the New Year’s Resolution Madness
#8 Fall In Love
By Kayla Lemar
It’s month two on our journey of Preempting the New Year’s Resolution
Madness, and I know you must be heartbroken because I skipped six of
the top 12 New Year’s Resolutions, but how many of us can honestly say
weight loss and budgeting are on our minds when it’s almost Valentine’s
Day? They aren’t on this girl’s mind (That’s for sure.), because
this is my first Valentine’s Day with a boyfriend to share it with.
What do we know about “falling in love”?
“Falling in love” is a mask for sharing your physiological fantasies,
emotional effluviums, and mental melt-downs with somebody you think you
care about. In other words, “falling in love” is pretty much a
hoax, because you rarely fall into heart-shaped pillows and rose petals
without the residual thorns. Mostly, you fall into each
other. And falling into another person is… never quite as
pleasant as you think it will be.
Honestly, falling in love should have some hazard
warnings on the package. Warnings like: BEWARE: THIS BOY HAS A
ROCK FOR A HEART or CAUTION: THIS GIRL CONFUSES EVEN HERSELF.
Each of us has issues. That’s the nature of
man. And if you’re not prepared for those issues (not only your
“lover’s”, but also your own) then you’ll probably want to fall out of
love as quickly as you fell in. It’s unfortunate that falling out
of a hole is usually more of a climb.
So what do you need to know to fall in love, and
You need to know how to love someone.
You need to know how to be loved.
You need to know how to communicate love in a way
that the one you love understands.
You need to know how love is best communicated to
The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, delves
into the five ways humans (cross-culturally) give and receive love: 1)
Words of Affirmation, 2) Quality Time, 3) Physical Touch, 4) Acts of
Service, and 5) Gifts.
Some “lovees” receive love best by being complimented, others by
enjoying baseball pitches with the “lover”, some by cuddling, others by
having their bedroom cleaned, and still others by being handed a
bouquet of freshly-picked flowers.
That’s not to say that everyone with Quality Time as
their main love language wants to spend that time playing baseball, or
that everyone with a Gifts love language wants real flowers with real
bugs crawling off the stems. That’s where study and honest
communication come in. Discover who the other person is on the
inside, and what he or she most craves. Then, give that.
Okay, so any parent reading this is going to cringe
at that last statement, which is why there is a little bit more to
being in love than just expression.
Part II to falling and staying in love is all about
boundaries. What is a boundary? A boundary is a fence with
a gate you put up around your heart, your mind, and your body.
Why is it not a wall? In general, the most intimate relationships
are relationships where people can see into you. That’s why there
isn’t a wall. Some circumstances (like abuse) merit a wall, but
most of the time a gate is good enough for keeping people at a
Don’t get me wrong: you want to let the one you love
into your heart, your garden, your sacred place… eventually. That
eventually isn’t really an age thing; it’s more of a maturity
thing. Each of us reaches a season in our life where we are able
to engage in a deep and meaningful relationship that has the serious
potential of being forever. Until then, it’s sort of like
If you’re not ready to be married: you couldn’t move
out of your parent’s house, join all your assets and your burdens to
another person’s, and thrive with that new life, then chances are
you’re not in that season of serious potential.
Don’t sweat it. I’m nineteen, never dated, and
I’m just now getting there.
The thing to remember is: you probably will not
marry the person you are dating if you are not in that season.
You may not marry the person you are dating even if you are in season.
How does that compute with giving a person all the
things they need to feel loved? It doesn’t. What if your
boyfriend wants sex? Sex is a valid way of showing love.
The only problem is, when you have sex you let someone into the deepest
part of you. And if you do that too soon, loving someone just
became the most painful experience of your life.
We don’t have to go to that extreme.
Boundaries relate to everything… from limiting a seven hour phone
conversation to a two hour conversation so we can study our math
homework, to making sure you continue to develop other friendships
while you’re “falling in love”, to having a good friend who can call,
“hand check,” when that physiological bit takes over.
Make sure you set up boundaries, because boundaries
facilitate loving someone else.
A friend of mine once defined lust as, “the fear of
not having something, which makes us incapable of pulling back.”
Never put yourself in a situation where you will have difficulty
respecting yourself and that other person, or where you are fearful
that you won’t receive what you need, which leads to the other.
One last thought to chew on: I care deeply about my
boyfriend now. We’ve been close friends for six months.
Neither of us had ever dated. We’re pretty much like twins, so
it’s super easy to understand what the other is thinking. Even
so, sometimes I look in the mirror and think, “I love Josh so much that
I want him to be the best man he can be for whoever it is he
marries. Maybe that’s me, or maybe it’s someone else. But I
want everything I do in this relationship to prepare him for her, and I
love him enough to make that my goal, instead of making this all about
Try that thought on for size. Modify it a
little. Come to your own conclusions. But never forget that
all people communicate love differently, and all people need boundaries
to facilitate love.
Oh yah… final mission: find a trusted adult and talk
with them about your love life. A newspaper article on falling in
love is more of a preview, and every kid needs someone to help walk
them through it.