Go ahead and fall in love

In Spanish, there are two words for love: Querer, which is –if you will– the “first” level of love. It’s what you usually use to tell your friends that you love them. It also means “to want” but when you say it someone, it means something along the lines of “I care for you”. Disappointing, considering I find it to be such a beautiful language. In English we only have one, and the French  (devastatingly disappointing) only  have one as well. 

Thankfully, the Greeks knew what they were doing and had six words for love (though the list still leaves much to be desired).

First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.

— Maya Angelou

So I suppose it is not surprising to me that Love itself is treated like such a one-dimensional thing. We speak of and acknowledge family love, and friendship love, but there are so  many different ways to live through love stories, so many different ways that are just as valid and life-changing than the fairy tales we seem to strive for.  

And yet people are so afraid to fall in love. They are so closed off to the small stories, the ones that will allow them to have an entire experience with someone for possibly just a small time being. I have gotten my heart handed to me pretty bruised up by people who promised me the sun and moon only to be promising the same thing to someone else six months later. I have gone through the seemingly never-ending torments of a broken heart three times in my life, only to come back out of it wanting to fall right back into love no sooner were my tears dried. 

Just to be clear, here is what I don’t mean by “Falling In Love”:

  • I need to be this person’s girlfriend.
  • I need to kiss or have sex with this person
  • I want and need them to love me back. 
  • I need the person to acknowledge that I feel this way. 
  • I need the person to acknowledge the things I do for them, thank me and do them for me as well. 
  • I have higher expectations of this person. 
  • I need this person to be with only me at all times.
  • I need this person to be single. 

And here’s what I do mean:

  • There are qualities in this person that inspire me and move me in a deep way. 
  • I am attracted to this person either mentally and physically or just mentally. 
  • I very much like to hug, cuddle, or caress this person but sexual attraction is not assumed
  • I see this person with their flaws and qualities, accept them truly and try to not judge them harshly.
  • This person makes me want to be at my best and to inspire them.
  • I’d like to see this person very often and talk to them.
  • I have a strong desire to be of full assistance to this person.
  • I want this person to be happy and will do what I can to assist them in it.
  • I wish to be at my best when around this person.
  • This person brings something out in me that I like. 

As you can see above, my present definition of love leaves a lot of room for falling in love with just about anybody. And, it doesn’t have a lot to do with their role in my life, but rather what my role in theirs gets to be. 

Sure, sometimes attachments are formed no matter how hard you try not to, and the eventual disappointment or complications of the relationship can hurt. 

I have fallen in love many times with people who didn’t love me back. 
I have also fallen in love with people who loved me back, but for one reason or another we couldn’t make it work. 

I have fallen in friend love with people who I was not remotely attracted to but was obsessed with for a month or so. Men AND women. Sometimes it’s easy, falling in love with a celebrity, your expectations are clear. 

When the person is close by, it gets trickier. But the rewards one gets to reap from having allowed that vulnerability, to have thought of someone else, the joyfulness in selflessness…it’s all what life is about for me. 

Falling in love with others allows me to see the things that I love in myself as well, to see myself through the unclouded eyes of acceptance. I’ve allowed myself to fall in love knowing full well it could never last, that it never would, that I would probably fall back out of love. I had a recent short love story with someone who under no means wanted to love me back nor was even open to it. I found how I could love him, and I did it. And it brought me out of myself in such a magnificent way. Things that I was having a hard time finding the motivation to do were now coming to me easily. In wanting to care for him, I found myself wanting to care for myself better. I let myself be in love because I wanted to let myself be great. I wanted to see what it could be like, next time I found media naranja. I wanted to practice being in love so that I could be at my best for the next one I knew I’d stay in love with. 

So go ahead and fall in love. 

Detach the idea of possession and sexuality from falling in love, and simply love them anyway.

Love doesn’t hurt, the desire to be attached to someone does. 

Let yourself glide, be motivated, have butterflies, think of them, but be aware of where you are, what the actual possibilities are. Don’t limit yourself to experiencing only one type of love. 

Expand your heart, see yourself in others, and fall in love with yourself. 

All my love,

Maëlle

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