…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