You are never in love with anyone, you’re in love with your prejudiced idea of that person. Isn’t that how you fall out of love? Your idea changes, doesn’t it?“Awareness” by Anthony de Mello
You never trust anyone. You only trust your judgment about that person.“Awareness” by Anthony de Mello
Rediscovering these quotes this morning came at the perfect time. However, I struggle with a perceptual duality in them. On the one hand, I find these to be important and powerful reminders of how I connect with other people. On the other hand, I struggle with what it means about partnership.
Because the way I read this section of the book, I get what it means when it comes to loving your friends and the people around you. But I also read it as meaning that romantically, any person can fall in love with another (and any person can make themselves fall out of love with another). And I struggle so much with that idea, although perhaps that it just my attachment to some idea about what a romantic relationship is, what it represents, and what it should look like.
I’ve talked to a lot of people about this in recent years, and I find it fascinating how everyone seems attached to their own conception of a romantic relationship. It’s also hearing how different definitions cluster around different themes in different communities.
I hear people say that a romantic partner provides stability and security. But people change and people leave.
I hear people say that a romantic partner is a friend with whom you have sex with. But these same people also have sex with strangers and other friends.
Evidently, a lot of these thoughts have just left me more confused.
In reflecting this morning though, part of me wonders whether for me the answer lies purely in commitment. I’m curious if a lot of these other issues are just symptoms of attachment, and whether attachment is the root of the problem here.
But then I struggle with that because it feels wrong that the only issue is attachment and that the answer lies in commitment.
And then I realize that I’m attached to some idea about what a romantic relationship is, what it represents, and what it should look like.
And I’m back full circle.
Much clarity. Thank you Monday morning.