1. Be honest to yourself
Quite a few times, I denied being in love. That it was ‘just a fling’ or a ‘friend with benefits’. Or just a friend, period. Why? Because falling in love makes you vulnerable and the easiest way to avoid getting hurt is denying you are in love in the first place.
It should also work the other way around: be honest to yourself if you are not in love but someone else is in love with you. Works better for everyone.
Also, learn to distinguish being in love from craving attention or being flattered with the attention someone gives you. It is different.
2. Think carefully if you should express your feelings
Admitting to yourself you are in love does not necessarily mean that you should express your feelings to others. I am all about sharing your feelings and everything but here is where the true fuck-things-up potential is. So at least think twice about the possible consequences before declaring your love to your boss, co-worker, best friend or best friends’ ex.
3. Don´t try to be someone you are not
When we get to know someone, we construct an image of that person. Since we have only little pieces of information to use, we fill in the blanks with information based on prejudices, assumptions and when we are in love, often wishful thinking.
When we are in love we want to be seen in the best light and try to fit the ideal image The Other has, preferably wrapped in pink ribbon and blinking neon hearts. We go out of our way to fit this pink-glowing image. But when we do, there will be a day the neon hearts wear out and the ribbon is torn to pieces and the love falls apart because the other finally gets the real picture. Just be yourself from the beginning and don’t try to gift-wrap yourself.
4. Take the risk and open up
Point three involves the risk of getting turned down because of who you are and that sucks. It may hurt, too. But when you pretend to be someone you’re not it will happen eventually. Therefore, take the risk to get hurt and open up. Share your feelings. Your thoughts. Your fantasies.
And yes, I know it is the scariest thing in the world. But what’s the alternative, really?
5. Being in love does not necessarily mean you have to start a relationship
To be honest, I have been in ‘accidental’ relationships. You know, when you are in love with someone and someone is in love with you and all of a sudden there is something official going on without you realize it happening.
If you were looking for a relationship in the first place this is awesome. If you were not, it is not. Not wanting a relationship should, however, not prevent you to fall in love because falling in love in itself is fuckin’ A and you should do it more often. Just be honest about your expectations.
6. You can fall out of love too. Same rules apply.