The Rules of Falling in Love

Here we are, the girl who has written basically a thesis on the million reasons why we should never settle down and how you will not receive flowers on valentines day, has fallen. Mighty was the fall, ah! falling in love. The strong woman who has held it together for 4 years, building an empire, career-focused, yet helplessly romantic, high standards, the everything and nothing else kind of lover, the untouchable blogger, she has fallen – like the roman empire, or down like a shot of tequila – all at once – my walls crumbled. Let me rewind for an instant – I was always all in – when in love, I was always 100% in, never in half measures, it was either I was all for that person or there was none for that person, I can not and do not know how to love lukewarm, I love warm, I love like a cup of tea, I am tea leaves, making the water more tasteful over time as long as you keep me from getting cold, unravelling into flavours in the hopes of filling you up with comfort and making you feel at home. I am hot tea on winter days, and I will love with all my heart through the ceramics of our cups so that I too, can keep your hands warm. I am tea, with sugar or with milk, different but always the same, sometimes I am soft other times intense, but I am tea leaves when in love.

Reading the first paragraph and you will know: the poet in me had to find certain grounding – because proses may rime but wait until they fall out of line, and if loving with such a full heart meant also breaking with equal intensity, I needed to be careful with whom my poems would accord. Like a diamond in the rough, I made my heart more robust, and shinier, polished the rough edges and I waited – patiently – for someone brave enough to harvest the coal turning into a precious rock. My patience built wisdom and thus over time, I built a set of rules for the miners. Rules through which I would not under any circumstance derogate to. I had thought everything through; how long before texting back, how long before the first kiss, what to never accept and which part of my heart to give away, how far to let him dig and where to maintain a strong facade. From these rules that have served me, I have learned patience and from patience came its virtues: I knew clearly what I wanted, what I hated, what I adored, and I would not, under any circumstances, go for less than what I believed love was.

But then again, sometimes, we have to take a step back in order to move forward, love is not a game of chess and thus rules must be addressed because when I met the king face to face, I was checkmate on the first round. Funny how once the madman and the knight have been played how all that is left are the ones that are defenceless, and so facing him – my person, the king – I had realised, that no amount of rules would teach you how to play at love … because love has no room for games. We are thought how to play so we do not get played but the truth is, we should not play – no set of rules will rule over the heart and the way it bonds to another. And for it may seem evident, the dating scene does not teach you the way it will be once you first fall for M.Right, we are thought how to act to avoid M.Idiot and M.Wrong, but no one teaches us where to stand once we stand in from of the way one we have waited for. I learnt fairly quickly: he was never my adversary and he was always on my team, never against me but always stood by me, we were never to compete, I was to support him. Picture the image of a queen next to her king, I too, had to learn the truth of falling in love and let it rule. All there was to see was the lines of black and white squares of my soul like an open board empty of its game once the strategy had fallen. There was nothing there but the foundation of all I was, truly and simply, carved in the wood or the marble of what I was made of – with at its core a heart that was aching to love him back.

And so leaving the game behind once I met him I was nothing but an open cave in which there was both diamond and coal, a cave in which I would have to learn to give and to take in good balance so that I would not take what I don’t have nor take what I do not need. I think that this is where I was wrong, the inside of a mine can not be solely precious rocks, and not all of me can be pretty. My ugly could not be removed, but my grace came when I realised it could only be transformed – turning fears into faith, turning darkness into light, turning coal into diamonds – not in a day but over time, like a work of art, layers by layers – details.

Not all roses are red,

Violets will never be blue,

And insecurities, they show.

They will show because their love will not heal yours.

And so it is your responsibility, to heal so you can love better. We do not choose with whom we fall, nor how, we do not choose when, but we fall, eventually, and we love, we love with all our hearts, and thus, for love to last, we have to be ready, ready to embrace the places where it is still coal and be patient for human nature to do its masterpiece.

Back then, I wrote, ” once I fall in love, please remind me that we do not rush something we want to last forever”. Ah! How funny, because patience is a virtue and love is a rush – I think that we believe that love is a feeling, while it is not, nor is it a chemical reaction that could last, the effervescence fades and we are left with a harsh truth now: Somedays, we may not love each other just as much as the other days, we might get mad, we might not feel like seeing each other’s faces or talk at all, we may feel a little hopeless and a little angry, but down the road, if the foundation is strong, on the days you’ll be mad at me, you’ll find a friend. Someone who does not seek to argue with you but to understand you, someone who appreciates you and all that comes with it, someone who will not bolt even when things are not perfect. I guess in the end we must seek to make our intentions good, clear and noble, and be honest about where we are at and what we are hoping for. If it can be of any comfort … coal turns into a diamond only under pressure … and it takes somewhere between 1 billion years and 3.3 billion years to obtain a diamond from coal so you know … be patient ?

Love is outside of the zone of comfort, it is rewarding and it is tireless work – with yourself and with your significant other – as love will amplify certain issues and insecurities, it may highlight certain things you lack and may show parts of you you did not know you had hidden, love requires you to expand yourself, to be loved for all you are but encourage towards all you should become. Love is not something your person will give you, love is a way of being, of acting, of thinking, it is something you live by, you work with, you magnify life with and you choose with, it is something you give, something you share, something casual but also astonishingly extraordinary – rare, or not, every day or once in a lifetime. Loving is not hard, but maintaining it? That takes courage, dedication, kindness, patience, appreciation, gratefulness, and commitment. Love is in you and what you do with it, how you communicate it and how you share it, it is your responsibility and your decision … every day.

for what it’s worth,

it is worth it.

xx A

Photo by Sebastian Voortman


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