The world has written about love for so many centuries that the subject is dried out, dehydrated into a raison. When I read most romantic tales I see infatuation, not love. The idea of “Falling into Love” is really a deceptive misrepresentation of infatuation and lust. For these feelings are a gripping passion, an overwhelming feast of feeling, a physical crash dive into temporary madness. And in the madness everything about the person is out of perspective, like Alice in the hallway following the rabbit into the room that defies reality. It comes as a roaring tornado, turns our world upside down, and leaves with devastation in its wake, for at some time perspective returns, and the “falling out of love” starts. Real life intrudes and the person has flaws newly seen.
Yet can passion and “true lasting love” exist outside of transient forays into this blissful ecstasy? I think we allowed the sexual freedom age to reverse passion and love from its’ intended course. The best love is a friendship that blossoms over time, for truly knowing another brings a meaningful depth to physical passion. To know someone, really KNOW them, and with time grow with them, see their faults, their inconsistencies and weaknesses flesh them out into a unique being is an experience that I fear this next generation just can’t fathom. Patience has run out; we must have everything NOW, and we learn shallow emotions reflected in our shallow age.
Is deep, lasting love possible with texting, blogging, social websites, on-line dating? We now write in shorthand what we need from another. It is easy to pretend there is no person on the other side. I often long for the days when people sat around tables in taverns and coffeehouses, discussing and debating with passion in their voice and on their features. For that is what we miss, and the future will tell what we have lost. How can this next generation develop meaningful relationships when the world has turned into shorthand and information flies at an exponential rate?
Yet I confess that I am a Romantic. I have experienced one deep look into the eyes of another, and with that look the absolute knowledge that we will be best friends, or he will be a boyfriend. So I condescend to believe that there is something undefined and mysterious with a deep look into the eyes of another person. Perhaps the eyes really are the mirror to the soul. The mind is an enigma, for how can it know with one glance that the person viewed is a “kindred soul”? Can the mind read souls in one glance? Is the “First Impression” the footprint of like-minded people? I work with a woman who married a man that she literally ran into, and one look on either side sealed their fate. They have been blissfully together for 5 years. One look changed their lives. Only time determines whether these strange experiences are infatuation or a mystery that I can’t explain.
The Bible shows a different love than the kind worshipped by songs and films and plays. First Corinthians 13 describes a lasting love that stands the test of time. Reading these amazing passages show me that I don’t know real love at all. First, Second and Third John is filled with passages that discuss real love for another. Without love we are a clanging cymbal, a meaningless soul-rotted nothing. My wish for you, and myself, is that we will strive to discover this unworldly and unpopular form of love, for it is the only kind that lasts.