Falling In and Out of Love
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Judith Schuepfer-Griffin Registered MBACP, BA Hons
21st July, 20120 Comments
Falling in Love is one of life’s great mysteries. We all carry an image in our souls: that of the God or Goddess of Love. One day, we meet a person who seems to be the incarnation of that God or Goddess; the world turns upside down, and we fall into the sky. Something seems to take possession of us that we can’t control. We worship this god-like person, we only see the good in them, we see what we want to see, and if there is a little voice of reason left within us we silence it. This person fulfils our dreams of being recognised, cherished and loved. All is perfect; he or she must be the One, the One we were waiting, hoping, praying for. We live on a fluffy cloud of romance and everything looks rosy. And then one day this perfect lover will say or do something that causes a jolt in our chest, something that feels hurtful, something that touches a raw nerve within us, and we are confused: what’s happening? How can this perfect lover say or do something like this? – This may happen a few times and we may be able to push it to the side for a while, but in the end the cloud will dissolve and we land on the ground with a bump. We finally realise that our God or Goddess of Love is an ordinary human being, a normal person (like we are ourselves) and disappointment sets in. We feel deceived, cheated of our dream of having found the One who will shoulder the burden of our fulfilment, of the One who will dedicate his or her life to our happiness. But we are not ready to give up just yet; we start arguing, criticising, bickering, splitting hairs. We demand that our lover develops the super-human qualities we believed they had; we demand that they change for our sake. We refuse to accept that they are human, not god-like, and we refuse to accept them as they are with all the good, the irritating and the imperfect.
Some couples get through these bumpy times; they begin to realise that romance is not love, and over time they become able to respect and appreciate their partners as they are. That’s when true, human love slowly starts to grow. That’s when the world rights itself, when we take off the rose-tinted glasses and become willing to see things as they really are. This kind of love is much more down to earth, much less dramatic and full of a quiet kind of tenderness. It also means that we become willing and able to take back that projection of godliness with which we previously burdened our partner, and we agree to be responsible for our own fulfilment instead of putting that responsibility into our lover’s hands. This is how we will begin to experience ourselves as being whole, complete.
And yet, the process of falling in love is a beautiful and necessary one. If we survive the bumpy ride of falling in and out of romantic love and of letting grow real, human love, then we live in truly successful relationships, with our lover and ourselves.
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