You Cannot Fall in Love Instantly January 26, 1930
“You can fall downstairs; you can fall down a well; you can have an instantaneous stroke of paralysis – but you cannot fall instantaneously in love. The school of fiction, the moving pictures, which represent love as coming to people immediately and with uncontrollable force, has done no end of harm. This idea of love is absolutely false. This world would be a terrible place to live in if love came that way. No one would be safe. You might fall in love with your mother-in-law or your best friend’s husband. Love would be like a bolt of lightening. No one could tell where it would strike next. And one experience would not insure immunity. Life would be turned topsy-turvey.
“Shall we go on and demolish the myth of ‘falling in love’? Of course, you may feel immediately that another has a beautiful face, or wonderful eyes, or a musical voice. You may have a desire to know that person more intimately, to hear that voice oftener. But this is not love. It is the merest outpost of love. That desire must be yielded to, that person must be studied in various moods, before the great passion of love can be said to be actually present.
“That gives us a key to the whole question of picking a ‘peach’ in the garden of love. For if we can recognize the beginnings of love, we can resolutely refuse the association which alone can lead to love. If this attraction asserts itself toward what common sense would deem a ‘lemon,’ it can be kept from growing into love.
“Insofar as love is a passion, yes, it is probably temporary by nature. Once its object has been attained, it begins to pall. You can see that more clearly, perhaps, in other passions, it is difficult to live long at any great emotional height. You can’t keep yourself keyed up to a high pitch even of anger. Love is not an exception in this regard. And so you must realize the need of marrying on a firmer basis than a mere passion.”