Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why Fall In Love?

Love calls us to a different destiny beyond the usual.
Mari Ruti<

In a recent interview, I was asked why I thought it was important to fall in love. The question took me by surprise because, despite the fact that I've written about love a lot, I would never want to imply that everyone should fall in love - that life is somehow incomplete without love. Our culture is already so love-obsessed that the last thing I would want to suggest is that those who are not coupled up are missing out on something essential.

Yet I begin The Summons of Love with the following line: "Romantic love summons us to become more interesting versions of ourselves." So obviously I do place some weight on the experience of falling in love. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what this is, but let me try.
The problem, of course, is that we can't access the depths of love without opening ourselves to its risks - that the price of allowing ourselves to experience love's mystery is utter vulnerability. This is why it's easy to refuse love's summons, to decline its invitation to self-transformation. And those who have already been burned by love may find this invitation even more challenging.
When it comes to love, our so-called failures are often (not always, but often) merely new opportunities for growth, new opportunities for singularizing our character. Those who understand this are more likely to welcome love's summons because they know that the happily-ever-after is only one aspect of love - that to love is, among other things, to accept the possibility of disappointment.

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