Q. How do you know if you are really "In love" and why do some people seem to fall out of love over time - especially if they are in a loooooong relationship. I guess I am not sure if I am truly in love or not - I find myself wishing she was more like someone else I know. -- anonymous reader
The Winds of Love and In-Love
Here's how I see it, if "love is in the air" (everywhere I look around...) then being in love is in the wind.
Being "in love" is the feeling you actively chase once you get a glimpse of how good it feels. That feeling of "in love" starts like little flickers of emotion that catch you off guard and then dance around so quickly like the wind against your skin. You know it's still there but you can't hold onto it, you can only continue to position yourself in ways that give you hope you'll feel it again. Falling in love is like that - like chasing the wind. You know it's near so you reach for that feeling through a thought, or a behavior. That's what I call chasing the feeling. Your behaviors and thoughts lead the chase.
As time passes, the winds don't always blow so hard and love doesn't feel as intense. The wind is still there, though, it's just still. Still wind is air. There's always air - we are just less aware of it because it's not moving. If you have fallen out of love over time, chances are you have slowly, bit-by-bit, made one decision after another to stop choosing the love that you once chased so passionately, or at least confidently.
See how that works?
If you find yourself wishing she was more like someone else you know, then chances are you are slowly, bit-by-bit, making one decision after another to start choosing the love that you are fostering through your thoughts, contact, or behavior with the one you wish she was more like.
Chase the wind that won't knock you down. Chase the wind that helps you breathe. Chase the wind that is good, not bad (and don't confuse wind that feels good, with wind that IS good). Chase the wind that helps you know you're alive, but doesn't threaten to keep you stuck. Chase the wind that feels good because it IS good, not because it is familiar. But more than all of this wind-chasing, appreciate the air when it's still.
You can see more about Michele O'Mara, LCSW, at her website.