How Will I Know?
A girlfriend of mine asked me what my opinion on love is. She recently met a man and after just 4 months has to decide if she will move across the country to follow him as he takes some big new job. She is pretty certain she wants to take that leap of faith, but is terrified at the same time when she approaches it logically. (As a disclaimer, she said I could write about this as long as I don’t use her name, but I think it is a good topic to write about.)
Maybe I’m a bit jaded now, but I think love is a risk and I think the act of falling in love is the biggest part of the risk. I view it, maybe just right now, to be like skydiving. You may end up graceful and happy but you very well could crash into the ground in a massive heap of cow dung. I think my discontent with falling in love involves all the anxieties around it. The games, the asking millions of questions in your head, but that is the risk. That is also the phase she is in right now. Question, question, question.
To love you have to open yourself up and to a certain extent allow yourself to be completely vulnerable. Let’s be honest, making yourself vulnerable is petrifying. Considering I survived open heart surgery from a literally and physically broken heart (in simple non-medical terms) and an emotionally broken heart I have to say an emotionally broken heart can be harder to recover from than a physical heart defect at times. You have to be willing to take the risk to have a broken heart in order to love.
My suggestion? Do it! Let yourself love. Take a risk. If you feel it’s right, dive in head first. Being in love is one of the best feelings in the world. If it doesn’t work you are going to go through hell but at least you will have had that time with someone who made you fly to the stars every time s/he looked in your eyes.
My friend keeps going into a rant about, “how do I know if this is the right move? How do I know if this will work out? What if he doesn’t love me as much as I think I love him?” I don’t know how she can find the answers to these questions without either taking a risk or deciding that the risk isn’t worth it and falling in love with someone else down the road. The decision is hers, but what I can tell her is that her heart will tell her what to do. If she loves him she will know it. I believe the decision is already made in her heart, she just has to let logic slip back a little. Love isn’t logical so you can’t approach it like a business transaction full of logic.
In the meantime though I told her to go home from work tonight, pour herself a cold glass of white wine and turn on Whitney Houston’s How Will I know. She has then been instructed to dance around her studio apartment letting completely loose. Then when she falls back onto her bed at the end of the song she will feel free and liberated (at least that’s how I feel after dancing like a fool around my living room) and I truly think her mind tell her what she really wants to do. Seriously, there is no right answer, you just have to go with your gut.
Maybe it’s not the best suggestion but I know I am living my life one hour at a time right now. I live for life and accept that I am going to stumble a lot over the next few months or years with bad decisions and good ones, but I am going to take risks and put myself out there in life. I think the way I am approaching life is a good way to approach her fears of love.
Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know (Note: my favorite version is the Junior Vasquez Club Mix).