You know what I realised today? I’m never going to fall in love.
Not because I’m the wicked witch of the story and social morality dictates that I’m not allowed to (or, at least, not as far as I know) but because I think about relationships in terms of cultural expectations, emotional engineering, social pressures and learned behaviour rather than puppies and rainbows and pixie dust.
One of my friends fell in love and got married in less than 2 years and it’s a beautiful story, she smiles every time she talks about it and she sounds absolutely sure of herself on every word. I know I’m never going to feel that because it would never occur to me that I was “falling in love”.
I’d recognise that 2 people could balance each other emotionally because they have similar personality traits, that making themselves mutually vulnerable could create a mutual attachment, that similar upbringings and familial relationships could lead to similar “romantic” expectations, that repeated positive reinforcement could spark endorphins every time they met.
I’d recognise that other people would watch a relationship like that develop and say these people were falling in love, but I wouldn’t say that myself.
I remember trying to find out what was going on in people’s heads when they thought they were falling in love because I couldn’t understand them, but maybe that’s the point. Maybe all that “love is madness” malarkey is an excuse to let go of your usual impulse control, to indulge the craving to escape the monotony of the every-day and to create a socially acceptable means of acting out.
It’s not often, but every once in a while I can’t help but want the puppies and rainbows and pixie dust. Unfortunately, I don’t think clapping my hands and wishing very, very hard will work in this situation.