I don't believe in falling in love.
If you say you've fallen in love, you leave the analogy with a dark side. Anyone who falls in, can climb out again.
When you love, you make a choice to love and when you choose not to love... well, it's just as much a choice. This is how I explain it to myself, anyway.
When I married Josh, I wrote my own vows. Part of my vow to him was to love him forever. I thought about that part for a long time before I decided to include it. How do we know what life will throw at us? How do we know if the someone we choose will always choose to choose us? I didn't know that. I was afraid. The truth is that I know from experience that love isn't permanent unless we make it so. To make that vow to him was very intentional. I made a choice then, and I make it again over and over every day.
But here's the secret. I used to believe that you could fall in love. I used to believe that there was a kind of magic; a visceral recognition between two souls that reached out and clung, one to the other. I believed. I wanted the pounding heart and the tingles, and everything that comes with it. All of the things that come about as a result of the newness and the hormones. I believed in it like I believed in gravity and tectonic plates and germs.
And then I didn't. Lots of things came in between, and they changed me. There was a time when I became so lost that I couldn't tell you who I was or what my purpose was. I was untethered and floating.
When I was younger and I took the Meyer's Briggs test I always came out as an INFP. By nature they are healers, dreamers, Idealists. Now when I take it, I always measure out as an INFJ. Instead, I am a protector or a confidant. I can see the change in myself. I'm not longer so free and open. I don't always believe the best of people anymore. I look for the faults that I believe are there.
I am sad about this. It doesn't change what I believe or the way that I've been changed. I can't go back to believe that everyone is well-meaning. I do not blindly trust, and I am more likely to find fault with someone, or expect to find fault with them. What kind of person thinks this way?
That is my secret. That I cannot trust blindly, but also that part of me still wants to believe in love and in the innate goodness of all people. There are times when I catch myself wanting reckless romance in my life- not just in my marriage, but in my life- and then I realize that life doesn't really work that way. Even if I want it to.