Over the years that I have dated, I have fallen in love twice and stayed in love once.
The first time it happened, I was naive, emotional, and idealistic. However, in the end, I was left extraordinarily broken and unaware. For the most part, I spent a lot of time thinking about why things did not work out how we intended. It was easy until it was not.
The second time I fell in love was quite the opposite experience I went through the first time I fell in love. I was very cautious, skeptical, and built an emotional fortress for protection. Eventually, it all came crumbling down, brick by brick, until I was back to a familiar place. All that mattered was that he and I were happy and that everything felt right.
That is what falling in love is. It is a natural high, a rush of intense emotions -- anticipation, warmth, euphoria, and fear -- that takes you by force.
You never see it coming and then unexpectedly, it all catches up, and you eventually realize that there is no turning back. When you find yourself at that sweet spot, you think to yourself, "This is where I want to be. I want to stay right here forever."
As we fall in love, our affections effortlessly motivate us.
These feelings propel us to make some of the most irrational decisions or perform unexpected romantic tasks, like staying up all night talking on the phone despite having exams or an important task you have to do the next day or doing anything to spend a day with him or her.
Emotions, especially love, passion, and happiness are our strongest motivators because we will do anything to maintain them.
However, we often fail to realize that it never lasts. What goes up must come down and sometimes, it can last for a couple of months, and sometimes it can last for a couple of years.
We are often blinded by the illusion that everything good is infinite and invincible. Once you come down and reality sinks, it gets a little tricky.
When the feelings subside, we must work twice as hard to maintain and deepen the relationships.
The emotions become less intense until they stabilize into something that is just part of your everyday life. Without the intensity, the motivation eventually fades, and that is when things start to get comfortable.
Once you are in the comfort zone, the relationship either becomes stale and unappealing, or it evolves into a two-player team depending on what you do next. If you genuinely want to stay in love, choose love -- a choice build on the foundations of communication, acceptance, and selflessness.
It means being honest with your significant other while being true to yourself and understanding that compromises are the key to all healthy relationships. It means connecting and sometimes disconnecting, but always discussing your feelings without blame, assumptions, and insults so that you will never have to go to bed sad or angry.
It means knowing that your partner will make mistakes but always speaking before reacting so that the two of you can learn and grow from the experience. It means that even when you do not feel the love at any given moment, you do not give in to the short-term emotions and will instead behave and communicate with tenderness and patience. Share your vulnerabilities and consciously decide to forgive and move on.
In the end, the effort is in the decisions you make.
Deciding on anything is not easy because it requires consciousness and careful thought, whereas emotions can master you without your consent.
Choosing love is choosing selflessness and taking a much higher road -- a task that is not easily done as we are inherently in it for ourselves.
However, if we realize that temporary is easy but forever is hard, we will consistently work for the things and people who are worth fighting for while enjoying the magic and enhancement of all the is finite.