Jan 4, 2010


"He'll fall in love with me like all the other ones" she tosses out "I can feel it. all these men I'm ambivelent about are the ones who fall in love with me, I don't understand it"

Fall in love.

I blink and read this phrase over and over again. Fall in Love. Like. all. the. other. ones.

I close my eyes imagine such a rain of riches.

What is it about people that make people fall? Head over heels. In Love. Or Lust. Or infatuation. Or whatever we want to call that initial pit of overwhelming desire. Ssingleness of purpose. Unique focus. Unyielding dedication. What is that?

last year I became very focused on a lecture I had seen on TED: Why we love and cheat, by Helen Fisher. To oversimplify this talk, she postulates that the mating and love ritual, which we often fold into one squishy category, can actually be divided into 3 seperate impulses: Romantic Love (that obessessive state in which we want to be with them always and constantly and suddenly find buicks beautiful because THEY drive a buick and suddenly drink chai lattes because THEY drink chai lattes), Physical Lust, and a more long term desire to form partnerships/mate.
Ideally, she noted, these all happen with the same person in tandem but sometimes not.

This was fascinating to me because it inherently explained, if true, how someone can cheat and then "no baby, no, I want to be with you always" and ...well, actually mean it. How we can become obsessed with a stranger but still feel an authentic loving bond with our long term partner. How we can want to sleep with someone we hate.

But I digress. What I am most fascinated by is this notion of a unique category for romantic love.

And I suspect I am most fascinated by it due to my overwhelming inability to inspire it.

I say this with only the smallest amount of self pity. I say this with the full knowledge that I can not be alone. I say this ackowledging that terrible horrible people have been known to inspire a constant stream of desperate intense falls into the abyss of affection, while some very beautiful and amazing people I know seldom experience this sudden onset of emotion. I say this, knowing on an intellectual level, knowing that I shouldn't take it personally.

Disclaimer: I in no way, shape, or form mean to imply that people have not been in love with me. I in no way shape or form mean to imply my mate is not in love with me. I very much believe he is. I believe he feels romantic love for me. In the reasonable portions a long term mate would. But I also say this knowing full well that he did not fall in love with me. Not really. It would be more reasonable to say he scaled the steps down with the light on and a the hand rail in check and even though he might have skidded a step or two and accidentally skipped a landing, I know these were more jumps than falls. More skids then plummets. He chose to "fall" in love me. Maybe leaped off the final platform across those last remaining steps. He got there. I suppose that is all that matters. But it is not the point of this post.

What I think about, when I think about the fall, and the ability for some people to take it with such casual reference that certain people will just fall in love with them, is: what is it about certain people that makes people fall? It isn't a wealth or beauty of kindness, although some objects of affection no doubt have that. It isn't accessibility. We ALL know that. So what IS it? IS it phermones? Charisma? Unobtainium? Or is it something so abstract? Something so inpinnable yet fascinating that poets for centuries have been inspired to put their finger on it?
yes. clearly.

Aphrodite put her blessing on a poor maiden and every man in her wake would stumble in her visage and become lost in her eyes. Its a notion as old as the trees. Some men, women, even children, I suspect, inspire a unique kind of romantic devotion. From the onset, with little regard for the outcome.
What is this quality, and is it variable. Is it obtainable? Is it disposable?

And if I were to be able to understand it, would that negate it's power and all it's beauty?


Jezebel said...

You are by no means out of practice. I wouldn't worry about that one bit. That drove home.

Mischief Maker said...

Last comment on all your new posts:

I believe that the fall has less to do with the object of affection and more to do with the person who is falling. I have only fallen desperately single-mindedly in love when I am avoiding actually living my life, for whatever reason. Becoming hyperfocused on a man, or on romance itself, has always been a form or procrastination for me. Maybe that's just me though. But no, I don't know either why some people are constantly inspiring admiration and not others.