Real Love Isn't Spontaneous, It's A Deliberate Choice

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Real Love Isn't Spontaneous, It's a Deliberate Choice

Spontaneous love doesn't last.

We know what love looks like in the movies. It's all windy beaches and tousled hair, chance meetings with a romantic backdrop. The characters make bedroom eyes at each other.

Then they fall into bed as easily as falling asleep. Curtains blow, the bed has too many pillows and satin sheets that tangle around the lovers. Artfully. Beautifully. Spontaneously. You just know as the credits roll that they'll be together forever.

But that isn't real love.

Real love is a deliberate choice. You might meet your perfect someone on a windswept beach. You might gaze deeply into his eyes and decamp to the bedroom. Curtains may blow. Pillows pile up. Sheets tangle around you, though far more annoyingly than Hollywood makes it look.

When you wake up in the morning you have no idea if you'll be together forever. You just know you met a great guy you might fall in love with.


Because what you feel isn't love. Not yet. It's lust. Lust is a chemical spontaneity. Real love sticks around and suffers through his badly-made pancakes.

The spontaneous lovers? They part as soon as things get difficult. He finds out she owes too much in student loans from the art school degree that makes her such a manic pixie; she runs when she sees that, in the light of day, he's got some backne going on.

Spontaneous lovers don't last. They suffer through the flu together when neither one can move and someone has to get up and retrieve the Sudafed. Or worse, they can't suffer through one of them having the flu. He won't take care of her, knowing he'll end up sick himself. Instead, he drops some chicken soup at her door and runs. Their love isn't even strong enough to withstand a virus.

But when you make the choice to love someone, you make the choice to put them before you, no matter what happens. That leads to some fairly ugly scenes. He finds himself helping out with those loan payments  or at least helping her manage them. She ignores the backne in favor of the person she cares about. And when both of them have the flu, they argue about who shouldn't get up and get the Sudafed because each insists the other is sicker than they are.

They're sick together because she got ill first and he came over to take care of her, thus infecting himself. He knew it was his job. He knew no one else would do it. Moreover, he wanted to do it.


Spontaneous love doesn't want to do it. Spontaneous love thrives on a string of perfect moments: the windswept beach, the midnight road trip, the dark bar. That's what keeps it going; that's what it wants.

It doesn't want 4 o'clock in the afternoon. It doesn't want 3 in the morning, either, unless there's sex going down. Real love, on the other hand, hears that noise at 3 AM and get up to see what it is, even if he's afraid. He wants to take care of her. He gets up, in fact, even if he doesn't hear the noise, even if only she did, and even if he knows it's nothing and really wants to stay in a nice warm bed.

He does this because he made a choice to love her. He made a choice to give himself totally to another person. He didn't give his heart away. He gave his whole self, his time, his work. She did the same thing.

And that's why, when the credits roll, they'll be the ones together —​ forever.