Being in love means nothing in particular

Photo by Sergey Mikheev on Unsplash

Love and sex and magic

Love, sex and the magic of romance are a big deal for a lot of people. It would be nice to use our discernment and responsibility to make choices about what they mean to us personally and what place we want to attribute to them in our lives.

This is one of those subjects on which we have been exposed to loads of input on “how things are”. Someone drove me from point A to point B yesterday and they turned the radio on. And, oh, the level of emotional toxicity in songs!… Most of them about “love”. Let’s brush off some brain dust here and open up refreshing, healthy possibilities. I would like to stress healthy.

You make it what it is

Being in love (and being attracted to someone in whatever way) means nothing in particular. It means what you make of it. It does not mean that you have to “do something about it”. It does not mean that you cannot help but think about that person all the time or so much that it interferes with the balance of your daily life. It does not necessarily mean that it would be a good idea to spend time in the presence of the person you’re in love with. It definitely does not mean you have to be in a relationship with that person. Should you get to be in a relationship with that person, it does not mean you should give the other person a job, a set of roles and functions to fulfill in your life.

Being in love does not mean you have to have certain expectations and it definitely does not mean that you have to be / feel devastated if your expectations are not fulfilled. Yes, you can have joy and pleasure and playfulness and spontaneity and trust and safety and anything else that you would like to bring into a relationship. Whatever you can give, you can have. Waiting for someone else to give it to you means depriving yourself of it in the meantime. You don’t have to gobble up any drama that has been associated with love in order to live love. You don’t have to suffer as proof of how much you care and how sincere and considerate you are. Please. Thank you.

Powerlessness and irresponsibility

We have innocently soaked up so many social constructs around love, sex and romance that we often forget how free we are relative to them. Yes, free. And with freedom comes responsibility. We are responsible to choose. We are free to choose what being in love means to us.

“I can’t help thinking about you”, says the social chatter in your head. “If it doesn’t work out between us, I will be devastated.” “I have never felt like this before. (i.e. I don’t know what to do about it / how to be with it, not considering that I might decide what to do about it / how to be with it.)” The underlying general idea of such thoughts is powerlessness, implying irresponsibility.

Be gentle with yourself

You have been fed A LOT of powerlessness AND irresponsibility when it comes to love. Your mind knows those patterns inside out – from parents, from music, from books, from movies etc. It feels wobbly when you start using your freedom in love. Especially because you lack alternative models. It’s almost like responsibility in love feels abnormal. “I felt attracted to that person, but decided (for whatever reason that had to do with my WELLBEING) to never give it another thought.” or “Things were not going in the right direction so, even though I’m still in love, I decided to end it.” or “Our relationship is not the way I expected it to be, but I discovered that I actually like it better the way it is than the way I had imagined it should be. I feel energised, focused, happy.” What if you heard things like those in movies, in music or in conversation? What balanced, healthy, happy ideas about love might you come up with?

Begin and to keep at it

Choose to feel good. Choose to care for your wellbeing. Decide what that means for you. Some possible ways this might go:

  • Decide that you can be in love AND focused.
  • Decide that it is possible to not be devastated when your expectations are not met. If you must, try being disappointed or frustrated instead.
  • Decide that the person you have chosen as life partner might have more to offer than you can imagine. Decide you will appreciate what you can appreciate about them and watch with curiosity what else they might bring to the table.

You don’t have to use my suggestions. Don’t be too comfortable, don’t be scared. Take your freedom seriously and create your own options.

In Joy!

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