Love is much simpler when you’re young.
As we get older, love gets complicated. It becomes more complex, more intricate and MUCH more delicate.
Falling in love is harder. Letting go of past loves is even harder than that.
Why is this? Why doesn’t love get EASIER every year? This would make more sense. And the truth seems unnatural — backwards, even.
More wisdom and experience should make it easier for us to find love. And, believe it or not, falling in love is partly a decision. Love isn’t magical on its own; we make it magical.
With age, that magic fades. Life’s magic fades, too.
Of course, how much the magic fades depends on the person. And because “true” magic (à la Harry Potter) doesn’t exist, the kind of magic we’re familiar with happens when you accept the answer to life is not knowing the answer.
And that is partially why love loses its magical qualities over time. The more intelligent we become, the less there is to wonder. The more you understand love and your role in it, the harder it is for you to find romance.
At the same time, some of the most intelligent people in the world fall in love with the highest frequency.
So there must be more to the equation. And there is.
In order to fall in love, you need to feel that you need love. Because if you don’t believe you need or deserve love, you’ll reject it — whether consciously or subconsciously.
And what does it mean when someone wants or needs love? It means that person wants a partner to share life’s adventures. This person is, to put it bluntly, lonely.
So, the more independent and intelligent you are, the harder it is for you to find love.
Independence — more than intelligence — ruins our relationships.
Think about it. Why do people break up even when things are (seemingly) going well?
It’s because they want independence. They don’t want to spend every single day with their significant others.
And even if they love each other, they need time for themselves. They need to spend time alone.
When two people enter a relationship, they give up some of their independence in order to have a loving and caring partnership. And it’s a beautiful thing — it really is. But the more independent you are, the more likely you are to feel suffocated.
People often feel suffocated when their partner has different ideas about the level of independence “allowed” in the relationship.
When one person is significantly more independent than the other, the relationship is going to become messy. The least independent person is going to try and cling on to the more independent as hard as he or she can, while the independent person will do his or her best to get some breathing room.
One feels hurt, and the other feels smothered.
The trick is finding someone who is just as independent. Though I’m afraid this doesn’t guarantee anything — your need for independence will vary over time, there’s no way to predict what you’ll need in the future.
But having similar requirements in terms of independence does make it more likely that you’ll be compatible.
“Independence compatibility” still isn’t enough. Your intelligence will make things difficult.
Romantic love — at least how we perceive it now — is doomed.
If you think about it, it’s funny. We’ve learned how to do math. We’ve learned about science and literature. I can even remember learning how to balance a check back in eighth grade.
But we were never taught how to love. There are no classes. No textbook chapter is dedicated to it. We go into love blind.
And we’re silly enough to believe that, because love is a natural phenomenon, we don’t need to learn how to do it properly.
Do you know what else is natural? Running. But we have professional athletes and trainers. Talking is natural, but we have professional speakers. Thinking is also natural, and we have scholars and philosophers.
Love may be instinctive but there are certainly better and worse ways to love. There is certainly plenty to learn.
But for some reason, we don’t write a lesson plan for love. Loving is arguably the most important thing people do in life, but we don’t teach our kids how to do it properly.
So what happens when the most intelligent people on this planet experience love? They question it. They want to better understand it, explore it and test it.
Get stuck on a math problem, and it’ll drive you nuts. Get stuck trying to figure out love, and it almost certainly will drive you mad.
Love has started wars. It has taken lives. It has tortured, maimed and destroyed. And the more intelligent you are, the more perplexed you will be by the way our world understands and portrays love.
Because love centers on emotion, it’s not easy for an intelligent person to find and keep it. The emotions will send this person on an anxious tailspin.
If you’re looking for a theory on love, you simply need to find one — or you need to accept the truth that you aren’t willing to face.
Love isn’t magical on its own. We make it magical. It’s all in our heads.
By Paul Hudson