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#1
Old 04-25-2003, 03:19 PM
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How do you PREVENT yourself from falling in love?

So recently, my best friend broke up with his boyfriend. He was very sad, since he had grown rather attached, but he was also angry at himself for allowing himself to fall in love with the guy. The guy was not in love with him, and so he now thinks that, in the future, he would like to put off falling in love with someone as long as possible.

Is this a fool's errand? Is it possible to consciously prevent yourself from falling in love with someone whilst still having a physical and/or romantic relationship with said person? For whatever reason: the person is supposed to be a casual partner, or because you know for almost certain that it won't last in the long run, or because you know yourself and you fall in love too easily.

This is also somewhat relevant to myself, being that I am currently involved in a supposedly casual but rather intense thing. I'd like to keep a level head on my shoulders and not get delusions of grandeur based on rockin' sex and general hilarity. You know how that happens. As a friend of mine said, starting a relationship with sex is like shooting a bunch of heroin and then trying to think straight. Not bloody likely.

Anyway, any philosophical musings, practical advice, or brilliant insight is much welcomed.
#2
Old 04-25-2003, 03:23 PM
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You can't control the love part. Just the behavior part. Shit. If people could do that, half the world's problems would be solved.
#3
Old 04-25-2003, 03:26 PM
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Kalhoun is right. You can't not fall in love with someone. It bites big time but its true.
#4
Old 04-25-2003, 03:40 PM
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Isn't there some self-talk you can do? Some way to maintain an affectionate detachment? What I'm trying to do is minimize my involvement in his day-to-day activities. Whatever he wants to tell me is fine, but I'm not probing, and I'm deliberately staying away from discussions about his exes, or mine, or his finances, or his future plans. I'm also trying not to think about him much when making mine.

I also find that I'm trying to minimize the amount that I let out my dark side around him. I'm trying to be sweet, kind, flexible, and open-minded, even about things that annoy or trouble me. This, to me, is a way of not taking things too seriously; to quote Amy Ray, "I have no need for anger with intimate strangers."

Ah well. The best I can hope for is that when it falls apart, I'll have the insight to walk away before the hurting begins, unlike my poor best friend.
#5
Old 04-25-2003, 04:07 PM
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Avoid spending time with them. Distance and unfamiliarity are the only things that have kept mild attractions/crushes from developing into anything more.

Or make a deliberate attempt to find out enough stuff about the person that the romance is killed. "Satanist? I did not know that! Thanks!"

That second option is a little risky, btw.
#6
Old 04-25-2003, 04:20 PM
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I'd have to not leave my house
to not fall in love with a girl
every day
#7
Old 04-25-2003, 04:21 PM
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Picture all of them in their underwear.



Wait...
#8
Old 04-25-2003, 04:26 PM
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Well, I think you can up to some point avoid falling in love. Read Pride and Prejudice on how Darcy's interest started.

The clue is that you have to stop thinking at the other person at a very early stage. Love prospers and blossoms by minute and continuous attention to the other. The only cure for love is indifference. If you really want to avoid falling in love (but then, why should you?) you have to recognize the early signs and divert your attention. Endless numbers of movies have shown that any kind of attention, even negative, can feed love.

And admittedly, Kalhoun is right up to a point. Sometimes love can just overwhelm you and all those silly defences are swept away.

And I should know. Since this fool's in love again...
#9
Old 04-25-2003, 04:35 PM
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I don't think "love" is the the thing to avoid, it's emotional dependency that creates problems. Many people (myself included) at times seems to limit their circle of friends when they get serious with their partner. Intimacy is great, but when the social network dwindles I believe it creates anxiety in the relationship. That notion of "one true love" or the one you are "meant to be with" may be romantic, but remember that "Romeo and Juliet" is a tragedy and not a relationship guide.
#10
Old 04-25-2003, 05:33 PM
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Don't date. That helps.

Also, develop poor personal hygiene, dress only in wrinkled clothing, and make frequent odd allusions to dangerous religious cults. You're sure to NOT be in the situation to fall in love anytime soon.

Now, it's kind of silly to say there's no way to avoiding falling in love. This is kind of like saying that there's no way to quit eating cheesecake. No, you don't have to develop lactose intolerance or diabetes, you can just STOP. It's not like your mind isn't under your own control (well, except for those odd sleepwalking incidents).

