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Why Love Is A Choice You Need To Make Consciously And With Your Eyes Wide Open

Is love a choice?

Most of us wouldn’t think twice before saying, “No. Love just happens.” It is the answer that feels right, the answer you were taught along with your ABCs. It is every movie and Archies’ card, preaching to all of humanity that Life being a job in itself, Love does not have to be; it is effortless and everlasting. I hate to break this to you, but nothing that magical ever comes easy.

Love is a choice, and while the feeling is overwhelming, the mechanism is far from automatic. Here’s why:

Suggested read: Why your true soul mate will never complete you

Soul mate(s)

soul mate_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Plato wrote in The Symposium:

“According to Greek mythology, humans were created with four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces. Fearing their powers, Zeus split them into two separate beings, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”

If you have ever slept under a dark sky full of stars, you will know that we are all infatuated with feelings and concepts that are larger than us and beyond our grasp. The idea of something that escapes mathematics, that cannot be sorted with a calculator, that cannot be understood completely, or correctly, or at all – is enrapturing. Through all of time, “love” has been that idea. In a world that is closing in on itself, it is comforting to know that there is somebody waiting for you, somewhere; that the universe has reserved a fixed portion of magic only for you to find. We believe in things that bring us peace, even though they are not necessarily the right notions.

However, there is nobody pre-ordained for you. Or, maybe, there are too many. If you have multiple best friends, or if you look back on your history of best friends, you will see the similarity in this theory. They weren’t the same; they did not talk the same way or share the same values. They differed from each other in ways all human beings do, but you still set camp together and felt at home.

unconditional love_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye, explain the reality of expectations in love, in their Spoken Word poem “When Love Arrives”:


[Phil] Love is not who you were expecting
Love is not what you can predict
[Sarah] Maybe love is in New York City already asleep
You are in California, Australia, wide awake
Maybe love is always in the wrong time zone
[Phil] Maybe love is not ready for you
Maybe you are not ready for love
[Sarah] Maybe love just isn’t the marrying type
[Phil] Maybe the next time you see love is twenty years after the divorce
Love looks older now, but just as beautiful as you remember
[Sarah] Maybe love is only there for a month
[Phil] Maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit
[Sarah] Maybe love stays
[Phil] Maybe love can’t
[Sarah & Phil] Maybe love shouldn’t…
[Phil] Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to,
And love leaves exactly when love must.
[Sarah] When love arrives say,
[Sarah & Phil] “Welcome, make yourself comfortable”
[Phil] If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her
[Sarah] Turn off the music, listen to the quiet
[Phil] Whisper,
[Sarah & Phil] “Thank you for stopping by.”

Notice how they use ‘love’ as a pronoun for every scenario, but are actually denoting different people throughout the entirety of the poem. Simply because it did not work out with one individual hardly means it was not love. Sometimes, our hardest goodbyes have also been our best stories, and there is nothing wrong about that. If naming ONE favorite song/book/movie is such a torture, imagine the universe having to narrow your happiness down to one option. It wouldn’t be fair, and it would be far from possible. Love is a choice you make, because there will be several people who will ‘lift your feet off the ground,’ cause butterflies parading in your stomach, and hold the world in their eyes, but which of the several you call your own, is a private choice you exercise.

Suggested read: What is unconditional love? Is it the key to long lasting relationships?


couple forming a heart with their hands_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Most people think of a relationship as the merging of two jigsaw puzzle pieces, the edges gliding smoothly into one another: perfection. But that is very far from the truth.

“I love you. Not like they told you love is… we aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us!” – Ronny, ‘Moonstruck’

Compatibility in a relationship is something that one constantly needs to work on. It doesn’t come naturally with the emotions. No, it is a lot of hard work to protect the bond two people share.

In a research co-authored by Spike W.S Lee, the as­sistant marketing professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, participants were asked to choose between images and phrases, which determined whether the end goal of love was to find their particular soul mate, or if it was a fluid, never-ending journey. Lee discovered, that from the whole sample size, those who believed that love was about finding The One, had submitted a greater number of negative perspectives than the other group. On a psychological level, it was observed that these participants, considered The One to embody perfection. Since the notion entails that there is only one soul mate per person, they must be perfect and the relationship must come off without hassle. So, the slightest hint of struggle makes the individuals abandon the boat.

