Falling in Love is A Choice

Dear Broken Heart,

It’s so easy to feel like I am at the mercy of you, left with nothing but the shattered pieces that lie scattered about my feet, some shards large and easily identifiable but others small and hidden in the rubble that has since accumulated, some fallen deep into cracks that may never be able to be dug out. My broken heart has caused immobility in me at times. Similar to the way Gnarls Barkley stands helplessly by as he is forced to stab himself in the chest, pull his heart out and place it sloppily on the extra plate he’s just asked for, shoving it across the table and then explaining the heartless nature he has been forced to become I have blamed a broken heart for resulting actions.

In the past I have placed myself in a state of absolute helplessness with broken hearted as an excuse for the heartbreaking actions I take in the immediate wake. I ruin so many things around me and shrug my shoulders because it’s that piece that slipped into a crack and couldn’t be retrieved, the piece that got lost in the wake of tears that flooded and washed away some parts of my heart or the pieces I purposefully left lying in ruin because I couldn’t bear to pick them back up again.

I love you but I’m not in love with you.

I peeked up through the pain of the heartbreak that statement in and of itself will leave you with and realized it’s been so obviously before me all this time. Love is a choice. It’s not something that just happens to me or doesn’t happen to me. It’s not something that just drops out of the sky and into my heart filling it when it’s there and leaving it vacant when it leaves again. Love is a choice and it’s a choice that I’m free to make. The usage of the familiar phrase “falling in love” leaves behind the implication that it is beyond your control. You’re just walking along one day and then you trip on a distended piece of emotion, a thought that didn’t get put back in the right place and suddenly you’ve landed in love. It also provides us with the excuse that we can just as easily “fall out of love”. It allows us to skirt responsibility as I have so many times as I shrug and look around in total and complete helplessness, barely believing that this could have just “happened” to me.

If we’re so clear that you can love someone but not be in love with them we should be just as clear that we make that choice. Knowing that has allowed me to go back to what I’ve previously referred to as the scene of the accident, the moment when the heartbreak began and take responsibility over my occurrence in the damage that was done before, during and after. All at once I was able to begin to piece back together the destruction through each apology, each acknowledgment of the other person and each honest conversation I had with myself about all the times when I wasn’t loving, when I lied about my feelings, held back pieces of myself or released anger when it wasn’t warranted. I am not at the mercy of my heart, I am able to give my heart when I want to, hold it back when I want to and give away the pieces I want to.

Please let me know what you think about love being a choice. We’ve been so programmed to stand at the mercy of love and heartbreak, what would it be like to take responsibility over your love and make a choice to love and make a choice to be in love with someone? Is love a choice? Do you have any “scenes of the accident” that you could go back to and retrieve some pieces you thought would be forever lost?

Love Always,


“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.” –Tom Stoppard

5 Responses to “Falling in Love is A Choice”
  1. Mike Bynum says:

    I could only wish love was a choice. Love has so many avenues that one must walk through that at times you would think that there are choices. If it were as easy as choice, we could turn it off with out second or third order of effects as we say in my line of work. I too have been at the point of being destructive to those around me simply because I thought I was choosing to turn love off. I love you but I’m not in love with you….amazing how much damage a statement like that can make. I’ve been back to the scene of that accident only to be dissapointed and more confused and in ways more destructive. Does someone who claims to love you really want you to feel pain? If they are in pain I can imagine that the answer is yes. To say I love you but I’m not in love with you is really to say that I can’t turn my love off, it is not a choice and I am going to find a way out from it. So I continue to stand tall, work hard, help others in the best ways I know how…but there are the moments every day where the heart break, the emptiness and the pain create a great weight on my shoulders. Isolated is the feeling at times, but comfort in knowing that I can read blogs to see I am not the only one “going through it”.

    • Sunny Dee says:

      Thank you for your honesty Mike and your willingness to really look into your own life and relate to this blog post. I love the idea of not being able to turn your love off and I certainly don’t mean to suggest that love being a choice means you get to choose when to turn your love off and on. I get that it is by no means a light switch and it is by no means easy. What I want to communicate is that we are not at the mercy of love happening to us or not happening to us. We are cause in the matter, we have a choice and we get to create the parameters of what that love looks like in our lives. Once love has taken hold of your heart the choice to fall has already been made and at that point choosing may make a little different. It may look a lot more like choosing love for what it is and what it is not.

  2. Drew-Shane says:

    I think the choice comes from you when you decide if you’re ready to be in love. I don’t think the act of falling in love is something we all choose. I feel it can just happen pending the right circumstances with the right person and the right time. It can happen to anyone, that’s the funny part. Now once you’re in love, I think the choice thing comes back full circle. You can either choose to stay in love or not. And we know how to get out of a relationship, we all do it.

    Again like you said, when you want to. Great post!

    • Sunny Dee says:

      Thanks Drew-Shane. I never thought about the choice going back even before there is someone to be in love with, I like that perspective. It’s true, we must ready our own playing field before we let someone else onto it.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Love is a Choice brought an amazing comment from one of my readers that has me thinking and something he said really struck a chord with me because it’s true that there are so many things you ponder when you’re going through a break up and even after the break up is finalized and you’re just thinking back on the relationship and all the things that went wrong. This Hawkeye said that in his own pondering he has often wondered: […]

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