I want to emphasize the “falling” part, the part just before you really truly love someone. I’m like an adrenaline junkie for the start of a potential relationship. That’s why I fall often and fall hard. Anytime I meet someone who I have even the slightest intimate connection with, I immediately throw on these rosy shades in front of my mind. From then, every word, text, smile, gesture, batting of eyelashes, anything, is interpreted through these rosy lens. How could these signs be interpreted in any way other than mutual feelings of affection? Once the mind establishes this belief – that we’re both “falling” at the same rate – then I start to have expectations. We all do this. We expect certain things to happen and go a certain way based on our current understanding of the situation. I expect the texts to come at a certain frequency, the affection to be returned with the same intensity, the enthusiasm to be shared, the flirting to elicit a certain magnitude of response, and the jokes to be followed by laughter. When reality doesn’t meet my expectations, that’s when the frustration, the angst, the disbelief, the confusion, and anger sets in. My mind doesn’t know how to reconcile reality with my inflated and deluded expectations; this isn’t how it’s supposed to be, this isn’t what she’s supposed to say, this isn’t how she’s supposed to react. What follows is the slow, burning spiral of a relationship that could’ve been. Reset. Start Again.
I suspect that my love of the idea of falling in love started in my childhood, filled with Disney movie romances and Hollywood rom-coms (“Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve got mail”). This instinct to immediately seek out gestures and words that validate my adrenaline rush functions on a level I’m not even aware of most of the time. Love is blind, deaf, and dumb, apparently.
I wonder if I’ll ever be able to smash and discard these rosy shades from my mind’s eye. I wonder if I’ll ever fall for someone for who they are, and not who I imagine them to be. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to take in a person simply one moment at a time, rather than in moments ahead of the present. I wonder if I can ever fall for a person without the fear of what the future might bring.
I wonder if I’m the only one with this problem.