Why do Fools Fall in Love? | Because they’re foolish.

Ezekixl Akinnewu, Pexels

Spring is in the air! And I’ll admit, I’m feeling the fever. Operation Lose These Pesky Winter Pounds is in full swing. (I can’t even call it quarantine weight, y’all, cuz I been working outside my home all through the pandemic. And that in itself has carried it’s stressors, so dammit, food. Don’t judge me.)

I’m nesting around the house, which means that the month-long process of spring cleaning, purging, and garden prep is underway. I’m touching up my wardrobe, getting the lineup of new sneakers, sandals, and everyday cute flats in order. I’m looking at these neglected nails, which frigid temps and frequent hand washing have forced me to keep short, and penciling a trip to the salon onto my calendar. And I am friggin ready to go to a Brazilian steakhouse with my friends and eat and drink until my eyes blur…on a cheat day, of course.

I want out! Away from work and the shadow of 2020, that is. To let go, to release this season and barrel into the next like a freight train. But that’s not quite how life works. This transition needs to be smooth. There are certain protocols for change that nature has set, and trying to skip over them always produces lackluster results. 

Love is no different. So, here goes my analytical brain again, splitting hairs. Before you throw on your wig and maxi dress (or your man weave and joggers) so you can snag a new boo in the park, bear with me, because I think this deluge of unpopular opinions and old school relationship advice will ultimately reward you.

Hernan Pauccara, Pexels

I KNOW,

People use the phrase, “falling in love”, to refer to that wonderful sense of abandon and freedom that one feels when they let go and simply ride the waves of a new love interest (and I use “new” quite intentionally). Trust feels so good, doesn’t it?

There’s nothing wrong with being fully present in and savoring the moment. I co-sign that! There’s nothing wrong with being overtaken by gratitude whenever you have the chance to experience this wonderful elixir of life called Love. 

But…

Isn’t falling, like, one of the top human nightmares? I’m just sayin’, the human mind associates FALLING with deeply rooted fear, as the memory of untimely and tragic deaths that have occurred over millennia – memory that is lodged in our collective unconscious. (How symbolic…) It’s like, in our dna. There are rational, levelheaded people in the world who walk around with a notion that if they hit the ground after falling in a dream, that will signal their real life demise.

Can you name any instances where falling would be preferable to controlled motion? Maybe you can. Maybe you’re a glut for adrenaline and find things like bunjee jumping or sky diving exciting rather than nauseating. But in everyday terms, I think I’d rather dive into a pool, gracefully step off a treadmill, carefully descend a mountain, and only fly in planes with fully functioning landing gear.

Even in situations where adventure is the pursuit, the parameters for play are carefully studied and risks heavily mitigated. Yet, people often do not employ such forethought and care when jumping into love with their very hearts and souls.

Read “Love is a Hormone Martini”

So, might I suggest – so that you may gain maximum enjoyment and fulfillment – that you take a leisurely stroll into love, all senses wide open and feet firmly planted on the ground. Stroll as if meandering through a fragrant garden…rather than falling into it naked and disoriented like Kyle Reese in the first Terminator movie. 

Did I lose you? If not, hold that classic movie moment from the 80’s in your mind as the best possible visual. 

If you’re a culturally deprived soul unfamiliar with the film, let’s try again. Step elegantly into love, as if you’ve arrived fashionably late to an evening, lakeside wine tasting, flawless in your best attire…rather than falling into it like a swatted bug, flat on your back with your little bug legs flying frantically in the air.

Jennifer Murray, Pexels

Why do I suggest you do this? Because so many of our phrases and concepts around love are based on a notion of helplessness and dependency. We celebrate denial and destructive lack of awareness and call it love. We praise self-loathing, draining possessiveness, and irresponsibility for everyone’s well-being, and we call it love. We refuse to take the journey of inner healing and growth, choosing to feed on another person’s energy instead — no matter how altruistic and deserving of better, or toxic and deserving of being shown the door, that other person may be — and we call that codependent shitshow love. 

And we race into it at warp speed so we don’t have to THINK about any of it. We allow ourselves to be rushed into it by others so that they can con us out of whatever we have to offer through love bombing. By the time we realize the cost of what we thoughtlessly gave away, it’s gone. We suddenly realize that what we gave away was so much more valuable than any fleeting feeling based in biological chemical processes and unreliable, airy fairy notions of “soulmates”. And there’s no one to blame but the one in the mirror. 

I posit that love should actually be thought about. I posit that love is not scarce, so there is no need to chase after it and claw at the first signs of it like it’s the last chance at a meal that you’ll ever have!

