Valentine’s Day is here while not being the kind of person who digs roses and lofty declarations of love, it does make one assess one’s love life. Am I still in love with the person I have been with for over a decade? I don’t think I am the only one who knows that the answer to this isn’t always a confident yes. Sometimes it is a feeble yes, with clouds of doubt hovering overhead. On some days, after a bitter argument, it veers into a vehement “no”. Then on some days or even months, the spark of love just vanishes into thin air. The relationship tends to seem functional. But then there are days when you feel that dizziness in your head and flutter in your stomach and then the question one asks is, how am I so much in love with this person despite being around them 24 by 7 for ages?
In a long-term relationship, love can be a finicky muse, inspiring you to be a better person, or leave you feeling demotivated at other times.
See, this is something no one will tell you; love is an emotion, but it isn’t wired to a flip switch in our heads. You cannot turn on or turn off your feeling for someone. This feeling comes and goes as it pleases. Sometimes it persists, despite you wanting it to go away, sometimes it leaves never to return no matter how hard you try. In a long-term relationship, this feeling can be a finicky muse, inspiring you to be a better person, or leave you feeling demotivated at other times. So yes, it is possible to fall in and out of love, repeatedly, with a single person.
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Perhaps the reason why you learn this on your own is because not much is written or sung about this on-off feeling of love. We have ballads on eternal love, gazals on unrequited love that lasts a lifetime, we have sad songs heartbreaks, but where is the qawwali on wanting to choke your partner for not putting the toilet seat down, and falling in love with them all over again because they told you that you looked nice or remember your favourite flavour of yogurt? Eventually the drama of love moves from big issues to little things. As years pass by, the threshold to adore or resent each other keeps going lower. I don’t know how it is for couples in their 40s and 50s, but in your 30s love is a rollercoaster ride that resides in the premise of your everyday life.
See, this is something no one will tell you; love is an emotion, but it isn’t wired to a flip switch in our heads. You cannot turn on or turn off your feeling for someone.
Also Read: Why Don’t Parents Discuss Love And Relationships With Their Children?
So do not feel awkward or strange, if you find yourself falling in and out of love with the same person over and over again. I read somewhere that the opposite of love is apathy, and as long as that feeling hasn’t seeped into your relationship, you may just be fine. The biggest drawback of long-term relationships, according to some is lack of thrill, which comes with the many firsts that you have. However, this doesn’t mean long-term relationships are boring. They are very much interesting, and they bring you a sense of companionship and security. Besides falling in love all over again, with someone you know inside out has its own charm. There are no jitters and uncertainties because you already know what you are diving into.
Picture Credit: Deccan Chronicle
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.