So many love songs. So many movies. So many dating sites. So many dreams. So many broken hearts. We can tell when someone is in love. We know at once when love has ended. Billions of words have been written about love, yet each person starts again at the beginning. The strange thing is that we can live alone, and we can die alone, but we can’t love alone. Love means a lover, a beloved. Love is a ship landed on the island of ourselves.
“We hardly know our own souls, let alone the souls of others.” – Virginia Woolf On Being Ill
Love is our best method of knowing. Just as we learn better when we have a passion for our subject, don’t we become forensically obsessed with the other person? Every detail, every joke, every habit, every eccentricity, the way he divides an orange, the way she spears her hair up with a chopstick when she’s cooking, don’t we lie awake at night wondering how to crack the code of this treasure chest made of flesh and blood?
We’re all selfish. We’re all self-involved too careful in our selfish loves, taking care of Number One. Love overturns all that makes us look inward, because we want to be better, worthy, worth being with. And love makes us look outward, too, because the person we love seems to magically reveal the world. It’s understandable that we get addicted to love’s beginnings. The heightened, gravity-free time when nothing is a problem, and nothing is too much trouble.
I don’t think this is a trick of nature. I don’t believe that falling in love is an illusion (or a delusion). Clearly, not everything is meant to last forever – there are relationships that affect us profoundly and they don’t last forever. Some people are so addicted to forever that they stay in relationships that are double-berth coffins.