“People call those imperfections, but no, that’s the good stuff.” – Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting

Another research by Dr. Ted Hudson of Texas University, serves to stress the importance of working on a relationship as opposed to the expectation of sailing smooth naturally. Hudson ran a study on couples who had been married for years, and discovered that the pairs who shared a warm and compassionate bond, ceased from complaining about the compatibility of their personalities. They claimed to have strived for the relationship themselves, cutting out and adding to help it grow. The unhappy couples, however, blamed it on ‘compatibility’ which really just means “we don’t get along too well.” This happens mostly because of the “one soul mate” theory, by which people feel they are entitled to a perfect relationship. Therefore, most treat relationship troubles to mean that he/she isn’t The One, instead of focusing on solving problems. Pre-ordained love fuels escapist tendencies in all of mankind. Love is a choice, a harder one for sure, but a more worthwhile approach.

Being in love

couple in love_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

This is, admittedly, the hardest part of any relationship, but also the most realistic phase of it. Falling in love, typically, is not a very big deal. It happens every now and then, from the first time your stomach fluttered with butterflies in the seventh grade, to the exchange of vows on your wedding day, love takes you on a roller-coaster before, after, and in-between.  It’s staying in love that requires worthwhile and maximum effort.

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with strings,”
These are a few of my favourite things.” – ‘Favourite Things,’ Sound Of Music

It is always the little things that matter most. This article does not dispute the grandeur or magnanimity of, say, weddings, or elaborate proposals, but it seeks to imply that those are a very small portion of any relationship. Similarly, a smooth and happy relationship is very ideal and desirable, but one must wade through murky waters to be able to achieve that. Partners need to believe in each other and in their bond, and communicate their gratitude and also shortcomings, at regular intervals. Opening up, honestly, to each other, is absolutely vital.

We were brought up in a dream world where fairy tales existed, where good always prevailed; evil was ugly and eventually lost the battle. The real world, however, is very different. The stories end with the lovers uniting, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. You never get to hear if Prince Charming was insecure about Snow White’s admirers, if Cinderella ever screamed at her Prince for requiring a shoe to identify ‘the love of his life,’ if Happily Ever After wasn’t just a presumption on most parts. We have been brought up on unrealistic depictions of love being flawless, and therefore live in a Generation of Heartbreak.

couple in love_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Dr. Hudson’s theory  relates the success of arranged marriages to the tenacity in love. According to international happiness surveys, these marriages tend to last longer and are happier than love marriages. This theory serves to explain that in the former, the partners, having been arranged into togetherness, adjust to each other’s ways of being. The latter, however, instead of weathering storms, abandons ship and sets camp under clearer skies, which is an ongoing process of finding “the next nice thing.” Whether you let go or decide to persevere is a choice you make.

Suggested read: 6 questions to ask yourself in your quest to find your soulmate

Love is a choice, and one you make very consciously with your eyes wide open. The “yin and yang theory” preaches the blending of two opposite components, to bring peace, but the blending itself takes a lot of time and effort, which one consciously chooses to make (or not). So, if you have found your home in another human being, hold on to them, “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish.”

“People talk about falling in love as if it were something that just happened to them, as if there were a disconnect between the head and the heart, and occurred entirely beyond their control. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Falling in love is just as much a choice as anything else. It is waking up, every day, saying “I choose you.” It is consciously deciding to accept someone for everything they are, even the parts yet to be discovered.
Today, I choose you.
I will always choose you.”
– Amanda Torroni

Article Name
Why Love Is A Choice You Need To Make Consciously
Love is a choice, and while the feeling is overwhelming, the mechanism is far from automatic.
Meghalee Mitra

Meghalee Mitra

My introductions have always been "I'm too awkward for this." My exercise routine comprises oscillating between being serious and bat-shit-crazy, laziness, and hyper-activity. I love words, live for food, and am always looking for magic.