“Wise men say only fools rush in, but I can’t help….”
I know I’m stepping on toes here, but hear me out. I know that just about everyone, me included, has danced to this song at a wedding, maybe even at YOUR OWN wedding. And it’s a beautiful song, really, every single remix of it, but it is simply not true, at least not for my relationship.
You see, I had control over falling in love. I could “help” it, and I did. You probably could have too, if you did it correctly. I had control over how fast we moved. I had control over my priorities, my time. I had control over whether or not to continue down certain paths, certain relationships.
I could “help falling in love,” because I chose it. I chose it nearly six years ago, and I continue to choose it.
Every. Single. Day.
I don’t dislike the song at all. I don’t even dislike the words. I do, however, dislike how it removes years of effort and choice out of my relationship to sell this narrative that the universe hands us matrimony on a silver platter.
I think this message, this idea that we fall in love with the help of fate and destiny rather than our own will and determination is a downfall of our generation.
We hear story after story about how love conquers all, how you fall in love and love is all you need to overcome trial after trial, but at the end of the day, that isn’t the truth.
Love doesn’t get you through your spouse’s times of illness.
Love doesn’t get you through battles with depression.
Love doesn’t keep you going after those fights, those disagreements, that seem to take days, weeks, years to resolve.
Love doesn’t conquer anything in a lifelong commitment to another human. Determination does. Lots of freaken determination.
Determination to humble yourself and apologize.
Determination to talk through the hard subjects.
Determination to choose love day after day, not because you couldn’t help it, but because you could, and chose it anyways.
I think the problem with this song, with this culture, is the way we view love. We see it as this feeling, this invincible state between two people. There is falling in love, and there is being in love, and both of them capture only feelings, emotions. However, we are emotional beings, and as emotional beings, these emotions, no matter how powerful they are in a moment, they are bound change, transform.
This love, this act of “falling” into this noun, this emotional state that we find ourselves inside of, that isn’t love, that’s passion, and let me tell you, passion goes out the door the very first time that person you commit your life to faces their first bat with the stomach bug.
The problem with modern relationships is we fall into passion and brand it as love, big shout-out to the perverts who rule Hollywood.
We see example after example of two people who simply cannot keep their hands off each other, who think of each other day and night, and while this is where the base of a loving relationship may start, the movies leave out the actual work, and we all buy into the fact that this sexual desire is all we need to be happy, to be in love.
However, love is a verb. I know- que the cliché, but really. Love isn’t just a state of emotion. It’s an active advance, and it’s initiated day after day. It’s something that takes more effort than you can imagine, more effort than humans are capable of giving, and yet we give it.
You might not be able to “help,” falling into passion, trust me, I’ve looked into my fair share of baby blue eyes over the years, but you can and should “help” falling in love. You can and should control falling in love, because it can and should be something you invest in day after day.
Being in love has brought me to my knees in tears, but it has also brought me back to my feet with joy. Love has taken my breath but given me life. Love is not, and has never been, just a fall, it’s a million little choices, and each is more devastating and incredible than the last.
I could help falling in love, but I chose to anyways, and that’s the song I choose to sing.