Falling in love is one of the world’s most elusive experiences. No one knows exactly how to put into words what love really feels like – and those who have never felt it are sure to be frustrated by the typical “you’ll know it when you feel it” description that most of us can muster up. I bet you were probably hoping I’d give you a better description, right? Nope, that’s really about the best you can explain it. You’ll know.
Except that you don’t always know – many of us fall for a few different people before we actually meet our “true love”. This makes it even more complicated, because I’m sure you’ve probably known (or been) that girl that met her One True Love in high school, and was completely heartbroken when things didn’t work out. Then, a few years later, she/you/I met someone who made me realize what an idiot I was for thinking that first person was just right.
Is this a cycle that’s going to repeat for the rest of my life, every time I fall in and out of love? I don’t know what the future holds – but I do know why you must become a little unrealistic to find it.
Falling in love requires a separation from reality, to a degree. Many of us are so cynical about our last failed love – although, it’ll be different for everyone – and maybe we don’t want to love someone for a while. That’s healthy, but when you meet the person who forces you to question your jaded heart, all bets are off.
It’s healthy to focus on the future.
When we fall in love, we dream about what the relationship could become. And generally, we’ve got high hopes, or we wouldn’t bother. When we fall in love, we have this mental picture that our partner is going to be our savior. Sometimes they are, and sometimes they’re not – but if we don’t see them that way, the relationship might be a little doomed.
It’s completely normal to feel a bit wrapped up in “what could be” when we’re in love – and, to some degree, we make these things happen if we picture them enough. I’m a firm believer in “consciousness creates reality” – so if you and your partner are always talking about the future, and actively putting plans into play, the love comes just a little easier down the road.
That’s not to say there won’t be hiccups along that path, and if you’re completely writing over a relationship that’s going nowhere, this could be a bad thing. Make sure that the plans you make are realistic and fair to both of you.
It’s (somewhat) healthy to ignore her flaws.
As humans, it’s in our nature to be optimistic – even if we’d rather hide it. Most pessimists were once optimists who got burned, and finding the right person helps to bring that (relationship) optimism back. This is not only normal, but necessary. After all, your new partner doesn’t deserve to take the blame for things your ex did – unless there’s a pattern.
The problem here lies when we become completely entranced by someone, and write off flaws that we should definitely not overlook. You value monogamy but your partner is more of a “free love” type of person? It’s easy to tell ourselves “Maybe she’ll come around,” because that’s what we want her to do.
Just be sure that you’re still paying attention to the important warning signs for things you absolutely can’t handle – ignoring these little hints will make it much harder to let go when they turn into full-blown problems.
It’s healthy to get caught up in the romance.
When you find yourself binging on love songs and rom-coms, even ones that are not even remotely applicable in your situation… This is, essentially, your mind “writing over” the things that you’re subconsciously missing. I’ve been there before – making a lovey-dovey playlist for someone who couldn’t even be bothered. I kept telling myself that, someday, she’d realize I was perfect for her, and she’d show me how much she cared, instead of just empty promises.
This is, of course, a good thing – to a degree. If you’re hearing all these love songs and feeling like you need that stuff in your life, it makes sense that we’d keep listening to them. But if there are things that are really missing – whether you started missing it because of a song or not – you deserve to try and find those things for yourself.
Not every woman can live up to every romantic expectation, either – and that’s OK too. As long as she’s making an effort to give you that love-song love, it’s not in vain. But if you’re the only one with relationship hopes and dreams, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
It’s normal (but not exactly healthy) to forget to love yourself when you’re too busy loving someone else.
Most of us romantic types will, at some point, fall into the trap of putting our partner’s needs ahead of our own. This isn’t always a bad thing – if your partner is putting you above herself, for example, the relationship still might have the balance it needs. The problem here is that, when we’re in love, we’re not always good at making these distinctions, and we might think our partner will put us first because that’s what we would do.
But, it’s easier to fall in love with someone who loves themselves – and it’s easier to stay in love with someone who knows how to do their own thing. Most people don’t want an “adoring fan” (maybe the reason celebrities mainly date other celebrities?), they want someone who mirrors them. You can’t make someone love themselves, no matter how romanticized the idea has become. It’s just not realistic.
It might be tough, but you need to remember to prioritize yourself, even when you’re in a healthy relationship – otherwise it’s not going to stay healthy.
It’s normal to feel like it’s magic.
In fact, it’s closer to magic than any other feeling we experience – even though it’s more like a drug. (Hey, back when I was using hallucinogenic drugs, that felt a lot like magic, too.) We see colors brighter, experiences are more vivid – it’s almost like switching to HD after twenty years of pixilation. And if you’re both feeling this magic, it’s an amazing, incredible feeling.
When you’re in love, it feels like you’ve got superpowers. Nothing is out of reach – except controlling our feelings. We see sparkles where once was only darkness. You’ve got this renewed sense of optimism circling around in your brain, and you feel safe, despite the fact that someone else pretty much controls your ability to be happy.
But if it’s real magic – as opposed to sleight-of-hand and trickery – your partner would never do anything to destroy your trust. If your partner is willing to make the world a magical place for you, and you’re willing to do the same for her, there are few things more fulfilling than the feeling of being truly loved.
Just make sure you’re not getting caught up in an illusion!