Words by: Binari Almeida Art by: Aastha Agrawal
Love. You fall in it. You fall out of it.
For most of us, we’ve had stories about love shoved down our throats from the moment we started maturing emotionally. Despite what rom-coms or fairy tales tell us, falling in love is often inevitably accompanied by falling out of love. The concept of this all-consuming, ever- lasting love really isn’t true. We all think we’re going to meet that special someone and spend the rest of our lives with them, but honestly how many of those relationships fail? How many times do we fall out of love and then go through the exact same naïve process again? Breakups happen, falling out of love happens, and sure it sucks, but it’s normal; it’s part of everyday life. So why is it that despite the normalcy of it, most of us are never prepared to deal with it?
You’ve probably heard or maybe even experienced it yourself: the feelings of I don’t know who I am without them or what am I supposed to do now? We place so much emphasis on falling in love that the moment we fall out of it, we don’t know how to cope.
In 500 Days of Summer, Tom asks Summer about her previous relationships and why none of them worked out, to which Summer replies, “What always happens. Life.” Some might describe Summer as cynical about love, but I like to think of her as a realist. Someone who amongst all the sugar-coated bullshit about love that we’re fed, remains real with her head screwed on. I mean she’s not wrong — falling out of love can happen over the tiniest of things, like your partner always leaving things lying around your house, or never putting the toilet seat down. It can also happen over the biggest of things, like being cheated on. It can happen as quick as the flick of a switch, or slowly over time. People fall out of love for millions of reasons. Love is ever changing, and it’s honestly impossible to tell when you’ll lose it.
So, let’s just say we accept the premise that falling out of love is inevitable. Well then why do we struggle with it so much? Probably because we as a society document only the highs of being in love, so much so that we’re never exposed to the lows that come with it. Then when it does happen, we’re so unprepared. And to be honest, I get why we don’t document it. It’s undesirable. No one ever really wants to fall out of love; it’s an uncomfortable thing to think about. No one wants to spend their time worrying about an expiry date, or what they’re going to do if they fall out of love with the person they adore. Instead, we make plans with the person we love, post every milestone on our Instagram and get excited about the thought of building a life with them. But the reality is, falling out of love is just as natural a process as falling in love, and it’s only when we accept the reality of this that we can learn how to cope with all the ugliness of it all.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should be preparing yourself to fall out of love, or that it’s stupid to be all optimistic and happy about being in love. All I’m saying is that we need to start embracing falling out of love, and realising that it doesn’t have to be such a terrible thing. Personally I think it can be one of the best things to go through. It can help you grow as a person and understand what you want out of a relationship, or life for that matter.
The process of falling out of love is what you make of it.
I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t really think there’s ever an easy way to fall out of love. It’s painful and complicated; there’s a lot of tears, swearing, and negative emotions. But this is normal. And do I have a solution to any of it? Not at all. But maybe, just maybe, if we started accepting it, the healing process might be a little bit easier. Just remember, falling out of love isn’t a bad thing so don’t give up on love altogether. Falling out of love just means you had the opportunity to love and that in itself is a beautiful thing. So, embrace it, appreciate it for all that it is with its highs and its lows, but remember, it’s normal, it happens, and you’ll survive it, no matter how terrible it feels.