Falling in love

Many of us who are not in love long to be. We know only too well the glories we are missing. We may enjoy full, rich lives and be proud of our accomplishments, but still feel lonely and isolated. Aside from brief moments of infancy, (When we may not even be aware of it) we hardly ever come first. But love restores that blissful state to us. Being the most important person in someone’s life is the defining promise of passionate love.

We long for intimacy and for the exaltation of love. But we cannot do the reverse and will ourselves to love. It is said that it is just as easy of fall in love with a rich man than a poor man-but one either loves or does not. While falling in love with a rich man might prove advantageous, injunctions to fall in love are impossible to obey.

Love comes when it does. Rather than willing it, we are struck by it as though by lightning. Lovers experience love as a completely spontaneous-a gift, a feeling  inspired by the  virtues of the beloved, not by any internal quest or need. Love has always been experienced as a response  to something outside of us-if not the qualities of the beloved,  Cupid’s arrows, or love potions. The author, Stendahl, describes this as the thunderbolt. This song from South Pacific conveys the experience.


Some enchanted evening

You may see a stranger,

you may see a stranger

Across a crowded room

And somehow you know,

You know even then

That somewhere you’ll see her

Again and again.


Some enchanted evening

Someone may be laughing’,

You may hear her laughing’

Across a crowded room

And night after night,

As strange as it seems

The sound of her laughter

Will sing in your dreams.


Who can explain it?

Who can tell you why?

Fools give you reasons,

Wise men never try.


Some enchanted evening

When you find your true love,

When you feel her call you

Across a crowded room,

Then fly to her side,

And make her your own

Or all through your life you

May dream all alone.


Once you have found her,

Never let her go.

Once you have found her,

Never let her go!

(Enzio Pinza)


Play South Pacific

Some Enchanted Evening

The experience and process of falling in love

Falling in love is often accompanied by physical sensations=loss of appetite, breathlessness, and sleeplessness. Love becomes a delirium and is spoken of as a fever. There is fear. There are some people who are afraid to be known. This can be a barrier to falling in love. To fall in love is to risk opening up, revealing one’s true self, and then risk being rejected. The lover, preparing to meet the beloved, worries about their smell, their clothes, their hair, their plans for the evening and ultimately, their worthiness.

Lovers always fear they might not really be in love or that they are not truly loved in return. Lovers alternate between extolling the beloved and wondering if it’s the right choice.

As the lover begins to fall in love, thoughts drift involuntarily toward the beloved. The preoccupation is often experienced as a high, a liberation, the greatest pleasure. Falling in love offers a sense of freedom; This freedom is not illusory. Falling in love offers a freedom from the confines of the self. Momentarily one exchanges one’s preoccupation with oneself for a consuming interest in the Beloved. The lover is bound to the beloved, but paradoxically the lover is freed from the confines of the self. The lover has a sense that someone else has entered the lover’s  subjective world and the lover has entered the beloved’s.

Falling in love is gratifying precisely because it is emotionally and mentally so all consuming. Thinking about the beloved often may interfere with life’s other activities, but these daily activities are seen as interfering with what is most important; strategies and attempts to realize mutual love.

The passion of love comes to rank as the most important things in the lover’s world. The lover has found the passionate quest and though it may sometimes torment, it also comforts. Love eradicates all uncertainties except the uncertainty about whether one could be, is or will continue to be loved by the beloved. Love gives purpose to living, meaning to life.

See Inhibitions to surrendering to passion #1

See Inhibitions to surrendering to passion #2

See Inhibitions to surrendering to passion #4

See Inhibitions to surrendering to passion #5