Have you ever tried to fall out of love?
Sometimes, it feels like it’s working. It feels possible. Like when you’re sitting in a greasy spoon diner with your friends at 2am ordering fries. And you’re laughing until your stomach hurts. Earlier that night, you were at a house, meeting new people and drinking cheap red wine. You were immersed in conversation. You were curious about these strangers, and they were curious about you. You learned about tennis rules and this new restaurant downtown. You felt fine. There was no appendage missing. On your way out, you caught a reflection of yourself in the hallway mirror and thought, “Oh, this is me falling out of love.”
And then there’s the first date. You’re nervous. You can’t get your hair to cooperate. It’s too soon, you think. But you go. He’s there at the table already, and he’s handsome. You take a deep breath and sit down, and the conversation just flows effortlessly. You order a second cocktail. What, you like everything bagels too? What, you went to that show too? What, you also played the violin growing up? Clearly it’s not that hard to meet someone new. You make plans for the second date before the check comes. You walk home and you think “Oh, this is me falling out of love.”
But then, in a seemingly innocuous moment, a song comes on the radio. You freeze. You turn it up, and pull the car over. It wasn’t “your song.” It wasn’t even a song about love. But it was a song you listened to together, in those early days, when everything was perfect. The free fall stops. You’re suspended into air, your limbs flailing. You make your way into an upright position and you realize it’s not going to be that simple to fall out of love. It’s an ebb and flow. It’s going to come in starts and stops. But at least you know it’s possible.