Now, the real question being asked is probably "How do I not fall in love without changing anything about the way I think or act", in which case the only solution is to remove the stimulus, ie. don't date. If you want to change the results, you have to change your actions.
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#11
Old 04-25-2003, 06:06 PM
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Imagine them s***ing onto a dinner plate, putting the plate in the micorwave for 15 seconds on HIGH and eating it with a knife and fork.
#12
Old 04-25-2003, 06:07 PM
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Any time you feel those emotional harbingers of doom, find the nearest brick or cement wall. Bang head on wall until the feelings go away. Repeat as neccesary.
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"A crimson pool, so warm and deep, lulls me to an endless sleep.
Your hand in mine, I will be brave, take me from this earth.
An endless night, this- the end of life.
From the dark, I feel your lips
and I taste your bloody kisses." :: Type O Negative.


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#13
Old 04-25-2003, 06:15 PM
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I find that simply showing my face works well enough to keep people from falling in love with me.
#14
Old 04-25-2003, 06:19 PM
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Rubystreak, out of curiosity, how do you know the feeling is not mutual? Maybe you're both playing the "I need you less then you need me"-game?

I hate it when a guy will play that game with me. And I tried quitting the game myself.

Now I tell myself: strong people can admit love. "I love you, even if you do not love me as much back" does not mean "You have more worth than me". It just means "I can love better, I can notice more lovable things".
#15
Old 04-25-2003, 06:35 PM
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Well, you've got wide variety of opinions to choose from, already, but I'm going to add mine, anyway. I don't believe you can prevent yourself from falling in love, without actively guarding against it every minute you're with the other person or thinking about them. And, you probably can't prevent it, entirely. It's probably more a case of not letting it control you.

Even then, it's difficult. How do you let yourself go, and enjoy yourself with this person, if you have to be constantly on guard. I don't think it's feasible. What you can do, though, is just have fun, but learn to recognize when it's happened. Then, at the earliest opportunity, examine your feelings, try to figure out why they occurred (so you can learn what to watch out for, in the future), and try to mold them into something more acceptable, like "sisterly love". This may take a fair amount of introspection and brutal honesty, on your part. Not to mention some pretty brutal stomping of your own heartstrings, if you've let it go too long.

But, it can be done. I just did it. I can't say that I recommend it, though. I found it more painful than most "regular" breakups, because the potential was still there, and there was no "cooling off" period, beforehand. I suspect you'd be in the same position. I'd actually recommend either accepting that it's happened/may happen, and see where it goes, or break off the relationship before it does happen. I say this only because you sound fairly sure it's going to, or has, already.
#16
Old 04-25-2003, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Payton's Servant
Imagine them s***ing onto a dinner plate, putting the plate in the micorwave for 15 seconds on HIGH and eating it with a knife and fork.
Unless, of course, you're into that sort of thing.

Some people are turned on by ...




... knives and forks.

Huh? What did you think I was going to say?
#17
Old 04-25-2003, 07:18 PM
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Ever get into a relationship that you know from the start is most likely doomed? For whatever reason, you know this person is wrong for you and is incapable of a long-term, emotionally fulfilling relationship. OTOH, he's hot, he's smart, he's funny, and he's interested. For the short-term he's great, but it's out there from the beginning: this is an affair. This is not going to end in Happily Ever After. Everyone is honest, everyone is open, everyone knows it's going to end.

That's why a person might wish to avoid being "in love." Maybe it's obstructively cynical of me, but I'm convinced that being "in love" is 90% hormonal anyway. The question is, how to avoid that delusional attachment, that awesome longing, that immense desire for more that comes from being "in love" in order to just enjoy a hot, fun, smart guy who'd make a terrible boyfriend.

All of you have very interesting advice. Avoiding him would defeat the purpose, which is to have fun. I'm going to practice a lot of self-talk and try to keep my perspective on the whole thing. I imagine it will end soon enough anyway.
#18
Old 04-25-2003, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rubystreak
Ever get into a relationship that you know from the start is most likely doomed? For whatever reason, you know this person is wrong for you and is incapable of a long-term, emotionally fulfilling relationship. OTOH, he's hot, he's smart, he's funny, and he's interested. For the short-term he's great, but it's out there from the beginning: this is an affair. This is not going to end in Happily Ever After. Everyone is honest, everyone is open, everyone knows it's going to end.

Every damned day, it seems like.
#19
Old 04-25-2003, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rubystreak
That's why a person might wish to avoid being "in love." Maybe it's obstructively cynical of me, but I'm convinced that being "in love" is 90% hormonal anyway.
I agree.

