Written February 5, 2021:
I decided to join the bandwagon and write about love. And very timely that I should pick up a book about a new psychology of love, The Road Less Traveled, again. M. Scott Peck’s definition is: The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. He explained what he meant, but this is not what I would like to focus on. Instead, I find his discussion about what love is not way more interesting.
Misconception #1. “Falling in love” is love or at least one of the manifestations of love.
I was definitely falling in love September of 2018. What’s not to like? Dashing, brilliant, witty, sexy, mature, kind, loving… He did not give me a chance! Everything happened so fast, but I could say on hindsight that while I was certainly on cloud 9, at the back of my mind I was acutely aware of the fact that the feeling may be fleeting. Since I have read about this before, I even told him to wait until at least after 6 months, when the honeymoon phase is over. If we still feel the same, then we have got a chance at real, lasting love. If we fall out of love and choose to be together, then we have got a chance at making our relationship work.
It is not surprising how easily romantic love can be confused with the real thing, given our usual upbringing involving fairy tales. It is kind of scary though if there really is “only one man meant for a woman and only one woman for a man and this has been predetermined in the stars.” What if the one person meant for us we have hurt in the past and have already let go? What if that one true love we went out with once but got annoyed at how he was so unbelievably self absorbed he did not even ask what my favorite movie was!
If falling in love is nothing but a myth, why do people even bother? “The essence of the phenomenon of falling in love is a sudden collapse of a section of an individual’s ego boundaries, permitting one to merge his or her identity with that of another person. The sudden release of oneself into the beloved, and the dramatic surcease of loneliness accompanying this collapse of ego boundaries is experienced by most of us as ecstatic. We and our beloved are one! Loneliness is no more!” Let’s face it, for most people it really takes attraction first before we can even consider someone as a possible partner. Some people (like Monica and Chandler) are lucky enough to fall in love with their best friend, but I believe it’s the exception rather than the norm. I mean, I could not just go across the hall and start knocking on my neighbor’s door, say how you doin and marry that guy!
Looking back, I am certain both of us have fallen in love with each other and was able to keep the fire burning. We were committed and honest with each other. So what went wrong? Do I really blame it all to COVID-19? While people tell me it’s not only us, a lot of other relationships has endured. What we had felt like real, genuine love. Something must have been missing, however, for us to end in a broken engagement. Was it my immaturity? Was it his age and loneliness? Was it a little of both, with some other factors? So many questions unanswered.
If I should be fortunate again as to experience falling in love once more, I would remind myself to savor the moment, hope he’s someone whom I may fall out of love with but choose to spend the rest of my life with, but also be prepared that he’s just going to be a part of my past.
How do you define love?
PS. Please excuse my fat arm and uneven hair color!
Update: after all that has happened, I would still rush in the next chance I get