I Don’t Want To “Catch Feelings” — Love Has To Be A Choice

I don’t like the idea of love being some sort of thing that just happens, so I hate the idea of “falling in love.” I want to choose to be with someone and to be in charge of my choices every step of the way. Here’s why it’s so important to me.

  1. I want to walk into love. Forget “falling in love” and all those tripping images that we associate with finding someone you want to be with long-term. I want to choose to walk into it. That means I’m sure of my decision to be with that person instead of just finding myself in a situation that’s taking over my life. That scares me.
  2. Love is not a disease. When we talk about “catching feelings,” it sounds like we’re catching the flu or measles. Eek. I don’t want to associate love with disease because it’s really signifying a lack of control. I don’t want to feel like love has happened to me. I want to make it happen.
  3. A great guy’s not going to just turn up. We’re always told to wait for love to come to us and to be patient. Some people might have even told us that someday the right guy will just walk into our lives. Um, yeah right. I hate that idea because it gives the guy all the control. I’m not going to sit around and wait for him, like some character in a Jane Austen book.
  4. If i want love, i want to find it. I know you can’t always hurry love, but that doesn’t mean I want to sit around and wait for it. If I want to find someone to date, then I’ll make a plan. I’ll ask friends if they know of any cool guys to meet, I’ll sign up to a dating app or I’ll get out more and try to meet new people. That doesn’t mean I’m always going to be successful, but that’s not the point.
  5. Love should be like any other goal. Sure, love is different from other goals in life because it has the heart element to it, but I want to treat it in a similar way. If I want to get a new career, I’m not going to wait around for it to find me. I’ll go out there and take charge of my fate. So, I want to treat love and dating in a similar way. I’m in charge of my destiny.
  6. I’m careful about the term “soulmate.” The problem with thinking that someone’s going to be my soulmate is that I might believe there’s some special force that’s keeping that person in my life, like we’re meant to be. Although this could be true, it’s dangerous to think along these lines too much. If I think someone’s meant to be my soulmate, then I might stick with a guy who’s actually not healthy for me, thinking we have to make it work. That’s BS. I want more than a spark and butterflies. I want something real that makes sense and makes me feel good.
  7. I want to bring my head to the party. Following my heart is great and all, but I think it’s just as important to follow my head. I need to have some logical, calm perspective about the person I’m dating. Following my head also means that I want to make a dating choice that makes sense to me and that feels right. For example, if my heart says a guy is fantastic for me, but my head is warning me that something’s wrong, I’m going to listen to my head. My head and heart need to be on the same page.
  8. I don’t have to date everyone i love. I used to think that once I “caught feelings” for someone, that was it! I was meant to follow those feelings and date the guy, no matter what situation we found ourselves in (like a girlfriend he already had at home). Now I realize that that’s faulty thinking. I’ve had feelings for guys who I didn’t make a move on and who I didn’t date because I knew that they were wrong for me. Although being good on paper isn’t everything, it does help.
  9. If i choose, i can trust myself. If I’ve got feelings for someone and I’m choosing to be with them instead of thinking that I’m at the mercy of my feelings or some force in the universe, I’m much more empowered. I think and make decisions, instead of just get swept away by love or a relationship. This also has the benefit of helping me GTFO of a bad relationship. I can trust my judgment. I’m not blinded by love.
  10. I can walk away. If I’m not swept up in a whirlwind of love and romance, I can still enjoy the relationship I’m in, but I won’t ignore my partner’s faults or my unhappiness simply because “I’m in love.” That’s a silly excuse. On the other hand, if I can trust myself to make the right decision for myself in love, knowing I won’t stick around for someone’s BS, then if that fairytale relationship comes to a smashing halt, I can walk away without giving myself unnecessary pain. Best of all, I won’t have lost myself during the relationship.
Jessica Blake is a writer who loves good books and good men, and realizes how difficult it is to find both.