You love deeply and you will again.
In my head, when you tell someone you love him or her, the person says it back. I know that may not be realistic, but it’s how I always thought it worked.
You’re hanging out together; you’re rolling around in bed, taking out the trash or doing some other mundane task, when you realize you love this person.
One of you says it, and it makes the other one realize it, too. You’re officially in love. You then use those three little words to sign off text messages, or as an excuse when your partner asks you to do something you don’t want to do.
That’s how I always thought love was supposed to happen, at least — when it finally hits, you both know it.
Little did I know, that’s not always how love works. Life doesn’t always follow romantic-comedy storyboards. Love is not always mutual. Love doesn’t follow our carefully crafted plans. Sometimes, we fall in love without even realizing it, and the other person doesn’t at all.
Sometimes, the other person simply might not love you.
Not every person is ready for love. You can be dating someone who very much cares about you, but doesn’t know how to love you yet, and that’s okay. It might not feel okay, but sometimes, you have to learn how not to love someone, too.
You have to learn how to fall out of love.
You might realize you love someone, but you can’t say it. His or her answer wouldn’t be as crystal clear as yours, even if you tried to convince yourself otherwise. You know he or she doesn’t love you.
Love doesn’t work for everyone at every point in life. Maybe falling in love at the same time can be as challenging as orgasming at the same time; you need different things at different times and different paces.
It still might end in mind-numbing pleasure for the both of you, but at slightly different times. That pleasure might never come for one of you. The tracks of what you each needed were too far off.
You might realize you’re in love too soon. So, what can you do? Do you stay in love? Do you tell the person? It’s too painful. You want to tell him or her every moment of every day because it’s too much of one thing to keep inside of one person.
Love is supposed to be shared. But, you can’t share it. The only other option is to run from it.
We always talk about falling in love, but what about falling out of love? It’s less fun to talk about, but it happens, nonetheless. Falling out of love is for the person who doesn’t even realize it’s happening. A person who gradually wakes up one day and realizes it’s gone, and it’s been leaving for a while. You force yourself out of love.
Love says, “No, please, let me stay,” because it knows as well as you do that it’s supposed to be here, and it’s supposed to be heard. Your body can’t handle it anymore, though.
Your body can see that this love won’t have a home in which to bury itself anytime soon. “There isn’t time,” the other person’s body says. This isn’t the time. It won’t be the time for a while.
Love doesn’t wait for time. Love is an explosion that operates on its own clock. Your body can’t hold it for any amount of time, except now. You have to force it down until it’s not love anymore.
You have to make it shrink into itself until it stops banging on your heart, begging to be let out. You know that what love is shouting at you is true. This love could work. You fall away, anyway.
Love does not blind you; lust blinds you. Lust can make you believe you’re in love, but when you squint hard enough, you realize you can’t see a life that works with this person.
Love is like a pair of glasses you never knew you needed. You can see more clearly than ever before; you know you and this person could have a life together. A wonderful, challenge-filled, strange life that’s probably been in the cards since the day you two first met.
It’s a love that isn’t always convenient, but always works, somehow, some way. You have that love with this person, this person with whom you are forcing yourself to fall out of love.
Maybe it came too soon and that’s why you need to get away from it. If you don’t run away fast enough, you might get in too deep. It might run its course before it’s supposed to.
Falling out of love is for when it’s not supposed to be love anymore and you drift away from it slowly and amicably.
Forcing yourself out of love is screaming, running and trying to get away from it so it can come back again. Forcing yourself out of love is knowing it could be something great, but knowing it might never happen.
None of us really know how to fall or force our way out of love. Love hits hard, and love hits for keeps. Forcing our way out of love comes when we know the other person isn’t ready, and we need to move on until something changes. This might never happen, and that’s scary.
Forcing ourselves from love means giving up on something that could have been everything. It still could be everything.
How do we fall out of love? We don’t, really. We distract. We become busy.
Most importantly, we learn how to love ourselves more than we loved the other person. We love ourselves and hope that maybe, one day, we’ll be loved back. We don’t wait for love; it finds us when it’s ready.
You say goodbye to love for now. You tell love, “I’m saying goodbye, I’m wishing you well and I’ll fight to get you back when you’re ready to fight in return.”
You love deeply and you will again. You say goodbye to love, but you never forget how to say hello again.
That’s how you fall out of love.
This post originally appeared at Elite Daily. Reprinted with permission.
Caitlin Jill Anders is a writer, amateur photographer (she gets Instagram “likes” sometimes), and gluten free eater. She likes green apples, pugs, Law and Order SVU marathons, whiskey, writing “about me’s,” and brunch.
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