Yesterday my book club met and we talked about Sherlock Holmes. It was a bit of a scattered book club but it worked and we had a lovely conversation. We talked about the cases, Sherlock and Watson’s relationship, and many other aspects of the first 12 cases from 221 Baker Street
One of the points of discussion was about Sherlock’s supposed oblivion or lack of need for human affection, relationships, love and marriage. He is basically an asexual being that focuses on reason not passion. He chooses not to fall in love.
But, what if it isn’t a choice? What if it just doesn’t happen?
Now before I start this line of thought- please, don’t placate me with assurances of my finding the right person and promises in heaven and not loosing hope. I know such things and I agree but just for a second I want to put a question I’ve asked myself many times out there for all of you-
What if a human being never falls in love? Can you live a full life and never fall in love?
An analysis of literature, film, art, music, history and even human psychology would say NO. An article I saw recently said that 92% of pop music was about love. I am certain any other genre would be similar in results. It is hard to think of anything in modern or ancient culture that doesn’t at least tangentially involve love, sensuality, marriage or companionship with perhaps death and God being close behind.
But what do I mean by love?
Well, let’s go with the Greek definition. They said there are 4 types of love:
agape- selfless love. Kind of like the what the bible calls charity. It’s a hope for the goodness in the world. An unselfishness and service to those around you without wanting anything in return. it’s the kind of love we talk about at Christmas and that makes Scrouge a better person when he develops it.
eros- sensual love. Passion, is the root for the word erotica and eroticism. As far as I can tell this love usually requires human contact more than words, or feelings.
storge- familial love. Like the kind of attachment a mother feels for a child, brother to brother etc.
philia- friendship love. for Aristotle the greatest kind of love. Friendship, loyalty, human understanding and commitment. Like minds and devotion. Root word for philanthropy. I guess my lack of eros makes philia mean so much to me. I know many who seem fine without friends but to me loyalty, commitment and friendship are everything.
So just as a mental exercise bear with me- what if you miss out on 1 of the 4? What if you never seem to make any real friends? What if you have broken relationships with family and can never make that work? What if you never have any passion with another person?
What does that mean for your life?
I don’t know. I really don’t.
I’m 33 years old. I’ve never been in love. I’ve never been kissed. I’ve never had a break up or a heartache. I’ve never had anything more than a crush from time to time and I honestly do not know why. I really don’t.
Some may say it has to do with my weight but then I see girls much heavier than I that meet, date and marry successfully. I know a woman who has been married 4 times. That boggles my mind. How can she find 4 men who want to be with her and I can’t even get a kiss? Sigh…
Again, I’m not saying this for pity or reassurances. I really want to ask the question- can you live a full life and not fall in love? I think most people would try to answer yes to make me feel better but if they really thought about their own lives and if they had never had that experience it would feel pretty empty.
So what do we who have never fallen in love do? That’s the frustrating part. Nothing. As far as I have been able to figure out you just wait. Yes, you can workout and go to activities, date whenever you can, but none of that is any guarantee of falling in love. Believe me I know. You certainly can and must always be hopeful and happy with what you can control but it will probably always be this big part of being human that you don’t completely understand.
I think you will always have a little ache in the back of your heart that everyone else got to experience something so primal and basic and you were left out. I read an article today saying that the average human being falls in love 4 times in their life.
Unfortunately in any study there are always outliers and if you are one of them, I get it. I know what you are feeling.
I guess the only thing I can say to my fellow love-lorn is that everyone has an ache of some kind. Nobody has all 4 of the loves perfectly in their life. Everyone has regrets and wishes for something they never quite experienced and never enjoyed. That’s what the atonement is for.
After all, as far as we know, Jesus never fell in love either, so we are in pretty good company on that one. He loves us and that has always carried me through.
Hang in there! I know I’m not the only person out there who has wondered about this. Please share your stories.
Anyway, I just wanted to put that question out to the world. What if it never happens?
Ending with this thought….
25 thoughts on “Never Fall in Love?”
I think all of us go through the 4 kinds of love that u have so rightly quoted. It’s just that we don’t realise what it means to us till it’s gone.
That is a very sad part of human nature but I agree. That is far too often the case. I hope I do have all 4. Haven’t yet but still lots of time but I still think it is interesting to ask the question- but if not?
It certainly will mean more to me when I do get it because I have waited so long.
Hello. I’d like to say that I really love reading your blog.
LOVE is unsolved mystery for me. I’m 30 years old. I’ve never been in love and I’ve never been kissed. like you do.
I have asked myself that questions a million times. but stilll I can’t figure it out. It’s Too difficult.
Thank you for sharing. It was honestly a hard post to write because I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me or feel I have lost hope because that isn’t the case.
I merely have asked myself what if it doesn’t happen? Can I handle it? And the answer is yes I can. It will be hard but I can.
Love is an unsolved mystery for me too. I’m so glad someone else gets that. 🙂
And some will make you feel you should be embarrassed or ashamed of this. Don’t let them. It is also not a sign of a lack of faith to ask such questions. To me it is a sign of more faith. Use it as a catalyst to hope for good things to come.
I think it’s to your credit that you wait. What’s better: to wait 20 years or be hurt 20 times? You are less jaded and look at love with a wide angled lens kind of beauty. I waited 50 years to find the love of my life!
Thank you. I suppose it begs the question- is it better to have loved and lost than never loved at all? I don’t know. It seems we have the experiences we are meant to have.