Calm down. 

Find out if it’s really love. Hell, take some time to figure out what love truly is and how it works best for you. Then, when you’re clear that you’ve created a connection that will nurture rather than destroy, sit back and enjoy it. 

Can you do humanity a favor and at least try that?

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Your Picker isn’t Broken | you’re just using it wrong

“You can’t control who you fall in love with, but you better control who you love.”

From Pixabay, Pexels

So, you’re chugging along the path of life, and you decide you’re gonna make a pit stop for some lovin’. You see a bunch of signs ahead pointing in different directions: 

“1 mile to a one night stand with no call back”

“5 miles to an average 15-year marriage that ends in boredom and divorce”

“12 miles to a whirlwind romance”

“Next exit for a long-distance affair where you don’t have to worry about sharing your bed or favorite food”

“Prison penpal love ahead” 

“Celibacy on I-86. EXPECT DELAYS.”

…and so on.

You have a gut feeling that some of these options aren’t quite right. I mean, who the hell would take those exits to “Bruiseville” and “Wife Beater Valley?” Nonetheless, when you look down at your Picker’s navigation screen, it’s pointing straight at “Codependence Way”, and for the umpteenth time, you shrug your shoulders and take the exit without a second thought.

When you reach your destination and plop down next to Johnny-Come-Lately, you’re certain that he’s the one. Butterflies in the stomach? Check. Finishing each other’s sentences? Check. That cozy familiar feeling like you’ve known him for three lifetimes? Check. Great sex? Check! Yet, sooner rather than later, he proves to be just like every other guy you thought you knew, and you’re right back on the highway to nowhere. 

What happened?

From Godisable Jacob, Pexels

You know what your Picker is, right? It’s that part of your subconscious makeup that is largely responsible for your attraction to certain types of people, while others fly completely under your radar. It’s the inner GPS system that tries to lead you to your healing by way of relationship. 

There are certain things that you will never discover about yourself, lessons that you will never learn, without a partner or potential partner grating on your nerves and triggering your idiosyncrasies. (Because of this, I also liken it to a syllabus for the “classes” life puts us in, but I’m sticking with the driving analogy.) 

What’s love got to do with it? Not a damn thing.

Sorry. I know, it doesn’t sound sexy at all, right? What you thought was the work of a chorus of angels led by Cupid and a 90’s R&B group is most likely caused by biological imperatives, conscious biases, and unresolved, subconscious trauma. This is the reason why people say, “you can’t control who you fall in love with”. 

I, however, am here to tell you how you can (and why you better) control who you love.

If you are one of those people who seems hopelessly drawn to the wrong kinds of potential partners — people who are selfish, too materialistic, cold, emotionally unavailable, abusive, shallow, or generally noxious— then your Picker is playing a part. It’s purpose is simply not what you think it is.

If you think your head-over-heels attraction to a moron is a sign from heaven that you’re meant to be together, while you have little to no attraction to the kinds of people who would worship the ground you walk on, you’re probably misinterpreting your Picker’s dashboard readings.

Look, I’ve been there more times than I care to count. My skull is just as hard as anyone else’s, and I often need to be reminded of the very things I’m telling you. I know, firsthand, that feelings can be extremely persuasive. They can make a situation that could literally kill you seem like medicine for your soul—if you don’t understand their purpose. 

I’ve learned that feelings play a very important role. They are like sensors that tip you off to faulty thinking and behavior patterns, or issues that require your attention. They can even feed your Picker data that causes your subconscious navigation system to lead you into encounters with people who ultimately are not good for you. But the encounters are for your good. 

Did you catch that?

Problems occur when the Picker’s directives are interpreted as gospel, as evidence that you belong in a situation that is bad for you. Making matters worse is the fact that we are often inclined to remain in bad situations because they are familiar and do not require us to jump out of our comfort zones onto new paths.

The purpose of your Picker is not to lead you into seedy territory so that you can pitch a tent and stay there. Your Picker’s purpose is not to pick your life partner, or any partner, necessarily. It intends to help you pick apart the fears, projections, unrealistic expectations, and negative thinking patterns that prevent you from traveling a smoother path in life. It draws you into the mirror of another’s face, so that every time you look into your potential partner’s eyes and see their flaws, you can become that much more aware of your own— in order to grow and heal.

