Falling in love is a stunning, beautiful fantasy in which we endlessly long to get lost.
But stone cold reality isn't ever quite as lyrical as gold-gilded fantasy, is it?
The truth is that falling in love isn't akin to gently drifting in a lovely warm sea of water lilies. It's the opposite. It's a mind f*ck. Without a condom.
Love is oozing with blood, teeming with sweat and a tsunami made up of salty, mascara-streaked tears. Love is feeling wildly exposed, vehemently unsafe, acutely naked and madly insecure.
Love is explosive moments of lust and an insatiable bout of longing. Love is a text message that derails your entire day. Love is a toxic bar fight that leaves your confidence shattered. Love is the best party you've ever attended on a school night.
Love is something that's so outside the pretty little confines of our control. It's wonderfully fantastic and terrifyingly frightening at the same time.
But still, you dream of falling in love. Except you know in your heart no one ever gently falls in love. Because by the time you realize you're falling, you've already hit the mother f*cking ground. You've landed smack on the pavement, and your tongue is taking in the taste of concrete.
So you never really experience love. You dream about it. You fantasize about it. You talk about it. But you don't allow yourself to really, fully, feel it. You spent a lifetime building up sky-high walls of steel with your own bare hands, and no one is knocking that sh*t down anytime soon.
You're afraid. You want all of these things that come with "love," but you're consumed by the thought of the painful aftermath. You’re so hell-bent with fear that you numb yourself with proverbial painkillers to avoid the inevitable crash that occurs when the love subsides and the heartbreak destroys you.
You want commitment, but you're afraid of committing to the wrong person.
You want to land in the consistent, strong arms of glorious commitment. You like the idea of feeling close to another entity.
You are just overcome with a pressing fear that when you DO commit, you will commit to the WRONG person and waste a precious fleeting thing: time.
You want to feel comfortable, but you’re afraid of getting complacent.
Isn't the ultimate goal to feel deliriously comfortable in the soft company of your loving partner? To be able to breathe freely and be your authentic self in a romantic relationship? Don't you want to let your hair and your guard the f*ck down?
If this is the goal, where is this fear rooted?
In getting complacent. In no longer making an effort. In releasing the butterflies back into the wild, in setting off the fireworks that made you feel alive, and ending up with a partner who feels more like a roommate than a lover.
You aren’t afraid of changing, but you’re afraid of growing apart.
You aren't afraid of growing as a person. That's the most exciting part of this life. But what if you meet someone and dive into love, only to grow in different directions? How is it possible for two people to grow the same way at the same time?
Is it just inevitable that you will drift away from your partner and move into vastly different directions whilst caught up in the fiery throes of life?
You want to put yourself out there, but you’re afraid of getting rejected.
Dating requires a lot of "throwing yourself" out on the line. People who are single have been dutifully lectured about how they need to put themselves "out there" if they desire a partner.
So you upload your picture onto the slew of dating apps. You go on blind dates. You put on your fiercest red lipstick and sky-high sex heels and strut to the singles bar on the Lower East Side. You invest a world of effort into putting yourself in the prime position to meet a likely suitor.
But no one talks about the pain in being rejected. You act tough, like nothing can touch you, but every time you're ghosted after a first date, stood up by that person you met on Tinder or blown the f*ck off after a night of intoxicated sex, a little bit of your self-esteem is chipped away, and the walls start building themselves.
You want to be monogamous, but you don’t want to stop having sex.
You want a monogamous relationship. You want to fall into the same bed with the same partner every night. You would kill for an ounce of consistency. You would do nothing more to forge a deep sexual connection with ONE trustworthy entity.
But how many couples do you know that no longer have sex? It seems like so many couples lose their sexual spark when they hit the one-year mark. How do you keep the sexual excitement alive? And is it even possible?
You want to be vulnerable, but you fear being taken advantage of.
You wish you could open up and trust someone. You really do, in the deepest, most real part of your cracked heart. Intellectually, you know the only way to get close to another person is to be raw and reveal your inner most truths.
The trouble is you're not used to sh*t working out. You've opened up to people before, revealed your inner demons, spoke of the unspoken trauma from the past, only to have your trust betrayed.
You're afraid to take the bandage off those painful wounds again because it risks letting the poison in.
You want intimacy, but you’re afraid of losing it.
The best part of falling in love is a wonderful sensation, a rare feeling, a beautiful, vulnerable thing called “intimacy.” Suddenly, you're touched all of the time. And not even just sexually: It’s a delicate hand on the small of your back. It's falling asleep together, bodies intertwined every single night, twisted up in sheets and sharing the same breath.
It's brushing your teeth next to each other.
And when the relationship ends, that intimacy is gone. You go from being held all of the time, from being called "babe" daily, from making coffee for two -- to nothing. Overnight.
You don't realize how little you're comforted, touched, whispered to or told "I love you" when you're single. Until you are single.
So what do you do? Listen to the fear? Spend the rest of your life hiding beneath the down comforter, never daring to face the world of love because of the inevitable pain of dire heartbreak?
Hell f*cking no. Because if you do choose to listen to the fear, you will miss out on the most explosive feelings you will ever experience. Nothing has the ability to invoke emotion like love. Nothing in this world will inspire you and spark up your tired f*cking heart like love.
There is a certain beauty in heartbreak too. The most powerful art, music and movies derive directly from broken hearts. Yes, it's so painful. But you always survive. Always. And surviving seemingly impossible pain only affirms how strong and unbreakable you are.
So dive the f*ck in. And when you're suffering from heartbreak remember the wise words of Leonard Cohen:
There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.