Sometimes I feel naive when it comes to love but you are right I am certainly not jaded or cynical like some who have loved and been burned.
I like that idea of looking at love with the wide angled lens. Thanks for your compliment and I’m glad you found love after 50 years. That’s awesome!
I have a response to this post, but it will take more space than a normal “comment” should, so I’ll post it at my irishfirebrands blog.
Look forward to reading it. Thanks
thanks you for sharing …hahaha i feel like your my little sister cos again to tell you this that I ll be 37 this years and haven’t had all that you said ^__^
How do you deal with it? I don’t have a big sister only younger and they all have more action than me. Sigh…
I hope I didn’t sound depressed because while I have my moments it is more something I put to the side most the time
I think part of it is being secure with yourself. I know women who rely on having a man in their lives–boyfriend, husband, whomever. This often leads them to “love” but really they wind up in abusive or unfulfilling relationships. Yes, they call it love, but that’s a lot closer to codependency than love if you ask me. I do think it’s better to be secure enough with yourself to be able to wait for the real thing–for someone who loves you and can have an equal, loving relationship. I think you’d be surprised at the number of people who really have never experienced love in the way you would define it, even if they’ve been married or dated a lot. Remember, half of all marriages end in divorce and a large portions of the ones who stay together aren’t all that happy. It’s a fortunate few who experience real, selfless, romantic love in their lives. (By the way, don’t read anything into this about my own marriage, haha. All’s well). I do realize you’d still “count” that as passionate love, but there are a lot of versions of passionate love that leave people emptier than if they hadn’t loved at all.
P.S. I hope you do get to fall in love someday.
Thats an interesting point of someone who has the trappings of the four types of love without actually having it. I dont really feel that bad about not being married but every now and then I feel I’m missing out on such a big part of being human in never being kissed or loved. I’ll hear a song and can’t relate to it and that makes me sad. I think I’m pretty confident in most things just have my moments.
The truth is I do miss some things but as you say we all do. Eros is a big thing to miss but so are the other loves.
Luckily I know my life is in God’s hands and if He doesn’t help me find love than He has a good reason. That’s important to have in back of my head for those moments
And I think you are right at the number who can relate to looking for love. Thats why I wanted to write this because nobody talks about it in this way at least that I’ve read. I think hope is important but it is also key to say ‘I am where I am and if this is where I stay I can deal’
Yes! That is true. I know it’s not at all the same, but reading this reminded me of dealing with infertility. I may never have the chance to feel a baby kicking inside me. I might not ever have the chance to give birth and know what it’s like to raise a child who has my genetic heritage. I’ve come to the point where I can say “yes, that’s something I want, but I will still lead a happy fulfilling life if it never happens.” Again, not the same, but I found your post relatable in that way.
Also, I am amazed at the comments and people who connect with you on that issue. Your blog is important because your voice is unique and not many people have the courage to talk as frankly as you do on topics like this one.
Thanks Abby. I really appreciate you reading my thoughts and commenting. That’s a beautiful thought about infertility and accepting our disappointments in life. Maybe that’s why we are given such trials to be able to empathize with others disappointments? I certainly have felt such comfort in those tough moments knowing people get it. Maybe not the exact sequence of events but the emotion they have felt and understand.
“It’s a fortunate few who experience real, selfless, romantic love in their lives.” You really think that is true? If it is, why don’t we talk about this more! 🙂
I really do. Of all the couples I know that are my age, I know many of them end and many others are very troubled. I know maybe maybe 2 or 3 other couples in my age group who really seem to be satisfied, happy, and functional. I think it is much more common among active church member a who are sealed, but even within that group there are some troubled relationships. Outside that group I think the number of people in fulfilling relationships is pretty small. Of course, I’m a child of divorce and a known “realist” so my perception may be skewed. 😉
I’ve been amazingly sheltered from divorce in my life. My grandparents, parents, most of my aunts and uncles, my siblings, all my cousins and my friends from college have all stayed together. I realize that is unusual. Maybe I’m good luck? 😉
You know I’ve been thinking of making a character like I talked about for my next nanowrimo. It will be challenging but I think very rewarding.
This post was truly thought provoking! And I loved that Conference talk. ❤ "He has the power, but it's our test." Brilliant. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! As for your question … that's a tough one. Honestly, Sherlock's lack of need for a relationship always baffled me. I've been a romantic since I was five years old and had a crush on the paper boy. 🙂 I've had relationships, and I definitely wouldn't choose differently, because I know I've learned a lot from them … but on the other hand, if I had the chance of a clean slate like you have, would I take it? I don't know. I really don't. But I have a huge respect for you for sharing your feelings on this, and letting us in to a whole new way of thinking. I wish you luck, with life and your faith and – God willing – finding your soul-mate. 🙂 God bless! *Hugs* ❤
Your fellow LDS girl. 🙂
Where Legends Begin
Thank you! I really appreciate your thoughts. It’s interesting because both of the stories I have written for nanowrimo have been romantic books, so I have those stories inside me but haven’t had the chance to tell my own yet.
Sometimes it is easier to blame it on my weight because at least that is an answer but I know the real reason is that God has His reasons. I don’t think there is anything I am doing that is making it not happen (and if I was I think He’d let me know).
So this is romantic is forced to learn patience. I’m very impatient with that! 🙂 Please continue to follow the blog. I would love to keep in touch.