I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T GET UP

…The  second  common  fallacy  about  love  deals  with personal  responsibility.  The  world  tells  us  that  love  is beyond  our  control. 

This  thinking  has  found  its  way  into  our  language.  We describe  the  beginning  of  a  passionate  relationship  as “falling  in  love.”  Or  people  say,  “We’re  madly  in  love  with each  other.”  You’ve  more  than  likely  heard  people  say these  things–perhaps  you’ve  even  said  them  yourself.

Why  do  we  feel  compelled  to  compare  love  to  a  pit  or  a mental  disorder?  What  do  these  statements  reveal  about our  attitudes  toward  love?  I  think  we  make  these somewhat  overstated  analogies  because  they  remove personal  responsibility.  If  a  person  falls  into  a  pit,  what can  she  do  about  it?  If  an  animal  contracts  rabies  and runs  around  foaming  at  the  mouth  and  biting  people,  it can’t  really  help  its  nasty  behavior  because  it  has  gone mad.

Does  it  sound  a  little  absurd  to  discuss  love  in  such  terms? I  think  so.  Yet  we  tend  to  express  our  experience  of  love  in these  ways.  We  think  of  love  as  something  beyond  our control  and  thus  excuse  ourselves  from  having  to  behave responsibly.  In  extreme  cases,  people  have  blamed  love for  immorality,  murder,  rape,  and  many  other  sins.  Okay, so  maybe  you  and  I  haven’t  done  those  things.  But perhaps  you’ve  lied  to  parents  or  friends  because  of  a relationship.  Maybe  you  pushed  your  partner  too  far physically.  But  if  love  is  out  of  our  control,  we  can’t possibly  be  held  responsible.  Yes,  we  know  we  behaved rashly.  Yes,  we  know  we  might  have  hurt  others  in  the process,  but  we  couldn’t  help  it.  We  were  in  love.

By Joshua Haris, Author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye

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