How do you know you have “fallen in-love”?
Sometimes it is easy to realize we’ve fallen in love. Sometimes it takes someone pointing it out. Other times we are slow to admit we’ve fallen in love.
The last and most recent time I fell in love, I didn’t realize it until a friend pointed it out. I was so in love I hadn’t caught myself.
And the reality of falling in love is that we must catch ourselves whether or not the object of our love reciprocates our love. This reality is one that often is not emphasized because of the tendency to romanticize falling in love. Falling in love is a stage we pass through on the way to deeper love. If we can be aware of this reality, then heartbreak becomes less traumatic. It is less traumatic to fall in love when we trust that we can dive deeper in our own love should the object of our love not love us back or have a change of heart and mind.
Love becomes more graceful when we simply surrender to what we feel.
So how do we know when we've fallen in love with someone?
The symptoms of falling in love with another:
- Increased energy
- Loss of appetite
- Heart races
- Thinking about them often
- Prioritize activities around them
- Desire for exclusivity
- A sense of uncontrollable passion
This is just a partial list and each symptom does not need to be met to prove we've fallen in love. This is just a snapshot reference (in case you are unsure of how you feel about someone). It is always advisable to trust yourself and what you feel.
Each of us comes to know the feeling of falling in love uniquely. And while falling in love is a personal experience it is also a universal human experience that inspires artists of many genres.
The universal human experience of falling in love is referred to as a 'fall-in love" because it seems to happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Like a physical fall, we don’t plan it, it just happens. The fall isn’t painful as much as mesmerizing.
Falling in love is a surrender of self. We surrender self-control which allows us to see the beauty of another. Our boundaries blur as we aim to please the object of our love. In truth we fall in love with a reflection of ourselves. We see the positive qualities in him or her, which are within us. We focus on those positive aspects until we fall from that grace and can see a more complete picture of them. In essence we give up a bit of ourselves to love them as they are.
Falling in love is a phase. The phase passes. The business industry of romance feeds us that the "in-love" feelings can be lasting. The truth is that Love is eternal but human romantic love is not always lasting. In fact, love between couples often does not last because once the in-love phase passes we are still attached to the mesmerizing feelings of being "in love." Falling in love does not guarantee lasting love. Love must be cultivated. It may not be "easy-work" to sustain love, but we must deem 'our' love "worth it."
However, it can be challenging to fall in love when we cannot let ourselves go. I know because in my twenties I had control issues that kept me from falling in love. My boyfriend was very good to me but he felt I was trying to control him. We were together just under a decade. Only, I never truly fell in love. That truth didn’t set me free as much as it scared me.
I avoided men subconsciously and minimized my chances of falling in love. I wanted a love life but I was also scared of it. I was ambivalent about romantic love because of my upbringing. And of course when we get burned even once we try to avoid fire that may potentially burn us again.
I went to psychotherapy for years but along the way told myself that I needed to really love myself first before I could be in a relationship again. My wise therapist at the time suggested working on both at the same time. Initially, I was reluctant, but then realized that I had unsuccessfully tried loving myself even when I wasn't in a romantic relationship.
Eventually falling in love became easier, only often those romances just as easily ended. After enough heartbreaks I resisted falling in love.
Self-love isn't something to be achieved but a continuing journey of expanding into greater depths and heights of love.
I took a risk with a new boyfriend and allowed myself through trials to be loved and to enjoy some of my time with him. He taught me by example how to love a little more through his patience and humor. After a few years, I realized that the relationship was not going to end in a commitment so out of self-love I concluded our time together.
The heartbreak wasn't as painful because there had been a previous break-up with him. We had tried and I also knew in my heart that I would be settling for less than what I wanted. I wanted a committed partnership not necessarily marriage. I had wanted us to live together. Having clarity about what I wanted helped to ease the heartbreak. Having tried to make the relationship work also helped me to move on quicker.
I inched closer to a love-affair with myself by putting effort into relationships especially with men. It is far better to fall in love easily than it is to have a hard time falling in love. Not being able to fall in love is indicative of our tendency to be imprisoned by our mind.
Essentially falling in love requires us to release our ego, release control and to surrender to our heart and spirit.
There are things when it comes to love and relationships that we may change our minds about. For example, I once wanted to be married and have children. Subsequently, I wanted a marriage and to adopt children. Then that changed and I didn't want to have or raise children. So I leave the possibility of changing my mind so long as I am true to my spirit.
Attempting to control our true feelings compromises our happiness and freedom.
When we love, we free ourselves just a little more. Love makes no demands. Love is the truth that sets us free. Being free to love is true happiness.
When we are free, we love no matter what. There is space for anything. We are open and thus inviting of greater love.
Allowing love is our default. We are inclined to love. Once in awhile we may resist love because of unhealed wounds. Loving heals us. So long as we are alive, it is worth risking the pain of heartbreak. If we don't risk, we risk not only loving intensely but living! Loving intensely is part of the magic of being human.
While it is magical to fall in love, it is also painful to go through heartbreak. Still, I would rather fall in love and go through any heartbreak than to go through life resisting love's fall.
The truth is that we can fall in love easily when we allow it. It is after we’ve fallen in love that we have to continue to cultivate the love. The foundation has to be strong and built mutually. Love affairs can start quickly and just as quickly end. Each time we are in intimate-romantic relationships we inch closer to deeper love.
I'm grateful that I am love struck.
We experience eternity in moments with the object of our love.
Best of all we experience how wonderful we are as we fall in love with ourselves.
When I least expected it, I began to fall in love with myself.
I took notice of myself and I appreciated aspects I had overlooked. Glancing in the mirror I appreciated what I saw. I caught myself smiling because for the first time I was seeing my physical beauty.
I appreciated the softness of my skin and the gentleness of my touch. I noticed the violence and sadness I had once seen in my eyes- gone. Instead, I saw tenderness and kindness reflected back.
We do not have to share our feelings with the object of our love, if we don’t want to. Although often expressing our feelings without inhibiting ourselves is the most freeing and loving thing we can do.
How prone to falling in love or how avoidant of falling in love are you?
Have you felt the aliveness from your love- affair with yourself?
Have you had a love affair that consumed you and made you glad to be alive?
If not ---I dare you to risk the safety of your cage for the freedom of uncertainty!!!