It’s a rush more exhilarating than skiing. It’s a slippery slope down which you’re liable to break hearts including your own. Falling in love is fun; falling in love is dangerous. When we fall in love we tend to move toward each other at an accelerating rate, gaining momentum in a surge to merge.
We attribute the gaining speed to the unique glory of our particular partner and partnership, but more than we tend to notice the acceleration simply comes with the terrain of love’s slippery slope. Love is a positive feedback loop. It snowballs, a function of five factors I’ll call the Five R’s:
Many couples don’t survive the transition from Rise to Rest. Some don’t because love’s slippery slope rushes them toward each other too quickly to notice their incompatibilities. Others don’t because they think that the de-escalation signals withdrawal, evidence that their love has died. Still others choose not to survive the transition because if the fun part is the Rush and Rise, what’s the point of sticking around for the Rest?
No matter what your goals, there’s benefit to thinking about the five R’s effects on your love’s prospects: If you seek a partner with whom to enjoy the rest of a long happy life, expect the eventual transition from Rise to Rest and be prepared to weather it. If you’re trying to slow things down so as to only partner with someone sustainably compatible, not just someone rush-and-rise-worthy, figure out how to crawl in love rather than fall in love. Slow down the delivery of generous gestures.
Resist the temptation to escalate generous gestures ASAP, with the all the expectations that follow. If you’re looking to just harvest rushes, manage the Five R’s carefully so as not to reap havoc with your dates. Find like-minded rush-harvesters as partners, and enjoy the square dance of romance honorably, honoring of the dates who come and go by being careful what you promise in those rushes of generosity.
And if, falling too fast, you keep getting heartbroken, understand that the cause of your problems isn’t necessarily in you or your pick of partners, but most fundamentally in the slippery slope of love itself with all its inherent rushes and risks.