Falling out of love?
I'm trying to figure out if this is normal Poly behavior. I watched the season premier of Eureka this week, and was thoroughly annoyed by part of the storyline. One love interest is lost in space for four years and during that time the main protagonist falls in love with someone else. The first love is unaware of the passage of time and comes back a few hours later to her timeframe and finds her love is lost.
I just don't get it and I wondered if this is something other Poly's feel as well - do you ever really fall out of love?
Long before I even thought about Poly I knew I was weird as I never really felt an end to love. I've ended relationships due to it no longer being healthy for me or my partner, or when they have left me for their own reasons, but I never fall out of romantic love.
It made it very difficult when the other person - now I understand they are 'mono' - distance themselves and switch off that connection. I've tried pushing for friendships but invariably end up in the cold.
I still care for and want to protect them, see them happy healthy even if it isn't with me.
Perhaps my idea of love is not what others mean or have others had this experience?
Romantic love relationships need to be nurtured. You can always care for someone, even love them, but at some point, continuous obstacles will cause the relationship to change. Die? Who knows. But change is inevitable, and people will cope in whatever way they can. For some of us, it's by letting go and turning away. For some, it's by "always being there." I don't think any coping mechanism is wrong.
If I think back to my high school boyfriend, whom I was with for nearly four years, I couldn't say I still love him. Thirty-five years have passed. When I think of him, I have some memories but I know I wouldn't feel that romantic love again if I ran into him tomorrow.
I look at it this way, people forge a path to my heart, or what I imagine as a deep pool of love I have inside me. Some people find a place very deep inside that pool, some just splash around on the shore. I get close to some, not so close to others. Love is at the center, always there. But love isn't enough to sustain a relationship and keep it healthy. So many other things come into play. We can lose our loved ones if they move away or die. The ones we love might make choices that we can't live with. We can love people who are totally wrong for us.
So, for those relationships of which I must let go, the paths they forged don't go away, but become overgrown with weeds and thick bushes. The path is still there but I can't see it anymore. Eventually it is forgotten, or so distant that it doesn't bring up any feelings anymore. That's not a bad thing. It just is.
No one can say how poly people love versus how mono people love. Everyone is different and unique. You find the ways to express your love that feels most comfortable for you, and create your life to support that expression. The rest -- definitions, labels, rules, structures, politics, problems, questions -- are just part of an intellectual exercise.
nycindie, that was beautiful, thanks.
I feel like I never fall out of love. In me, it's not mostly a good thing; it's borne of the dysfunction that grew me. I've recycled more than once. I broke up with both my current partners (when we were mono). I dated my high school boyfriend about 10 years later, after his wife died. It was kind of fun to date again (I don't think we had sex but I honestly can't remember now). He was looking for a new mom for his two daughters, and I knew I could not go there.
My view of the world allows me to still call it love. Maybe it is a coping mechanism, I'm okay with that interpretation. I think on him and his soul. He was absolutely what I needed in high school. He brought me a helluva lot of love, freedom, independence, and confidence. He showed up for me in a time that my family was a really horrible place to be. He got me out. If he showed up on my doorstep tomorrow, I'd have him in for a meal. For a roommate? Not likely. :)
and fwiw, I've been frustrated at the way they handle the love stories on Eureka myself.!
I think it's definitely possible to "fall out" of love when the relationship isn't being maintained properly. At some point the negatives and stresses and resentments overwhelm the positive features and make it hard for me to see them even if they're still there.
At the same time I don't think the end to a romantic relationship has to be accompanied by the loss of love, and I've found that I'm much happier when it isn't. Being able to still feel love, even if no longer in the romance, helps me to believe/remember that the relationship was real and valuable even though it ultimately ended. And looking back at relationships in a positive fashion, rather than a negative or cynical one, helps me to have faith or trust in current loves.
Of course, feeling love in ending or shortly after a romance is hard. I have positive feelings now that were swamped by the negatives for years; it's only recently, when I managed to talk about the relationships with the former partners, realized the significance of miscommunications, and could erase some of the negative feelings, that I've been able to feel that the love I had felt is still present. But at least I finally got to this point; it feels like a wonderful gift.
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