I get knocked down but I get up again you’re never going to keep me down… I get knocked down but I get up again you’re never going to keep me down… Chumbawamba (97)
We’ve all been there before, rolling along through life, business as usual, doing what we do. Then one day, with little or no warning fate steps in and everything changes. Suddenly we seem to short circuit and our bodies and minds betray us. We have trouble staying focused and can’t function normally. As if over night our world is turned inside-out and upside-down and we are powerless to stop it. And what you wonder could cause such major upheaval? Well, it has nothing to do with death, illness, injury or natural disaster, it’s something far worse, far more formidable. It’s a crazy little thing called ‘love.’
Romantic love, the ultimate affection, or perhaps I should say the ultimate affliction. Yes at some point in our lives we are bitten by the love bug. You know the story, one day that certain someone, that special person who totally rocks our world walks into our lives or perhaps they’ve been around for awhile, but on that one particular day you suddenly realize they’re the one. In no time at all we’re going gaga, head over heels in love, mad, crazy love. We begin believing that our beloved is special and made just for us. We see only their positive qualities and overlook their negative ones. We often become obsessed and can’t get them out of our thoughts, we become emotionally dependent on them and we long to be with them all the time, love struck.
Blinded by romance we walk around, our heads in the clouds, with a single-mindedness of purpose to love, love, love, a result I’m told, of the elevated levels of Dopamine in our brains, the chemical involved in our attention and focusing process. Yeah, love is grand, and for the duration, life in the land of love is extraordinary. However, a romantic love relationship isn’t a guaranteed state of permanence and has the potential to either evolve into a long term codependent relationship or it can eventually burn out and just like that the spark is gone.
Yes, all things must pass and even the enchanting power of romantic love can wane and fade away. And when it’s over no matter what the duration, the difficult part, at least for one of those in the relationship, is letting go and moving on. This is particularly true when it’s first love. First love can be quite a beautiful thing, but when it’s over the pain associated with the breakup of a first love relationship is the worst. At least when we’ve loved and lost before, we enter new relationships knowing full well the risk we‘re undertaking. Yet, come what may, we put ourselves out there time and again hoping for the best. God are we gluttons for punishment or what? Even knowing of the potential for disaster that exists, we willingly enter new relationships searching for the “one” we can spend the rest of our lives with, believing that the risk involved is well worth it and little price to pay for a fairy tale, happily ever after ending.
With first love however you have no frame of reference. The entire falling in love-being in love experience is new and exciting. Having never experienced anything like it before, every thought, emotion, sensation and action brought about by our romantic love relationship charms us and we get caught up in loves magic spell. We fall so hard and so fast and unselfishly pour our heart and soul into the relationship, giving ourselves completely to this new found love because we ‘know’ our love is true. That’s why when first loves, true love ends, it’s so damn painful. Yeah, we’re so blinded by love that we never even see the end coming and it hurts. Not only does the end of true love break our hearts, but our spirits as well. It’s devastating and believe me, it leaves a mark.
Although it’s been over 40 years I still remember my first love with great clarity. I will never forget. My heart still bears the scars of that failed romance. I really thought she was the one. I really believed that one day she’d be my wife. Yeah, the memories of my first love are to say the least, bittersweet, bittersweet indeed. I hurt really bad when our relationship of nearly four years crashed and burned, really bad. It really knocked me on my ass. It took me a long time to get over it, a God awful long time to get my shit together and move on with my life. Thank God I got back up again.. and found true love again…