Some people believe in love at first sight and that it just strikes like a thunder bolt. It might feel like that when it happens, but it’s not love (maybe).
Some people believe that love is like an energy. Either a thunderbolt that strikes randomly and something that you have no control over. Or a kind of force that always exists between two people. It might feel like that if you’re in love with someone and believing this might make your relationship feel even more special.
Love can be a pretty magical feeling when it happens, but it’s not random and it’s not just down to luck.
Love isn’t random
But I think there are problems with believing in this thunderbolt theory of love. It kinda implies that love is pretty random. That it either happens to you or it doesn’t. It implies that you have no control over whether you are in love or not. It also implies that you don’t have control over who you love.
We choose who we love
I’ve worked with young people who were so annoyed that the person they were in love with was such a bad person (someone who was either abusive or not good for them), kinda like they have no choice and it’s just unlucky. After talking about it a bit more they realised they had much more choice over who they were in a relationship with and also had more choice about who they had love feelings for. It’s not easy just to turn these feelings off but we have more control over them than we might think.
We make love happen
When people see love as a kind of energy force type thing it also implies that people assume that this love just lasts forever until it dies. It’s kind of on or off and we don’t get any say over whether we are in love or not anymore. All very romantic but not actually true. The way we make love work is to pay more attention to what we do rather than what we believe in or say. Romantic relationships do end but it’s not to do with you running out of love or the love energy switch being turned off.
So don’t wait for the thunder
This ‘love is an energy’ thing is also not great for single people wanting relationships. Because love is this ‘random energy’ people think that they just have to wait for it to happen to them. Actually love is something that we make happen for us as much as it’s something that happens to us.
So waiting for a thunderbolt to strike or for an energy to bring two people together is no good if all you’re doing is lying in bed eating pringles all day (mmmm pringles). This means we start to feel dejected that it hasn’t happened for us yet, shake our fists at the love gods and feel depressed that somehow we have offended them.
© Justin Hancock, 2015