How Do You Know You’ve Fallen Out of Love?

by Carson Reynolds

When someone does something really rotten to you, the stock advice is to forget about them. Who am I to argue with tradition? But I want to throw in this caveat. It seems to me that there is a danger sneaking about in the idea of disregard and it is this. Denial can be just another method of perpetuating some unhealthy attachment, namely by the continual negation of aforementioned attachment. Less obtusely: when you spend all of your time trying to not think about someone, you still think about them.

Heraclitus would probably chuckle at my boyish musings noting that love and hate are the same thing, just as wealth and poverty are the same thing. Sometimes I interpret same thing as continuity or connectedness. But this is not so abstract; no need for philosophical sideshows.

Just as those who desperately want nothing to do with money become consumed by avoiding it, sometimes we are consumed by the thing we least want to think about. That is why I think that when you’ve truly fallen out of love, it won’t be by hating or not thinking about what has happened to you. It will be by being able to think about it without raising torrents of self-recrimination.