Falling in and out of love

April 16, 2010

in Marriage Killer

Maybe you’ve seen the following around the Internet as I have:

No one falls in love by choice, it is by chance.
No one stays in love by chance, it is by work.
No one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice.

I can’t track this to its original author, and I’ve seen a few variations. Below is my variation, and my thoughts on each line:

No one falls into infatuation or lust by choice, it is by chance.
No one falls in love by chance, it is by choice.
No one stays in love by chance, it is by work.
No one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice.

No one falls into infatuation or lust by choice, it is by chance. I changed this from one falls in love by chance because real love, the kind of love we (hopefully) have in our marriages, goes well beyond chance. Chance leads us to infatuation, which can become love. Chance can also lead to lust, which is not a great foundation for love.

No one falls in love by chance, it is by choice. Real love, love that comes from beyond the emotions or sex organs, is a choice. We choose to love in this way; we make a commitment.

No one stays in love by chance, it is by work. This is the most important point here, in my estimation. Feelings wax and wane, but a commitment does (or should) not. When the feelings are weak, we must work harder to do whatever it takes to build the relationship so the feelings will grow strong again. A good marriage is hard work, but it’s worth the effort in the long run,

No one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice. Falling out of love is not so much a choice, it’s more often the result of a choice. We choose to make something else too important, starving our marriage of needed time. We choose to stop working on the marriage because it seems too difficult. Or, we choose to allow infatuation or lust for someone else to grow and displace our relationship with our spouse. The choice and the apparent “falling out of love” may be separated by a good deal of time, but a choice is always at the root of love ending.

7 comments
Dan
Dan

TO just some guy...I know that feeling it happened to me after 24 years my wife said the same thing...She moved out and I waited...5 years went by before she decided she needed to divorce me.. And now am dating and am wondering what love really is...I thought I had it...but did not and now dont know what IT is...

just some guy
just some guy

Wow, this is really thought provoking. My wife told me two weeks ago that, after 18+ years, she isn't in love with me, and may never have been. I have consciously chosen to love her, every day, because I believe in the principles described in this post. I'm not sure the best way to bring this into our discussions but I'm certainly going to try.

greenlock
greenlock

True! Love is a choice, and its hard work.

JM
JM

@Matthy Actually, it was Job who said, "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl." (NIV) or "I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?" (ESV) Job 31:1 The point is the same: He has made a commitment to avoid sexual lust. When I was a single guy, I could certainly "fall into infatuation" with a girl without necessarily lusting after her. Is that by chance? I'm not sure. Now that I'm married, I believe that "falling into infatuation" with someone other than my wife, would certainly be unfaithful behavior. In that case, it would not be by chance, but rather as the result of decisions (or choices) I've made within my marriage that keep me from feeling fulfilled -- leaving the door open to having my eyes and mind wander away from my bride. And I'm certainly willing to "fall into infatuation" with my wife at any time - and that's by choice, too! :-) (Obviously, the "infatuation" needs to be in *addition to* committed love, but I'm just having fun now...)

michael
michael

I think our society gets too tied up in the feelings. I think that love is first an action. After you commit to the action the feelings start. Waiting around to feel love before you act out love seems weak, passive, and generally unmanly. If at the end of the day you have done everything you can to love your spouse then you can go to bed satisfied that you have done your best. Take pride in that and keep it up. It's not a sprint. It's a long hike.

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

Well said! 'Real love' as you called it is best served within a committed realtionship. Shoot! I know fellow humans who are not married but have been together so long that I can consider them committed. They demonstrate more of this 'real love' you described for each other than many married Christians I know. Yea, yea I know, "Another attack on 'Christians'". Well, aren't Christians the ones who are supposed to 'get it right', as an example for the rest of the world, so others will 'see Jesus in you' because you have love one for the other? Aren't we supposed to be challenging one another to love and do good deeds? To be superior in righteous behviour, holding ourselves to a higher standard than those around us, but humble and lienient toward those around us because we forgive even as we have been forgiven? In other words, to be like Jesus? And isn't your marriage (like your driving :)) a 'proving ground' for this in you? The first line, though, in this proverb: "No one falls in love by choice, it is by chance." Gave me some pause. For there is something about 'falling in love' that is within the individual's control. It is found in this modern proverb. "You will never have someone fall in love with you who is above your own level of emotional maturity." Why? Because those who are emotionally mature are wise enough to avoid letting their hearts become free to humans who have a lot of 'emotional baggage'. Think about it. And be good! Just as you were created to be!

matthy
matthy

Great statements! And so true! True love is choice, is conscious dedication, not (just) an emotion! I'm not so sure, however, whether it is pure chance that makes us "fall into infatuation" - are you saying there is no way to prevent us from it? Didn't Salomo say: I made a covenant with my eyes not to look at (or even think about) a girl? (This is not to say that _I_ could say that!) What I find awful in "the media" is this subtle, but false message in some "love stories" where a guy or a girl falls in love with someone else and thinks that is justification enough to leave his current relationship. Matthy

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