From The Lazy Artist Gallery, Pexels

If you had experience with someone early in life who was selfish, abusive, addicted, narcissistic… fill-in-the-blank, it’s highly probable that your subconscious mind will continue to guide you to those kinds of people, whether they show up as bad lovers, fake friends, nasty co-workers, bully bosses, nightmare neighbors, etc. The same holds true if you’ve picked up certain beliefs along the way that lead you to magnetize these kinds of people. Until you figure out how to free yourself from the shackles of those early experiences or negative thinking patterns, you’ll keep taking the wrong exits. 

It’s not what you attract, it’s what you keep.

Don’t blame your Picker. It’s doing exactly what it is supposed to do. I think all of the systems within our bodies and minds that are designed to run on autopilot often function exactly as they should. It is usually the challenges within our environments, along with our decisions and experiences, that throw them off balance or that prevent us from using them to our greatest benefit. 

From Rachel Claire, Pexels

The truth is, if you could closely examine many of the relationships that have stood the test of time, you will learn that those couples don’t have a magic formula. They aren’t always (or even usually) high on the fumes of Cupid’s pheromonic eau de toilette. Their relationships weren’t without cheating, lying, disappointment, or significant trauma of some kind or another. 

They may not necessarily light each other’s fire in such a way that their story would make you swoon with warm fuzzies and proclaim “awwww! as if you saw them confessing on an OWN series. They don’t make love like jack rabbits—well maybe some do. But many don’t, and that is perfectly normal for them. 

Yet the relationships last, or they are at least productive, peaceful, and satisfying for as long as they last. The good far outweighs the bad. 

Often, the distinct words that you will hear from at least one of them go something like this:

“I wasn’t all that impressed when I met him.”

“He wasn’t really my type.”

“A relative/friend introduced her to me.”

Lots of these relationships began with outside involvement, where a neutral third party (with a balanced mindset) who could see and appreciate the qualities of both people, suggested that they meet. There was little to no biologically-driven chemistry clouding their ability to recognize red flags or influencing them to rush ahead. Yet, something about the other person’s character, values, and willingness to work together drew them in and made it possible to build a stable and loyal partnership over time.

Now if strong, lasting love is not really what you’re interested in, if your heart is nomadic and you’re more wired for exciting flings and relationships that are short-term adventures, there is plenty of that to be had in this world. You won’t have to expend much energy to find it. Be safe and enjoy.

However, if you’ve been paying attention, by now you’ve picked up on one of life’s timeless and most potent lessons: 

The things that are of the highest value and substance are usually in shorter supply, require more risk, and are harder to get and keep. Of course, the upshot is that the rewards are greater.

True devotion is Limited Edition in this world. It is highly exclusive. The raw ingredients for love are not scarce, but healthy committed partnerships can be, because stable love is not a fleeting feeling, and it must be cultivated. Many people simply aren’t up for the task. 

You can increase your chances of attracting somebody who’s ready to fully commit if you place yourself in close proximity to people who want to commit. So get off the highway to nowhere, and try a more scenic route. If balanced, lasting commitment is what you want, you will have to slow down, and be more selective and discerning.

For healthier, longer-term relationships, take the time to self-reflect and address your subconscious issues. Perfection isn’t the goal here, but at least become aware of what’s driving you. Then, when your Picker hones in on an immature, playboy/girl who brings out the worst in you, you will understand why you feel drawn to them. 

You can decide to drive off immediately with the full understanding that your feelings are offering you valuable clues. This attraction, no matter how strong, is to toxicity, and it is not a “sign” that you two belong together. It is a signpost, pointing to the inner work that will lead you to a freer life, day by day. You can kindly thank your Picker for pointing out your blindspots, leave the potential train wreck in the dust, and continue on the path of your development. 

Soon, you’ll stop driving down the path of foolishness at breakneck speed. You’ll take in some of the beautiful view, including all those sane and mentally balanced potential lovers that you might have sped past before. At the very least, you’ll avoid a lot of potholes. 

If you want to build relationships that last a while and that bring more good than bad into your life, think of relating like good nutrition and health. You can enjoy dessert, but if you lead with it and overindulge, you’ll end up sloppy, sluggish, and unwell. Period. Relationships built only on treats lack the muscle mass, bone density, and vital circulation that would keep them healthy. 

Choose levelheadedness over Love Bug Fever, sense before sensuality. Balance reason with adventure. You can have some of that double chocolate trifle romance. Just remember, it will probably taste better if it’s made well at a quaint mom & pop shop in town with a solid reputation for making kickass sweets, rather than slapped together in the back of a gas station shop just off Route 2 by some guy named “Slim”.

It’ll cost more, but it won’t make you sick.