devastation of what was just before masquerading as salvation.  And while most of us allow for a little recuperation time, often with vows, sincere fucking vows, to never do THAT again, we do.  Because, as I think I mentioned the other day, we are, as humans, destined to love.  It is part of our nature that must be expressed.

Now if we could just base these other love stories on our own loving care of ourselves, instead of it seemingly always being an outgrowth of childhood needs unmet and trauma perpetuated, we might actually get somewhere.  Until then, I guess, we are all destined to repeat the pattern, some of us getting it, but most of us, dubiously engaging in the oh so seductive delusion that this time, this person it will be different...and what I think I see, is and will be all that I desire it to be...finally!

And maybe, it will.  Which is what keeps us all hopelessly entrenched in love’s perilous battle...again, still.

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