Friday, February 10, 2012

Overcoming My Addiction to "Falling In Love"

As I said in my last blog, I had another story to tell and it goes like this...

Almost four years ago now I was at a little get-together of friends of friends and met this young man named "Joe". He was tall and slender with kind of longish brown hair. Can't remember if his eyes were blue or brown now, but they were definitely "wide open" and curious. We happened to get to talking and the next thing you know I was telling him about masculine and feminine archetypes, anima/animus projection, etc., etc. He was really listening and engaged, so before the evening was over, I went next door to where I was living at the time, and retrieved copies of a couple of books for him to take home with him: The Invisible Partners: How the Male and Female in each of Us Affects our Relationships, by John A Sanford and About Men and Women: How Your Masculine and Feminine Archetypes Shape Your Destiny by Tad and Noreen Guzie. (I did not know it at the time, but "home" was just a five minute walk into the other condo complex across the road!)

As it turned out, he read both books pretty quickly (each of them under 200 pages), and he was very excited to talk about what he had learned the next time we met.

Now...I have to pause here...because, if there is anything that piques My interest it is someone who gets a lot out of reading books, and, in this case, it was someone who was finding something very meaningful in books I also found very meaningful. On top of that, his name was "Joe" just like the first man I ever fell deeply "in love with", and he was kind of tall and lean like that same "Joe". And, okay, the age differences were reversed, but that is a little hard for me to avoid these days given that most men my age have already married or probably are not going to.

However, Joe was involved with a young woman closer to his own age, and so we were "destined" to be just "friends", and I really wanted to respect that...mentally. oh man... I was fighting that ol' "urge to merge", and I KNEW IT. You see, this was all happening after I had come to the understanding about "falling in love" that I have discussed in my previous blog.

So, I fought, and I fought, to keep everything "platonic". The next thing you know, my body starts feeling kind of strange. There was this edginess that seemed a little like the tension I associate with PMS, wasn't exactly the same. If anything, it was more intense and pervasive, whole bodily more so than just mental or emotional tension. I was just feeling agitated and I couldn't put my finger on any immediate outside stressors that might have been causing it.

I remember being aware of this as I was washing dishes one evening, wondering what was really going on, and then, all of a sudden, I get that "light coming on" feeling and realized: My body was going through withdrawal symptoms. Even with all of the "buttons" that were being "pushed" while I was interacting with young Joe, I was forcing myself, forcing my body, to not go into that "falling in love" chemical patterning, and It was NOT "happy" with me...and it was letting me know it.

But...once I put two and two together, that was pretty much it. The game was up. I just relaxed as much as I could and let the rest of my "symptoms" run their course.

I've never felt that kind of "compulsion" to "fall in love" in quite the same way since. But, like any former "drug addict", put me in the right situation, and I'll be thinking about it, just like an alcoholic will think about taking another drink when there's a bottle sitting right in front of them. But, I guess you could say I've managed to "stay sober" for these past four years, and I suspect the worst of this particular addiction is over for me.

And, I'm glad for that, because I do not believe...better yet, I know for certain that is NOT what Truly Loving Someone is all about. It is NOT about "getting high"! Sure, it feels good for a little while, but just like with any other drug, the effects eventually wear off, and, worse yet, you can dip even lower than "normal" once you've been up so "high".

Oh, but the Drama - we do so love the Drama of it all - Don't we?! : P

What I've come to appreciate is that what is Real in Love is also what feels pretty ordinary. Not a lot of "highs", but then, not a lot of "lows" either. Instead of a roller-coaster, it's more like taking a casual drive through the countryside - enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, the grass, the wind in the trees, the sounds of birds singing, a sunset, a moon rise, and stars, and your best friend's hand in yours.

That's it. Whether you're washing dishes or taking out the trash or cooking a meal or laughing at a movie; folding the towels, replacing the toilette paper, making a bed, etc., etc. If you are happily sharing those responsibilities with another person, that is what Human to Human love is really all about. All of those little, ordinary, day to day things.

So, don't let the soap-operas, and the romance novels, and the "chick flicks" fool you, or distract you too far away from what might be right in front of you. Othewise, you will miss out on one of the greatest opportunities we all have to share here, one to one, person to person, day in and day out, as ordinary, and yet still really amazing, human beings.