I’ve fallen in love twice and stayed in love once.
When it happened the first time, I was naïve, emotional and idealistic, but was left extremely broken and unaware.
I spent a lot of time thinking about why things didn’t work out how we had intended. It was easy until it wasn’t.
The second time I fell in love was quite the opposite experience.
I was cautious, skeptical and built an emotional fortress for protection.
But eventually, it all came crumbling down, brick by brick, until I was back in that familiar place. All that mattered was that he and I were happy and that everything felt good.
And, that’s what falling in love is. It’s a natural high, a rush of intense emotions — anticipation, warmth, euphoria and fear — that takes you by force.
You never really see it coming, and then unexpectedly, it all catches up and you eventually realize there’s no turning back.
When you find yourself at that sweet spot, you think, “This is where I want to be. I want to stay right here, forever.”
As we fall in love, our affections effortlessly motivate us.
These feelings propel us to make some of the most irrational decisions or perform unexpected, romantic tasks, like staying up all night, talking on the phone despite having midterms or an important client meeting the next day, making breakfast just because or driving 400 miles to spend a day with him or her.
Emotions, especially love, passion and happiness, are our strongest motivators because we will do anything to maintain them.
However, we often fail to realize that it never lasts. What goes up, must come down and sometimes, the high lasts for a couple of months and sometimes, it can last for a couple of years.
We are often blinded by the illusion that everything good is infinite and invincible. Once you come down and reality sinks, it gets a little tricky.
When the feelings subside, we must work twice as hard to maintain and deepen the relationships.
The emotions become less intense until they stabilize into something that is just a part of your everyday life. Without the intensity, the motivation eventually fades, and that’s when things get comfortable.
Once you’re in the comfort zone, the relationship either becomes stale and unappealing (this is when things don’t work out) or it evolves into a two-player team (this is when you stay in love), depending on what you do next.
If you truly want to stay in love, you must always choose love — a choice built on the foundations of communication, acceptance and selflessness.
It means being honest with your significant other while being true to yourself and understanding that compromises are the key to all healthy relationships.
It means connecting and sometimes disconnecting, but always discussing your feelings without blame, assumption and insults so that you never go to bed angry.
It means knowing that your partner will make mistakes, but always speaking before reacting so that the two of you can learn and grow from the experience.
It means that even when you don’t feel love in any given moment, you do not give in to the short-term emotions and will instead behave and communicate with tenderness and patience, share your vulnerabilities and consciously decide to forgive and move forward.
In the end, the effort is in the decisions you make.
Making a decision on anything isn’t easy because it requires consciousness and careful thought, whereas emotions can master you without your consent.
Choosing love is choosing selflessness and taking a much higher road — a task that is not easily done, as we are all inherently in it for ourselves.
However, if we realize that temporary is easy, but forever is hard, we’ll consistently work for the things and the people who are worth fighting for while enjoying the magic and enchantment of all that is finite.
Photo Courtesy: Into the Gloss, Model: Alexandra Agoston