When you fall in love easily, it’s never just with love. It’s with ideas. And places. And ideas of places. And people, of course, and all the things you think you could amount to. You imagine the ways these things are meant for you, connect the coincidental dots to prove it. When you fall in love with another person, you wait for them to say they return the sentiment; when you fall in love with so many things, you have to find it for yourself.
You fall in love with all the jobs for which you apply — imagining how you’d situate your cubicle and make friends with coworkers and come home with sparkling stories of the great, important things you’re up to, only slightly imbued with exhaustion — all as you fill out the application.
But you also fall in love with the jobs you never get. The jobs you never interview for.
You fall in love with strangers in restaurants and on public transportation: people you’ll never see again, but who are beautiful and wonderful and undiscovered, as if maybe either of you will build up the courage to say hello, and that’s all there is to it. That will be all it will take, and you’ll look back on that day together and think, we almost might not have been, but thank God we did.
And you fall in love with little everyday things — with idealized photos of the way your apartment could look, with the outfits of people who seem so effortlessly put together and nonplussed about it all, with the life you could have. With your morning routine, with your daydreams during your commute. With the life you only believe you lead in your mind.
It’s so easy to fall in love with things you’ll always fall just short of ever having.
Because it is easier that way, to live in the what if and the could be and the dream world. When you’re the one who falls in love easily, you fall in love with all the things that are easy to fall in love with, the things kept at a distance, the things that will not love you back. Because when they love you back — when that love is real and something to be acted on, it has to be cultivated. And then comes the second part to the idea of love: then comes the work.
But when you don’t have to work, loving is easy. That’s why it’s so easy to fall in love. There’s no obligations, no phone calls, no anniversaries to remember. When you fall in love with jobs you never had, you never have to make deadlines. You’ll never be fired. And when you fall in love with a life you never lived, you don’t ever have to wake up when life falls short of the way you dreamed it.
Because when you fall in love easily, you also set yourself up for the fall. Because when you fall in love easily, you never have to deal with someone else breaking your heart. You’re already doing that yourself.
And when you set yourself up for a hundred little daily heartbreaks, you feel like you’re more accustomed to it. Like you’re better prepared for the day when you DO fall in love, when you DO meet the love of your life and they don’t love you back, or when you DO go on your job interview and still don’t land the role. If you imagine a trillion little what ifs, you can’t be disappointed.
But you also can’t go after what you want if you always keep it at a distance.
Because it is easy to fall in love, because it is easy to keep from living. It is easy to hide, and to say that you are the person who falls in love too easily, and that is, of course true. You fall in love easily. But love is never easy. Love is hard. Really loving, really risking yourself is terrifying and difficult and frightening and confusing and strange.
Love is worth it, though.
And the thing about that love that’s worth it, is that it feels easy when it’s real. Not always, but a lot of the time. It feels easy even though it’s not. Because when things are worth living for, and worth loving for, they may be hard, but they’re also natural.
But you can’t hide who you are just because you fall in love easy. You also have to stay in love. And that takes work. That takes not just loving, but living, too.