Falling in Love with Love is falling for make-believe!
Falling in Love with Love is playing the fool!
Caring too much is such a juvenile fancy!
Learning to trust is just for children in school.
I fell in Love with Love one night when the moon was full
I was unwise with eyes unable to see!
I fell in Love with Love with love ever-lasting.
Bet love fell out, with me!!
I remember junior high as if it were yesterday, especially my infatuations for this girl and that. I remember the gnawing, craving, head-shattering crush every time I met a girl I wanted to make my own. That’s right, “my own,” as if all that mattered was me. That was the world we lived in in 1959. How could we have known better with Frankie Avalon singing, “Venus if you will, please send a little girl for me to thrill,” and the Angels warbling, “My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble”? Men had owned women for thousands of years. Cracks wouldn’t appear until well into the 60s.
Of course back then, infatuated girls wanted the same from boys—their singular attention and a pledge of obedience forever.
Even if infatuations weren’t fraught with ownership, they were painful nonetheless at both their beginnings and ends. The soaring desire to capture and defend eventually gave way to disappointment, with the objects of our longings falling off their pedestals as we came to realize they weren’t as perfect as we thought. In each of those moments a decision had to be made: to continue in a relationship with a person who was “flawed,” or move on to the next . . . and the next and the next. Back in junior high, we nearly always moved on.
Some of my polyamorous friends actively court infatuation, loving the feelings: being blown away, losing their minds, falling head over heels, and losing control. I, on the other hand, don’t particularly enjoy the participles: “falling,” “losing,” and “being blown away.” If I were to actively pursue falling in love, I’m sure I’d be depressed whenever I couldn’t find it, and would throw my other relationships into chaos whenever I did. It seems to me there’s a whale of a difference between falling in love and being in love.
I eventually graduated from both junior high and high school and married a woman while attending college. I was never infatuated with her, not even at the start. I knew she wasn’t perfect and didn’t care. What she did was make me laugh. Laughing was better than falling in love.
By then, Frankie Avalon’s “Please send a little girl for me to thrill” had given way to Cat Stevens’ “If you want to sing out, sing out, and if you want to be free be free.” It was a whole new era and I was finding my way.
I was never infatuated with my second wife either. She wasn’t perfect and I didn’t care because sex was amazing—far better than falling in love.
My current partner, Debbie, and I reminisce about the fact that we, too, never fell in love. When we met, we liked each other but were blissfully in love with our partners at the time. It wasn’t until they both exited that we started to spend time together. Even then, we didn’t fall in love and haven’t to this day. We simply discovered we were in love, filled with the day-to-day kind of joy that sustains great relationships. My parents had that; her parents still do.
Unlike those who court infatuation, Debbie and I have little interest in losing our minds and being blown away, falling in love with others. With that off the table, we feel free to support each other’s love for lots of different people. Being in love with others gives us opportunities to practice, which makes us better lovers each time the two of us are together.