Here is an idea to change the world:
Instead of falling in love, let’s all aspire to saunter in a vaguely downward direction towards love.
Just imagine the great and sudden reduction in post-heartbreak expenditure everywhere in the world (apart from North Korea and half of sub-Saharan Africa, who are far too preoccupied with surviving brutal dictatorships to be in love properly.) as people nurse cacti instead of hangovers, and overindulge in freedom instead of excess leftover chocolate family packs that they keep stored in the fridge in fear of the conjectural breakup that actually did happen to them.
The philosopher Osho might proclaim that the mature person does not fall in love, but rather rise, as a baleful belch might rise from one’s throat after a particularly heavy bout of drinking post-breakup, because apparently “a mature person has the integrity to be alone” and gives love “without any strings attached to it: he simply gives.” but we all know better.
We are not that mature.
We are pretty much in our rights to understand that love is probably just a near-pathological state of co-dependence on either end. Just ask my friend Lydia about her love life, she had already sent around a billion text messages to her boyfriend, whom she had only gotten together with a month ago. That needy bitch.
But there shall be no heat in our cattiness, and no judgment in our approximations: we understand that we would be the same if we have a boyfriend/girlfriend/dog too. Sadly enough, we have none of the aforementioned trio, and as such, shall be as jealously bitchy as we want when we look at other people and their stupid ass love lives.
All the self-help books and Kelly Clarkson songs in the world can’t help us, we are long past the point of understanding that modern media has brainwashed us into longing for the Ryan Goslings and Kerry Washingtons of the world too much for our own good. We are, essentially, love-slaves who may or may not actually be in a stable, committed relationship at the time of our enslavements. If entire wars can be fought over one foxy lady, who are we to deny our base nature of desiring such foxy ladies?
If there is one thing that history taught us, it is that love is never cheap, easy, or convenient enough for human potatoes (like me) or readers of saccharine online vignettes (like you). And love starts wars occasionally too (even if they are, alas, all in the previous centuries.). That’s got to mean something, and that something is probably why falling in love is a bad, bad thing to do.
This is where discipline comes in: condition yourself to never notice how incredibly blue that cute barista’s eyes are, never realize how much sweeter your friend is to you as compared to their other friends, and never, ever spend beyond a whole minute fantasizing about your future dream house, your manicured lawns and white picket fences, your two kids and a dog.
By exercising restraint, by moving only slightly down towards love, we are un-unleashing another terrible love-monster into this world. God knows there are too many love-monsters prowling this place anyway.
Tennyson may say that ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,’ but he never did say whether the inevitable late nights, puffy eyes, and infinite sorrows is worth the finite amount of hugs, kisses, and (if you are an adult, and have a sex positive outlook) orgasms.
Gosh, it sucks to be in love. At least you can avoid scraped knees and broken hearts, when you don’t fall in love.