“You have to fight yourself to love someone.”
I was sitting across the table from Karen from Norway, as we both sipped our glasses of Argentinian wine at a bar in Buenos Aires. Of course, we were talking about love, as the topic inevitably turns to when people find out I wrote a book on dating.
Scandinavian Olivia Wilde was right though, but I’ve never heard it articulated that way before. You always assume love happens based on the pure chemistry of you and another person, meaning it’s mostly a passive process, but the reality is, a lot of it is based on you. How much you value yourself. How ready you are for a relationship. What point of maturity you are in your life. But most importantly, how ready are you to be vulnerable.
There’s a reason they call it “falling” in love and that’s because falling in love takes a tremendous amount of faith. You have to jump off the clip in hopes that your mate is going to catch you before you hit the ground. Sadly, most of us have crashed in to the rocks below more than we’ve been saved. It’s human nature to then guard yourself from a similar harm. So you walk around with your heart in a glass case in fear of experiencing that similar pain, and you may never open up again — which is a mistake.
I’ve been in two epic relationships in my life and have played both roles. I’ve been the one afraid to be hurt, and I’ve been the one that’s taken the leap — and I can say that both of them absolutely suck. But the relationship that meant more to me was the one where I took the leap. Why? It could have been the woman, but more likely it could have been the fact that I went “all in.” With love, you can’t just dip your toe in the water in order to test the temperature; you have to do a full on naked cannonball in to the pool.
The problem is that so rarely are we willing to expose ourselves to that level of vulnerability. But what happens if you’re both too afraid to make the leap, then where does that leave you. Both of you are going to be waiting for the other one to make a move until one of you does, or more likely, the charade becomes tiresome and eventually you just move on; one of you has to be willing to be the fool. Ideally, it’s both of you, but if not then you have to make it you, because you can’t control the will of another.
So even though it’s scary when you’re standing on that cliff looking down in to the clouds below, if you really want to thrive, just close your eyes and take the leap.
[PHOTO: Street art in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina — If you’re feeling inspired then “like” and share it with your friends down below. It’s free.]