Being in Love Is Scary.

Via on Jun 15, 2012
Screen shot 2012-06-15 at 3.53.23 PM

“When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No… don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it is!”

~ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

I’ve never believed in being in love.

Although I thought I once did.

I stopped believing in this idea when I realized that it’s easy to confuse the feeling of being in love with the feeling of being afraid to lose someone.

I thought I was “in love” with Harry*. Looking back now, I see my relationship with him in a new perspective.

I was deathly afraid of losing Harry when we were together. For years I walked on eggshells, trying to say and do all of the right things to please him, and yet, I was hanging from the edge of a building with buttery fingers. I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t have Harry to love. So I gripped on to the building for dear life, feeling very sure that the desperate feelings I felt for Harry were because I was in love with him.

I stopped believing in being in love when I recognized this catastrophic confusion in my emotions.

I also don’t believe that there is only one person in the world meant for me. I believe in trusting the universe that everything is evolving as it should—but that is a lot of pressure on the universe to expect the love of your life to just drop right into your lap.

Sure, this could happen, but I believe it takes a lot of bravery and guts to recognize what the universe is dropping into your lap sometimes. A soul mate could be standing right in front of you—serving you your coffee every single day, or passing you in the opposite lane. Maybe your soul mate is sitting next to you in your poetry class, or maybe they live in another country—in a life you’ve never yet imagined.

I believe you can have many soul mates. People come in and out of our lives for various reasons—each serving some purpose. However long or short their stay is with us, they are important.

I believe we are encountering soul mates all the time. Sometimes they become permanent fixtures in our lives, and other times, they are just meant to be with us for a little while.

Let me get back to the point that I don’t believe there is only one person in the world for me. I say this because love takes a lot of work. Being in love is scary, rocky, tumultuous. Really loving someone takes time, consistency, stability and effort. Sharing your life with someone means sharing the same values, similar integrity and morals, similar motivations and goals. Perhaps the person I’ll share my life with isn’t even a soul mate at all—just someone I happen to meet and connect to in a deep, grounding way.

Because that is what love is to me.

Love is grounding and freeing at the same time. I believe love should keep me safely tethered to a parachute while I jump out of a plane, or to a set of cables used to support my weight as I ride a zip line over a jungle canopy.

But being in love? I don’t believe in being in love. Being in love is fleeting.

I believe in love. The grounding, permanent, bring-me-coffee-in-bed kind.

*My family is wondering who the heck Harry is. This isn’t his real name.

~

Editor: Brianna Bemel

 

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About Lauren Hanna

Lauren Hanna, E-RYT 200, MSS Candidate, is a social worker by day and yoga ninja by night. It was in Pittsburgh that she first discovered the thrill of yoga and her love for social welfare and animal rescue work. With her cats Lotus and Calia in tow, Lauren hopes to someday combine her love for yoga and animal welfare with her career as a social worker. Lauren likes to dream a lot about saving the world – one puppy, kitten and human at a time. Lauren also loves cobblestone streets, arts & crafts, action movies and writing books with her Grandmother. If she had a billion dollars she'd probably spend it all here. Follow her @laurenfoste.

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6 Responses to “Being in Love Is Scary.”

  1. S. A.Reza says:

    Love is great feelings when ur heart is in pains,love heals,love great friend for lonliness it goes together with u.true love never dies whether u win it or not,it penetrates in depths of ur heart to stay there untill u say goodbye to this world.

  2. I loved this piece! Yes! I have realized the same truths, but it took 30 years of loving to figure it out (I'm now 50).

  3. Jia Ni says:

    Amazing piece, Lauren! So much honesty and truth in this, thank you so much! :)

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  5. [...] of leaving the comfort and routine we had as a couple. Mostly though, we cheated because we were terrified of loving. For him the fear was in loving someone as much as he loved himself. For me, it was in loving [...]

  6. Lori says:

    Nicely put, Lauren. I, too, have felt beyond the biochemically (and, I suspect, mostly biologically driven) "rush" of "falling in love", knowing that it is not all that it seems and should definitely not be the key "selection criteria" if one is looking for a truly functional, and ultimately more satisfying intimate relationship. In the past year I have decided that "Love" actually "feels like" Effort. It is manifested in the Action of "making the effort", for instance, to understand yourself, or to understand the person you are otherwise attracted to, and to struggle with the inevitable challenges that every relationship encounters, the challenges of learning to trust another human being, which, as you have pointed out, takes time. As I am writing this I am thinking loving in a relationship really is about "Climbing" to those "Peaks of Ecstasy", with the mountain firmly beneath your feet, not "free falling" with what is actually fear and anxiety Not Knowing where you, or the relationship, will land.

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