Fools in Love and Other Romantic Idiots
By Jennifer E. Jones
I love advice columns. It’s the only time during my day that I actually feel like I've got it all together... comparatively speaking.
It is refreshing to hear about other people’s problems – to peer into their lives and make judgment calls. We all love to do it whether we admit it or not. We like to kick back, observe a problem from the outside and say, “The answer is obvious. Duh!”
It must be some universal sadistic twitch innately placed in the brain, because every week, I find myself reading the local paper in search of the emails and letters from the romantically challenged.
I’m in love with a married man, and for the last three years, he's been saying he’ll leave his wife. Meanwhile, we’re still sleeping together. Am I wasting my time?
My girlfriend keeps threatening to break up with me every time we have an argument. What’s wrong with me that I can’t make her stay?
This guy is perfect. He’s kind, loving and intelligent. There’s just one snag – he's 34, unemployed, and lives in his parents’ basement where he also is building a meth lab. But I love him!
You laugh, but I’m serious. People actually write in with scenarios like these. It’s like love blows a fuse in the human brain.
When did we all become so dumb in the face of romance? What is it about love that makes us throw common sense out the window?
Now, as much as I’d like to condemn this behavior from my lofty pedestal, I am the chief of sinners in this arena.
I’ve dated them all – the good-hearted loser, the “give-me-one-more-one-last-chance” guy, the moody musician, the stalker, etc. I’ve chased after guys who were completely uninterested in me. You name it. If it was embarrassing and in the name of love, I’ve done it.
Yet with all of my romantic stumbling, I still don’t know why I -- or any of us for that matter -- keep coming back for more. Is it a fear of abandonment? A fear of dying alone? Is it just plain fear? Or is it that we’re addicted to the good feeling that love brings when it’s going right?
On any day, I’m all of the above. I think we all are. Nobody wants to be alone. Even the self-professed loners I know secretly want companionship but are too afraid that it will ruin them. And they’re right. It will.
We’re wired for relationship, and when someone trips that wire for the first time, our lives are never the same. We’re ruined for the single life and will continue to seek out, cling to, fight for, and be made a fool over love.
I’m not justifying this behavior by any means. If you’re chasing after some guy who has eight kids with six different mothers, then you obviously have more problems than just being lonely on Saturday nights. I simply want to offer some hope that the crazy impulse inside of you is perfectly normal.
So what do you do to keep the love bug from driving you crazy? Well, no matter what your relationship status, the key to life is balance.
By all means, enjoy the butterflies in your stomach and the daydreaming at work. Just keep one foot in reality. Most bad relationships come with major waving red flags (i.e., he refused to talk about his parents or all of her ex-boyfriends died in "accidents"). If you're not letting the romance cloud your judgment, you can see these potential landmines from miles away.
Mated or single, good friendships will keep you sane. Be there for each other. Friends will remind you of what a great person you are even when you don’t think so. Friends also have a much better view of your relationship without those rose-colored glasses on. They’ll help you keep things in a Godly perspective and occasionally, if need be, let you know when you can do better.
Elvis Presley once sang, “Wise men say only fools rush in,” but it’s true that we can’t stop falling in love. It makes us crazy, loony, and downright nutty. However, we can always be thankful that God’s guiding us through love’s hazy maze and, if we’re lucky, we’ll get to see the other side.
Jennifer E. Jones is the Media Center / CBNmusic Producer who has yet to be truly bitten by the love bug but knows it's any day now. Read her bio.
Got comments? Drop me a line.
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