Saturday, January 15, 2011

I’ll Never Fall In Love Again

When I was in New York a few weeks ago we went and saw Promises, Promises. This was an awesome show. Basic storyline is this: boy works with girl, girl doesn’t know his name, boy falls for girl, boy rents out apartment to married coworkers to have affairs, boy’s boss finds out and wants “in”, boy realizes that boss is having an affair with girl, girl gets heart broken, but then realizes that boy is much nicer than boss and all live happily ever after (except maybe the boss because his wife kicks him out and his girlfriend won’t give him the time of day!). In the show is a song called “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again.” I have somewhat become obsessed with this song (as I have a tendency to do when I find a song that I like).

Here is a selection of the lyrics:
What do you get when you give your heart
You get it all broken up and battered
That's what you get, a heart that's shattered
I'll never fall in love again
Don't tell me what it's all about
'Cause I've been there and I'm glad I'm out
Out of those chains those chains that bind you
That is why I'm here to remind you
I'll never fall in love again
So this has gotten me thinking about this phrase “fall in love.” Let’s dissect this a bit. The first word is “fall” as in face first, crazy stupid, over the top, ridiculous, liking a person way too much when you hardly know them. Then you have “in love.” When you put them together they lead to the idea of becoming in love very quickly. How can you, when you hardly know someone, “fall” in love with them? I am a hopeless romantic, self proclaimed, but really? I love watching sappy movies and reading chick lit where the couple fall head over heels on the first date and it’s fate and then they live happily ever after. I love that, really I do, but I know it’s not lasting. You will notice that it is very rare that we see what happens after that "fall in love" moment.

To really be in love with someone is to get to know them, to build trust and respect for them and let those feelings turn into that emotion that we all love to love: love. So many times you meet someone and you decide that he or she must be “the one.” Now, let us take a moment to look at “the one.” Do I believe that there is someone out there that we are all meant to be with? Well yes, I do, but, just a note, I also believe everything is predestined and in fate and signs all that stuff, so yeah, in the end I think there is “the one.” Do I think that we necessarily know that the person we are with is “the one”? Absolutely not. What if, I fall madly in love with some guy, we’re together for 25 years, he dies, I grieve and then fall in love with someone else? Which one was “the one”?

Do I sound cynical yet? Probably, but I’m not, really, I'm not. I am truly optimistic about love and relationships. I have had my fair share of relationships where it has seemed that the stars have aligned and all the signs are there and clearly, finally, fate has stepped in and given me that chick flick of a love life that we all want. You know what happened with those relationships? They sucked. Of course not the whole time, but in the end they were not healthy relationships that I should have stayed in. Thank the Lord they ended when they did.

That being said, do I regret them? Heavens no! Those relationships have all put me in a place where I really think I can be in a healthy relationship, in the future. Is right now the right time for me to be in a relationship? Clearly not, because I’m not in one! Could tomorrow be the right time for me? Sure. We’ll see, time will tell, and as psychic as I claim to be I cannot predict the future, so I have no idea when this will happen.

Now, what do I want in a relationship? Do I want to cosmos to align and the fates to bring a great guy to me in a way that Reese Witherspoon, when she is playing me in the movie version, would be proud to love? Honestly, no. When the time is right, whether that is in the next 24 hours or the next 24 years, I want to find someone that I can be totally myself with, that will not “fall” in love with me. I want to get to know a man, and him get to know me. At the end of the day I want him to realize that before he falls asleep he wants to talk to me, and only me; and I want to feel the same way. I want him to sit back and think: I really want to spend time with her, I have fun with her, I enjoy talking to her. That is where a relationship needs to start.I don't want someone that from a first date is planning the rest of our lives together (and I'm pretty sure no guy wants that either). I want it to progress naturally; in its own time. I want to have fun, be honest, learn to respect each other, and as we are getting to know each other have a relationship that grows into love. I have no desire to “fall” in love. I want to gradually ease myself into love, not fall. Falling hurts. Let me give you an example:

The year was 2003. I was 22 and in my second senior year of college (I got to the end of my first senior year with all the requirements to graduate, but wasn’t quite ready for the “real world” so I decided to take a victory lap and get another full degree, so I have two full Bachelor’s, enough justification, back to the story). My best friend, Melinda, and I were going to OU/TX; which in general is a very crazy weekend. I had sold my ticket, so we could drink through the game. Very long story very short, we started drinking in Ardmore , had around 10 drinks (including going through the “beer-through” in Gainesville ) and by the time we got to the friend’s house we were staying at we were a little, well, tipsy...and she had margaritas waiting on us. After Melinda spilled the margaritas and sucked the alcohol off the counter with a straw (now that’s a funny picture), we went to the West End; to Dick’s Last Resort. And I drank more (dumb), but eventually realized that I needed to be cut off, so I cut myself off. The next part of the story I have just pieced together (large amounts of alcohol to blame), but I remember it had been raining and I was wearing flip flops. The next thing I remember is the nice police officer asking if I need an ambulance, me saying no and then picking up my tooth (front one, of course) and putting it in my purse. Here is what I think happened: I was walking, slid on the wet sidewalk in my flip flops and crashed my face into one of those huge concrete light posts, thus breaking my front tooth out. Ouch! (Well not really ouch, I was so drunk that I didn’t feel a thing, nor do I remember this particular five minute span, no matter how hard I try!) The next part of the story I was hysterically crying and then spent the game, drinking beer through a straw at a bar.

Needless to say I don’t like falling. Falling is all the same. If you are careless about it the next thing you know you are going to black out, not know what happened and wake up with something broken and in a lot of pain. How many times have we looked at something that seems like such a good idea (like that six pack at the “beer-through” in Gainesville ), but you just end up getting hurt? Falling in love is no different.

After this happened did I stop drinking? Well of course not. Immediately following, I just drank beer through a straw because the cold beer hurt the exposed nerves. Was I more careful when I drank after that? Sometimes yes, sometimes not so much. Do I look back and regret that? No, because it is a really funny story to tell from college. I do try to be a little more careful, at least when wearing flip flops and drinking.

Love is the same way. I have fallen, to the point of figuratively crashing my face into concrete, and I have gotten hurt and had my heart broken. Do I want to do it again? Of course I do! Who doesn’t like the feeling of being in love? Simply, though, I want to gradually ease myself down that road rather than falling into it. After the fall I had to use that straw, even with beer (and yes I looked silly), but the nerves were exposed and I didn't want to cause myself anymore pain. I think in relationships we should do that too: use something as a buffer to keep ourselves from getting hurt when we hardly know someone, sip on love instead of chugging it. Whether that is taking a budding relationship slowly or dating several people at the same time, we can use these as ways to realize who it is we want to win out at the end of the day.

The time will come again for me to be in love. Maybe it will be with someone that I have known forever. Maybe it will be someone with that I have never seen before. Maybe it will even be with someone that I have met recently. I just don’t know yet. I do, however, know that when it happens it will be amazing and I’m excited for that. For the time being, though, I am just living and enjoying life, sipping through a straw, and not wearing flip flops when it rains.


  1. That plot sounds exactly like The Apartment. ( Great movie.

  2. It is exactly the same as The Apartment! The musical was based on it :)