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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The 9 phases of love.

Read the introduction.

A theory that works for me, by me.

For this episode I ask that you use the word love in the romantic sense – verses familiar love or friendship or loyalty or all of the other types.

I figure I have been in 9 different stages/phases/states of love. The first stage is *unknowing… this lasts until another stage – *Returned Love. Only when your love is returned or reciprocated do you really know what love is. Some spend their entire life not knowing what love is. I remember at 12 practicing the line, “I haven’t been in love before, but I think this is it.” I never used the line and it took another 4 years before I had any sort of concept of love.

Once you think you know love then you can see my other stages. When you *love another (with or without that person’s knowledge) or when you are *loved yourself (with or without knowing that you are the object of affection).

Then, there are certain states of lovelessness. The first state is illustrated by having a *void - the feeling of nothing – not wanting to love and having no one to love. Another state is that of the *status quo, keeping what is there (maybe a romantic love that has turned into friendship) and not needing to change it.

You can be *losing love and feel good feelings slipping away. You can be *searching – for anyone, someone, all by yourself – with no one in mind. You can also have someone in mind, who has you in mind… but it hasn’t reached a point where you can say, “I love you”. We call it *falling for good reason. That is my favorite stage, but unfortunately it is usually preceded by searching – which is very hard, or it can cause the ruin of another relationship.

Love States –
Unaware of
Is Wanted
Continuing the Status Quo
Falling out
Falling in

And you can easily be in multiple states simultaneously – such as falling in and out and being admired - all at the same time.

Those are the ones I have experienced, I know there are many more of which I have no concept. Marriage, children, and multiple consensual partners are factors, again, that I could not speak to. I have felt nearly all of these in the past year, but the theories come from my whole life and listening to others. The year has been good, hard, and painful… life – in all of it’s glory; fast and slow, good and bad. This little entry is not specific to anyone; it is just a compilation of thoughts brought on by a few books I am currently reading. The only specific part is that this is what I think and feel, and I have been on all sides of the yearning, requesting, and rejecting. Those of you who know me know that I don’t share these thoughts easily or often. I am currently in the state of searching in nearly every facet of my life. It may be a quarter life crisis… but I would rather have it now than continue to flounder for the next 25 years.

These states have so much to do with timing. It is the hardest when the poor timing includes a different belief system or set of morals. What one person thinks is fun, and exciting may be bad and terrifying for another. Though, obviously, there is still a part in both people that enjoys the love, or lust (a whole separate conversation), relationship a great deal… if certain rules are not being followed, there can be a great deal of guilt and confusion. Those relationships cannot work without a drastic changes by at least one of the parties… usually the person that says some version of no.

There is always room for love. No one has ever been too busy or too far away to be loved. However, to know you are being loved and don’t think you would be able to return it, it is often enough to reject any possibilities. It is always much safer to stay in the current state because it is known. The unknown is scary. Then again, nothing extraordinary happens in the known. Without change there is no movement, without movement there is no excitement, without excitement… well, what’s the point? Safety? OK, I buy that. Safety. Good for you. It bores me. How else would I be writing this from a train in the mountains, by saying no?

I like the idea of a “yes, and” lifestyle. The stories are always better. No leads to less, which leads to boredom, which leads to wasted time. And time is the one thing you can never buy back, no matter what you have.

The real questions are – are they all love? Can you be an inactive / unknowing lover? Is love only good when it is returned? Can joy be found in all states as long as one person is happy within another state? And… Can you be happy without love?

I can see the last question getting people upset – yes, of course… I can be productive, I can make a difference in the world, have friends and family that care and love me, I go out all of the time, I am constantly learning, teaching, whatever…

I guess we would have to open the whole “what is happiness” box which is very quickly followed by, “what is the meaning of life” quandary. It probably depends on individual priorities, however it is not en vogue to allow people to have their own belief systems when something has “worked well” for another. There are many classes, groups, religious sects, political parties, and individuals that are trying to enforce a lifestyle that has worked for them. I don’t like to be forced into anything, and I won’t force my beliefs down anyone’s throat. I may on occasion tell you what I am thinking, really – just to see if anyone is in the same boat out there, so that we can all search and learn together. No one knows the answers for everyone, but if they know the answers for themselves they may be able to help others find their own path.

Yeah, this is what happens when you ride a train, I guess… no wonder the books were so good in the time of ships traveling around the world. Life goes just slow enough to get what you need done, and fast enough where I couldn’t move this fast by myself.

Thanks for listening.


sissoula said...

I'm enraptured.

The status quo, timing, cresting, falling... it's all there. Love is a continuous floundering. The upshot (you are right) is that the stages do tend to fluctuate, blend, bleed together; nothing is linear, and nothing stays static for long.

Anonymous said...

It is a delight reading how my eldest thinks and feels.
Thanks for sharing.

chad said...

thanks sissoula, I thought you would like this... and the other ones to come as well.

awwe, shucks, anytime, maw.

chad said...

oh, and I think another upshot is the excitement of the change, the heart beating a little faster (maybe that is why you love "with you heart" - it is the one that speeds up with new love) and the appreciation of romantic love that can turn into a life long, deep relationship.

can romantic, spontaneous, exciting love last?