You don’t fall in love.
You discover it.
Then it’s built.
Yes, you can meet someone and have that lightning in a bottle feeling (note: That chemistry doesn’t always come from a healthy place). You can be swept away, by someone’s mind, body, passion for life, knowledge, wisdom, humor, and the way they make you feel. You can see someone walk through a door and lose your words. But love is not about losing your words or being swept away. That’s connection, chemistry, the strong glue that’s produced by two attracted beings. And that collision gives you the feeling of falling. It’s magical. You got dopamine pumping, tingles in your body, can’t stop thinking about the person, and you feel like you’re falling backwards with your eyes closed and smile you haven’t felt in a long time. But that is not love.
Because you don’t fall in love. You fall in lust. You fall in infatuation. You fall in amazing chemistry and connection. You fall in hot sex.
But you don’t fall in love.
Love is discovered.
There are many many parts to us. We are complicated beings. We don’t always make sense. We have feelings. Thoughts. Phases. We are confusing. Unpredictable. And of course, we hide. Because we are afraid. It’s impossible to really know someone in a week or over a weekend. This is why you can’t fall in love with someone on a reality show. Love is discovered and that shit takes time. There are layers to be peeled. And trust must be formed for someone to truly show themselves and we can all agree that trust is earned and takes time, correct?
Love is discovered as you get to know all the different parts of someone. The good, the bad, the ugly, the real. This is why long distance relationships that are open ended rarely work. It’s just a long honeymoon. You don’t get to peel layers because everyone’s on their best behavior when they see each other.
Love is about the day to day, not the magical weekend. That’s the highlight reel, the movie trailer, the commercial you are mistaking for falling in love.
And I’m writing this article because people think when that fantasy feeling fades, they are no longer in love. The truth is when the fantasy feeling fades, that’s just the beginning. That’s when you start to see other sides to them and the relationship. But it doesn’t mean it’s not magically anymore. Magic comes in different forms. You start to discover other things about that person. Some you love. And maybe some things that challenge you. But it’s all part of the discovering parts process. As you peel layers and see more and more sides of someone, and these sides appear as you experience the person in different situations, settings, and spaces, in all different moods, around different people, going through different challenges, etc., you get to really know them. You see the whole instead of the movie poster.
Now, discovery is ongoing. It never stops. Because people are always changing and growing and evolving. But once you’ve discovered enough to make a decision to love someone,
Then Love is built.
And you build love by making a daily choice.
Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.
There is you.
There is him/her.
And there is what you guys are building together (the relationship).
I always encourage my clients to see that love — what is being built is its own living breathing separate piece.
It allows people to not always make it about them. Now there’s something greater. Something outside of self. And that’s how you make love sustainable and lasting. Two people building something greater than them. Then love goes from a to-me mindset to a through-me mindset and a through-me mindset is always the highest, most power filled state.
What’s my point?
Stop looking at love as something you fall in. As romantic as that sounds, it also sounds like a trap. And it also feels time sensitive, like you need to make some big life changing decisions quick because you have “fallen”.
Instead, see love as a discovery process. You are exploring, not only another person but yourself. Notice how you feel around someone, especially how you feel about yourself. Notice the differences. The similarities. Notice everything. And discover. Discover. Discover. That way there will be no surprises. Which is why you’re afraid. You had way too many surprises last time. It doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt.
Possible hurt is always the buy in to discovering love.
There’s no way around that.
Like anything meaningful, careers, companies, bodies, love is built. And that’s great news because we’re not just crossing fingers anymore. We’re actually doing work, work we believe will make us happy and fulfilled. And I’ll be honest, some people have tools to build something with legs and some people do not. And that’s why love is not about falling. Because you can “fall in love” without someone but they made not have tools to build anything so love is short lived.
So what does work look like? How is love built?
That’s a longer conversation I’m sure I’ll write about soon but I’ll tell you this.
It’s a process that requires you to look inward first. It’s not about getting. It’s about giving. It’s not about at you, it’s about with you.
And love hard.