In her Words
The Love Thing
How can some women love wholeheartedly while others stay afraid?
Falling in love. It’s a concept so revered in literature, so celebrated in music, art and everyday life that it seems as common as applying mascara. Yet, for some, there’s trepidation around the idea of “falling in love” because they feel they’ll lose the essence of themselves in the process. Perhaps this is why, ultimately, some fear they may lack the capacity to do so.
Those who have successful relationships, wonderful marriages and great, sustaining loves would likely disagree. But what about women who never find success in love? The ones who have fallen but have lost their great loves? Did they feel apprehensive, too, and if so, how did they get past that? Were they truly scared, or did they just lack some personal characteristic necessary to write a great, lasting love story?
Here’s my deal: I fear I can’t fall in love. I can barely even consider falling in love. I think it’s scary, difficult, stressful – and perhaps impossible.
I don’t fear that I won’t ever find a man, but rather that I’m incapable of truly loving him. I love my friends. I love my family. But I’ve never really fallen in love (though I’ve thought I had a couple of times). Even to my first love and, in fact, my first lover, I never fully gave my heart.
What if all this hype around love – Shakespeare’s timeless sonnets, Jack Johnson’s sweet crooning, celebrities’ lavish weddings – makes us think we’ll find someone when, in fact, there are women (and surely men) who want to love but can’t? It‘s a mystery to me how so many women commit their entire being and devotion to a man (and they say it “just happens” – which is even more mystifying!). How is it possible to allow so much of yourself, and your heart, to become part of another person without losing the essence of who you are?
Perhaps we all can fall in love and stay in love forever if we desire it, but it’s pretty damn nerve-racking for some of us – even when the guy is staring us in the face. I want to believe I’m capable of letting my guard down for good, to let someone in that shakes me to my core, to share life’s great moments and dreams with another person. I want to be with the man who allows me to be myself, so that I’ll love him even more for allowing me to be me. But when relationships come to an end so frequently and love becomes more and more elusive, I have to wonder: Is it them, or is it fear?