November 21, 2016

Is Love Actually A Choice?

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Unsplash, Chad Madden
Unsplash, Chad Madden

What is love? Is it a feeling, is it compatibility, or is it a choice? It is the most complex and mysterious idea, which comes in an unquantifiable amount of forms, and yet we confine it to a measly four letter prison.

We love our parents differently than our siblings, we can love friends dearly enough to do nearly anything for them, and we can fall so deeply in love with our lovers that they change the very core of our being.

So what is love? Is it too complicated for the English language? Perhaps it’s something that the smitten writer will never be able to shy away from. It is a thing that romantic souls will never stop trying to understand and describe.

Someone very close to me recently tried to convince me that in a relationship, love is a choice. He is such a smart man, and his logic carries him well through life, but compared to the depth of his thoughts, his feelings are shallow and still. To him, love is primarily a duty.

I agree that love between partners can require work. Things like patience, trust, and honesty can be conscious decisions. But true love, to me, weaves into those choices, it sparks them, and it illuminates the need for them. It can guide us with certainty through the unknown. It can drive us to overcome the obstacles between us. However, love also transcends all of those things.

Love is a connection, it is passion. It’s those things you see in a person that inspire you to do what you never thought was possible.

Can you choose to be inspired? Inspiration isn’t a decision, it bridges the gap when choice is not enough. Love is the overwhelming feeling of adoration. Can you choose to adore something or someone? Love is the future you see in the eyes of someone you know you can’t let go. With true, romantic, passionate love, there is no choice but to be in it.

If love is a choice, than how can you make that decision at first sight? I have felt that instant attachment that defies all logic. It is the kind of anomaly that makes me accuse this woman of voodoo (I’m still not ruling that out). I knew the very instant I met her that she was different, that she was important, and that I didn’t have a choice with her. I know without a doubt that it was love at first sight for one very simple reason—I was right.

I see it in every close up smile. I feel it in every twisting kiss, every cheek in palm, and flowing through her breath on my neck. I hear it in every story she tells, in her piano songs, and in our mutually favorite baby name.

When she unloaded her baggage, I was ready to pack it away with a new set of suitcases, because I already knew the right size. When I told her about myself, it was as if she already knew me a long time ago.

It isn’t the admiration for her most wonderful qualities that speaks the loudest about my love for her, it is the fact that I love any imperfection of hers that I discover. Every moment I spend with her, I fall more deeply into love, and I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to.

Now, at this point, I can look back at the day I met this woman and say that the impossibly instant connection we had was love. I can trace all of these growing feelings back to the very moment when I saw her and knew that she would change my life. This indescribable thing, that apparently defies time in addition to logic, was never a choice for me — love is so much more than that. TC mark

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