Love Without the Falling

4 min readOct 24, 2018

The case for choosing, instead.

By Michael Fenton on Unsplash

Love is one of our most powerful and least understood emotions — especially in the romantic sense. It can hit us without warning. Love can co-exist with conflicting emotions, like anger, annoyance and sadness. Meaning we can be extremely upset with someone, they can hurt us, we can even want nothing more to do with them and yet, somehow, still love them. People exhibit over-the-top, out of character behavior, all in the name of love.

Love is real. So real that a biological anthropologist studied 166 societies and found evidence of formidable, blissful, romantic love in 147 of them. This indicates to many medical professionals that romantic love is an essential element of our biological nature.

Our bodies exhibit scientifically-proven physical reactions to the feeling, such as flushed cheeks, a racing heart beat and sweaty palms. There are also chemical responses happening within us that signify love may be in the air, including the release of Dopamine, Norepinephrine (otherwise known as adrenalin) and Serotonin — the chemical which when low can lead to depression. Research shows that love gives us a sense of happiness! And excitement. It is the ultimate feel-good drug.

Because of these reactions, we believe that who we choose as a partner is at the mercy of our subconscious biochemistry. We can’t tell our “love chemicals” not to produce or our hands not to get clammy. We can’t keep those butterflies from somehow finding their way into our bellies. So, there is a consensus that the feeling of love is beyond our realm of influence.

Tons of clichés exist in support of this theory:

“You love who you love.”

“The heart wants what the heart wants.”

I’m sure you can think of plenty more. We fall in love. Even when we aren’t looking for it and would rather not.

We may not be able to control the physiological reactions that we experience as it relates to another person. But can we choose whether or not to proceed in loving them? Or, better yet, should we choose?

“Falling” indicates a loss of control. And while it is important to relinquish some of our reign in a relationship, plummeting into an abyss of sensory overload can prove…




Pushcart Prize nominated essayist and memoirist. Author. Music connoisseur. Multi-passionate creative. I’ve lost a lot of sleep to dreams….