– Do you think you’ll fall in love again?
– (Smiling) I don’t know that I have much say in the matter.
– How’s that?
– I don’t think falling in love is something you choose. It just happens. It’s like one of those exquisitely delicious moments life offers, like, for me, the first time birds find the newly placed birdfeeder. The breathy gasp of joy is out of me before I know it. Like falling in love, it just happens. Your experience of the moment or the person simply happens.
– So a person’s powerless? Defenseless?
– What would you be defending? As for powerless, you’re not. You have a lot of say over what you do in response to falling in love. You can pack up and run. Some do. Or you can allow the experience.
– What about rushing into it?
– I’m not sure you have, speaking for myself anyway, that you have much choice over the intensity of feelings. I think there is such a thing as moving to quickly. Remember to breathe, enjoy the beginning of things. There are a couple of things I’ve learned over time. The hard way in some instances. First, never give up who you are for someone and second, allow yourself time to be sure the person you’ve falling in love with is really there, and, if you they are, that they’re able to be fully present as real intimacy expands its reach.
– Giving up who you are would be?
– For me it would be, say, someone doesn’t like that I’m a writer or love to read or that I jump into the fray when I see someone’s rights are being denied.
– And people being who they really are? Allowing intimacy?
– There’s healthy compromise and there has to be in relationship, but if you begin to give up the essentials of who you are, resentments build, the relationship becomes toxic and then you’re done. As for people being who they really are or being able to continue to be present when the intimacy becomes real on all fronts… Sometimes I think people present themselves as someone they’re not, not so much because they want to be deceitful or dishonest, but because at some time being themselves openly was a dangerous undertaking. Connected to this, at least in my mind, is the person who flees, runs, disengages – you pick the word – when the relationship really begins to be fully intimate. Some run because when you are fully with someone it can feel as if your very existence is at risk. It’s not so, but God knows it can feel that way.
– Are you a runner?
– No. Other way around, there are times I should’ve disengaged and didn’t. And then, one more thing.
– And that is?
– In order for any relationship of any kind to be a healthy one, each person needs to be who they really are safely with the other. Absent that, there’s no point.
– And so when it comes to you falling in love again?
– (Smiling) If there is the possibility of being in a loving healthy relationship with someone, I don’t want to miss it. Cool?
– Cool. Thank you.