Many people think they’re falling in love when they feel that first rush of infatuation. It’s easy to idealize someone when you first get to know them. But if love is something you fall into, and many people later say they fell for the wrong person, maybe we should decide to just not fall! But can we do that? Are we just followers of our emotions or can we act rationally? Is love a feeling or a choice?
Is Love A Feeling Or A Choice?
You’ll often hear that love is a feeling not a choice. It’s often presented as an uncontrollable tide that sweeps everyone before it, whether they want to be caught up or not. But what if that’s not true? What if we do have control over who we let into our hearts?
You see, we don’t have to let ourselves fall for someone. When we “fall” in love and let ourselves dive into the bliss of what we are euphorically feeling, we are riding a sea of emotion without thinking about where we are going. In particular, we may not have yet given much thought as to the commitment and compatibility part of love. We often start to fall for someone before we have even evaluated their character and prayed about the relationship. And that’s a quick way to rush into things and get hurt.
So can love be a choice? Yes! We can decide to dive into that sea and be swept away, or we can decide to find out how deep it is first.
Asking the hard questions that will help us decide to love isn’t as fun as free-falling into the oasis of infatuation. But love is a wide-eyed decision and a prayerful, serious commitment first, with those passionate feelings as added confirmation of our heart and our intentions. And, just maybe, deciding to love is the better path for those coming out of hurtful experiences where the plunge into passionate feelings was met with disaster.
How Can I Choose Who (And When) To Love?
Approaching love as a thoughtful choice rather than an uncontrollable feeling is a smart thing to consider. Here are some of the hard questions that must be answered before you decide to love:
- Do I want to love this person, or am I just desperate for a partner?
- Can I follow through on my commitment to having a growing relationship? Do I have the time and focus to commit to this person?
- Have I counted the cost to love this person? Am I willing to deal with distance, health issues, financial strain, family needs and career paths?
- Am I ready to express my commitment, or do I just feel a rush of emotion and want to go with the flow?
- Do I believe I will receive love back from this person? Or am I blindly falling for someone who has not indicated their serious intentions towards me?
- Am I emotionally healthy enough for love? Have I worked through my own issues and emotional scars? Am I prepared to be vulnerable with someone and yet respecting of myself and my needs?
- Do I have a relationship with God that will fill me daily with His love so that I can withstand the hard times that are part of a committed loving relationship?
When Love Begins
After looking at these hard-hitting questions, some of you might be reconsidering if you still want to fall in love! And that’s good. Love is a choice, not a feeling! Ir’s more than a rush of emotion or the euphoric high that comes with physical attraction. Those great feelings are a part of it, but that’s not the main substance of love. And that’s why we don’t have to fall.
Instead of falling in love so easily, we might want to look at these realistic questions, work through them, pray about them and then make the decision: I am ready to love? Is the the right person for me to love? When we do this, we know that God, the author of love, will guide us on our journey to the wonder of committed love.
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