We’ve all had fantasies about falling in love. Thanks to movies like Princess Diaries, Never Been Kissed, and Pretty Woman, we look forward to those leg-popping, fireworks-inducing, and time-stopping moments that tell us, yes, what we’re feeling is the real deal. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but as one woman who wishes to remain anonymous writes on Elle.com, falling in love doesn’t always feel that way.

Growing up, the aforementioned writer, like so many of us, admits that she has always had a tendency to conjure up elaborate backstories involving cute guys like her bad boy neighbor or the cute waiter where she worked.

However, she was also deeply uncomfortable with the thought of a loyal guy showering her with so much affection—her first boyfriend, to be exact. Her second boyfriend fit in with her idea of sparks better.
“He was sexy and charismatic and I fell for him the way people fall for each other on TV: all at once and without any subtext. One day we weren't, and—bam—the next day we just were,” she writes. In the end, however, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Then came her third boyfriend, who ended up being her husband, and who, perhaps more importantly, was first her friend. But in lieu of fireworks and head-over-heels emotions, there were platonic movie nights, shared sodas, and inside jokes. They eventually got together after college, but the writer shares that she resisted his “steady love” for the longest time.”

“The idea of an all-accepting love was at odds with my bizarre definition of the feeling—one that had more to do with perceived effort, grand gestures, and make believe than it did the tenets of a healthy, symbiotic relationship,” she writes. “I was trained to be a Carrie Bradshaw looking for ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming love or a white-hat-wearing Olivia Pope on the hunt for its painful, difficult, devastating cousin, but I never once considered that love might not make demands.”
One day, she decided to fake it, not in the sense that she would be deceitful, but in the sense that she would emotionally jump into something she didn’t fully believe in or understand yet.

“I purposefully joined a club that wanted me as a member, opened myself up to random acts of kindness and long, generous hugs. And the more I leaned into love, the better I got at it. The more I got acquainted with the real deal, the less I wanted the fantasies,” she writes.

The risk seems to have paid off big time. After all, love is many things, “but what they don't tell you is that in order to experience lasting love, you have to get out of your own way first.”

PHOTO: Takmeomeo/Pixabay; GIFS: Giphy.com

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