I do a few things about this. I recall the mistakes I've made. I remember the type of person that is good for me (and how this person is NOT THAT). Then I let myself indulge in the bubble of fantasy for a while -- this can take the form of a great night out with the person, a phone call, a wine-besotted evening beside the fire. You see, I don't want to suppress my hormones too much -- I just want to keep my thoughts in perspective.

I remind myself that in a day, or a week, or a month, my feelings will change. Someday I'll realize that I've been seething about something they said. Or their cute little mannerism will become irritating instead of cute. Or I've slammed down the phone after a conversation with them. Or I'll just realize that I have nothing to say to them anymore.

So I've learned to balance my body's desire to fall in love with my knowledge of myself, but mistakes are inevitable. Someday I'll be back here asking for advice about another fine mess that I've gotten myself into.
#20
Old 04-25-2003, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rubystreak
Ever get into a relationship that you know from the start is most likely doomed?
Yep.

Quote:
For whatever reason, you know this person is wrong for you and is incapable of a long-term, emotionally fulfilling relationship.
Yep.

Quote:
OTOH, he's hot, he's smart, he's funny, and he's interested. For the short-term he's great, but it's out there from the beginning: this is an affair.
Yep.

And it seemed that no matter how many times I said to myself. . . What am I doing? I couldn't HELP it. And I said it outloud a couple of times: What are we doing? And I couldn't HELP it. So I think that some people are just unable to turn it on and off. And it didn't end the way I wanted it to, but I wouldn't take it back either.
#21
Old 04-26-2003, 12:36 AM
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You could find one thing you do not like about him and obsesse (sp?) about one thing, while convincing yourself that you are to good for him. Whenever there is a girl that I like, but knows she doesn't like me, I find one tiny flaw, and think about nothing about that flaw. It's worked so far.
#22
Old 04-26-2003, 01:43 AM
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Ah, Rand McNally, that is an excellent tactic, BUT... he's really great in bed and I want to continue to enjoy that. If I get the ick about his flaws, I won't be able to do so anymore.

No, what I think I'm going to do is just keep reminding myself to enjoy it while I can. I'm striving for that Buddhist non-attachment thing. I'll let you know if it works... hell, if it works, I'll write a book and wind up on Oprah...
#23
Old 04-26-2003, 11:38 AM
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For me it's more like say, in hearing & in voice & in love. This is because my partners (most of them anyway) serve as my ears (interpreter) & my voice (esp in loud surroundings).

It's sucks not having those three things, so you see, you can always have it better than someone else.
#24
Old 04-26-2003, 02:13 PM
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It depends on what being, or falling, 'in love' means. It's a term that seems to mean something different, or works differently, for everyone. I've fallen in love, by my definition, exactly four times in my life, and I - the conscious 'I', as opposed to the almost black-box-like part of my soul that seems to make this call for me - didn't have any more choice in or control over the matter than I do over the tides.

IOW, I'm not much help.
#25
Old 05-14-2003, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rubystreak
What I'm trying to do is minimize my involvement in his day-to-day activities. Whatever he wants to tell me is fine, but I'm not probing, and I'm deliberately staying away from discussions about his exes, or mine, or his finances, or his future plans. I'm also trying not to think about him much when making mine.

I also find that I'm trying to minimize the amount that I let out my dark side around him. I'm trying to be sweet, kind, flexible, and open-minded, even about things that annoy or trouble me.

Ruby,

I think there's a verrry fine line between behaving 'appropriately' and editing your true self into oblivion. If he's interested, he'll appreciate your character as being 'you' - and if we're using the word 'love' here - well, love isn't that much hard work you know. Love feels honest and open and easy and warm. Love has fun with each other and bounces off one another. Love isn't afraid to stick up for itself if something's out of order! It's the stuff that's NOT love, the stuff that makes people miserable and suicidal - that makes you edit your words at every turn because you think he'll walk off if you ask him about his ex.

I don't want to be harsh, but it sounds like you're already counting the days till (he) says he doesn't want to see you any more. And I'm sure that doesn't feel good, and it certainly ain't love.

Listen to your inbuilt radar hon, it's telling you all you need to know.
#26
Old 05-14-2003, 06:49 PM
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Funny you should say that, Rapunzel--it ended yesterday. Still hurt, even though there was no love.
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