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Is Love Really Overrated?
by Vicky Nabors

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Spring has sprung and I'm feeling kinda melancholy this morning during my drive to work. My route takes me through several North Side neighborhoods into the western suburbs. It's a pleasant ride, relatively free of traffic, which prompts my mind to float. The smooth jazz trumpet from Chris Botti's CD plays softly in the background, pulling me deeper into my serene state of being.

As I travel through green, yellow and a few red lights towards my destination, the lyrics of a particular track catches my attention: 'What'll I do … when you are far away and I am feeling blue.' I smile, thinking of the wonderful womyn I just kissed goodbye, and am lured into the aesthetic feelings ( dream-like ) of falling in love. In this place, I ponder the mystical, magical and maddening nature of falling in love with another human being. I realize that love is mystical, because it doesn't ask our permission to exist; it just happens. Love is magical, because its profound energy transforms adults into blushing pre-teens with an overload of mushy feel-good emotions. And love is maddening, because we grieve deeply when it ends.

Most of you have experienced the intense emotional pain of a love lost; more importantly, you have experienced how the essence of that person lingers in your mind, haunting you for an extended period of time. When you look at pictures of her, you wonder what went wrong. You think about what you could have done differently and, moreover, who's kissing her now. At that moment, some wish to turn back the hands of time to repair what went wrong.

As the next track from the CD begins to play, my thoughts are moved further back to revisit my own past loves lost, one male and one female. He was my high school sweetheart … I fell in love with his gentle soul and innocence, not his penis; years later, she possessed all the attributes of my mother … I fell in love with her delicate yet determined spirit. Even though I grieved for years after both relationships ended, I was grateful that I wasn't able to turn back the hands of time; that would have meant to un-learn all that I'd learned through those loving yet painful experiences. The truth is that growth is often painful; it's a necessary pain.

Therefore, falling in love can be a useful life experience as it changes us forever; we become wiser. In private moments, we realize that we were more: infatuated, in lust, in awe or in need of what she had to offer, but definitely not in love. We learn more about our personal needs and desires that we were previously unaware of. And we learn that there is a definite difference between falling in love with a person and entering into a relationship with a person. You can be 'in' love with a wonderful womyn without entering into a relationship with her and vice versa. The difference is thus: A relationship is a business partnership, where the goals are to build a financially secure living foundation for survival and to be supportive of each other's self-actualization endeavors ( reaching your personal potential ) . Falling in love is all about emotions and feelings; you can't pay bills with love.

As I entered my office, I sighed upon concluding my interesting journey: I'd loved, lost loves and learned valuable lesson because of love—I guess it's just another part of living. Some say falling in love is over-rated. On the contrary, I don't think love is overrated, good or bad. It just 'is.'

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