That first look, when eyes meet, minds align, that moment when you find yourself appreciating a random moment of beauty with a total stranger. In that moment your hearts connect, a yearning of a thousand years collides and it prompts a moment of unexpected euphoria that leaves your knees in search of support, and your mouth agape with wonder. What follows is usually an indulgence of each other, sometimes only intellectually, but often physically as well. In those moments perfection was not sought. Perfection was not even a conscious consideration because the feeling inside made all such standards irrelevant. The unsightly spots, the skin blemishes, the dishevelled hair, or the mismatched clothing all faded from view because that desire of a thousand years was suddenly fulfilled. It didn’t leave enough energy to recede to a safe distance in order to measure what we were presented with. We allowed ourselves to connect, because that connection was always infinitely more important than the lustful satisfaction of two perfectly toned bodies embracing. But then it fades, seemingly for no reason.
That feeling of love, infatuation, amazement, wonder, awe and all those other beautiful sensations don’t just disappear as a natural cycle. Look at any old couple that have kept the love alive in their relationship and you’ll see that it simply is not true. The wisdom of love lies not in knowing what to do when that happens in order to save what once existed. Knowing what to do. Just the thought of that sounds far too deliberate and onerous to make it joyful.
Instead, the wisdom of love lies is in being consistently true to the image you portrayed when you first met the one you claimed to have loved. You see, we present ourselves in a way that makes us most attractive or appealing when we find ourselves in the company of those by whom we wish to be admired or accepted. It is an aspirational desire. The insincere will quickly revert to their default disposition of being less than that the moment they feel that they either accomplished the goal of winning said admiration or acceptance, or if they believe that it is a futile effort. That is when the love fades.
It fades when you think that your best is not deserved any longer. It fades when you think that being lethargic, distracted, or otherwise inclined is more warranted than the giving of your attention in the same measures as you did when you first met. We confuse love with lust far too often. It is the lust that fades. Lust will fade if we grow intellectually and spiritually. That growth automatically demands fulfilment of a different kind. People don’t grow euphoric with physical stimulation, but rather with intellectual or spiritual fulfilment. Euphoria is a feeling of the heart, not the loins. The loins breed lust and indulgence, not euphoria. How many lay there emotionally detached while fulfilling the rights of their lovers while faking it? The absence of the heart renders any physical act impotent.
When we expect the loins to fulfil what the heart needs, we delude ourselves into believing that physical attraction is more important than spiritual beauty. Relationships don’t go through natural cycles of decay. There is nothing natural about us losing interest in the one we’re with. That only happens when we grow separately, or when one grows and the other doesn’t. That is when love fades. And don’t be fooled into believing that it is anything more complex than that simple truth. Love fades when we leave the ones we love behind, or when the ones we love choose not to continue on the path that we set out on. That is when love fades. And then we set out in search of trinkets to distract ourselves in order to remain loyal to a cause that has long since lost any of the substance it once contained.
Love fades when you stop caring. You stop caring when you stop paying attention. You stop paying attention when that which attracted you is no longer available, or you’ve outgrown the wonder that it offers. Perhaps that is why it is said that it is not love that keeps a relationship going, but commitment. But even that is not enough, because at some point, the cost of remaining committed will outweigh the benefits of the commitment.