Do People Still Fall In Love?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 01, 2007 3:05 AM GMT
    Crazy, right? Of course they do, right?

    It struck me that ten years ago, I and men I knew were falling in love with each other. That whole "I met a guy! He's really great! And he's crazy about me, too!" thing.

    And these days, not so much the case.

    I've done some thinking about why this might be (and, because I'm a science geek, some research).

    Consider the following...

    •Many anti-depressant drugs inhibit the neuro-chemical reactions involved with romantic attachment.

    •Use of crystal meth--among the other bad things that it does--will mess up your serotonin levels for several years, even after cessation of use. And it's serotonin that inspires that giddy, happy, feet-not-touching-the-ground feeling.

    •Early on, most guys I know have been burned by falling in love over the internet and then being hugely disappointed when you meet him face-to-face. Has that maybe cause gay men to shy away from the messiness involved with falling in love?

    •Finally, maybe I'm just being crabby, but I think there's this whole weird Dr. Phil inspired thing out there that values "relationships" but not romance.

    So. Does any of that jibe with your experience? Or do I have bad breath or stinky feet or something but all of my friends are too kind to tell me? And if it is true, is this necessarily a bad thing?

    Whaddya think, men?

    All the best,

    Drew
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Jun 01, 2007 10:27 AM GMT
    Hi BBS

    I know what you mean. But personally I think it has more to do with age than anything else.

    When you get to our age (35 onwards), you've maybe lost that need to constantly want to fall in love with everyone you meet.

    I work in an office with a few other gay men, who are in their early 20s and they are always falling in and out of love. Life is a drama etc.

    As you get older, maybe your hormones change, or maybe it's just the experience of age (you've been there, done that) but it all becomes a hassle and you don't feel that same rush anymore of meeting a new guy...or having to put yourself in a position of meeting new guys.

    If you look on the other forums on this site, you'll see it's always seems to be the younger guys who bemoan their loveless status. Older guys are more contented and immune to the falling in and out of love routine.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Loz

  • Nudista

    Posts: 158

    Jun 01, 2007 9:42 PM GMT
    Good question Drew.

    In my case i've been with my partner for over 9 years now and im a very happy guy. Stability has always been my thing and testing the waters was never an interest of mine.

    My partner and I hit it off after being training buddies for 3 months while we both thought the other was a straight dude....he had his live in gfriend of 3 years...and i had my little side kick chick too. I was young then...19, he was younger back then-32. The age difference seems to mean less every day.

    Hell...its been very tough at times but you work through things. And at this point its hard to imagine not being together.

    The only thing i can say towards your question is that it all lies within you and what you perceive to be important in your life.
    And in today's hectic world....no matter what were talking about, if you don't want it really really bad...and if it doesn't mean a whole lot to you...you'll probably try obtaining whatever it is you seek and give it a moderate shot...but finally after a few failed attempts you might simply accept your situation(learned helplessness) and justify it someway or the other. You just gotta really want things bad these days....whether its loosing weight, getting that high paying job, or breaking an addiction. When you fail you got millions who fell in the same pool as you and this makes it easy to accept it and carry on. This is not to say that any particular shortcoming is bad-thats up to the individual and how they feel about themselves when they fail to meet a goal they've put out for themselves.

    I have a friend in S. America who is still dying to "fall in love" and waits to meet that special guy someday. But one thing i don't understand about him is the way he acts sometimes. He's always told me that I'd be the perfect guy for him...my qualities is what he's always looked for. But truth is (i don't tell him this)if i was single i'd only see him as a "hook-up", something im not interested in. He's a great guy and great friend but I wouldn't consider him for a serious relationship. When we hang out anywhere....all he's doing is checkin guys out...but REALLY checkin guys out. Straight men, maybe gay men...just any guy he thinks looks good he will give them not just a smile and a nod but also a good twist of the neck as they walk by and then a "damn he looks good" as they pass that they clearly hear.

    So my perception of my buddy is of a cool guy and a good person (because he is) thats got an eye out for "the next hot dude that walks by"...and if i was looking for a serious relationship, that sure as hell wouldn't fly with me. I just can't take someone seriously like that and can't imagine someone else whos sincerely looking for a relationship to take him seriously either.

    My point is...that you really have to ask yourself what you really want. Because regardless of what you admit to yourself....in the end your true self is being put out there to the real world every time you walk outside your home or jump on to cyberspace...and those signals will be picked up by a like-minded person.

    Guys...if you really are looking for a man that loves you and respects you...its out there. And my belief is that you don't have to "get out there and find it"...matter of fact-stop looking for it....just be sure what you want and what your looking for...put yourself out there and "it will find you".

    Thanks guys...this is simply one guy's opinion.
    Respect and peace to all.
    AMB
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    Jun 01, 2007 10:03 PM GMT
    So Laurence, your saying a 35 year old is no longer capable of falling in love? I find that comment absolute rubbish! I meet my current boyfriend when he was 36 very set in his way never had a long term relationship, but he fell in love. Been together for 9 years now. If anything a 35 year old man is more comfortable within himself and is more willing to put himself out there with an understanding of how life works?!
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    Jun 02, 2007 1:53 PM GMT
    udat, i think laurence is talking more about that naive kinda love that you rush to profess to guys you want to make a connection with, especially if you're just sexually attracted to them rather than emotionally as well. it's like a desperate grab for affection.
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    Jun 02, 2007 4:45 PM GMT
    I fall in love with everyone I meet: friends and lovers. At certain points, the feelings run deep, and certain times, for whatever reason, they dissipate, but my general MO is to always be loving and "love one another."
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    Jun 02, 2007 6:38 PM GMT
    You bet your ass they do. I fell in love with my partner of 8 (so far) years at a very specific moment on the day we met. We were both 46 years old at the time.

    Likewise, he fell in love with me at a different specific moment that same day.

    Neither of us were looking for it or expecting it. In fact, it was the last thing he wanted.

    That moment I fell in love will probably stay with me the rest of my life, and the memory of it makes my heart beat faster and my eyes cloud over wihtout fail. I'm hardly the hearts & flowers type - some say I'm reserved, even cold around the edges. But I know how rare and wonderful it is when something like that happens, and I treasure that moment and the life we've built together.

    I do love him so.
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    Jun 04, 2007 5:25 AM GMT
    WOW! Thanks for letting us in on that experience. I'm glad it still exists...somewhere. Your story gives me hope of finding something similar.

    Any other love stories out there?
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Jun 04, 2007 9:52 AM GMT
    No I wasn't putting an age restriction of falling in love. I think you can fall in love at any age.

    I was talking more about that thing when you're younger and fall in and out of love all the time.

    Falling in love is a great feeling and it's nice when it happens. I guess I was just saying (not very eloquently) that it happens less often as you age - though it does still happen and is often better.

    Loz
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    Jun 04, 2007 12:57 PM GMT
    Laurence, et al...

    For a long time I've believed that because gay kids can't "date" and "go steady" and all of the things that straight kids get to do in their formative years, we emerge into adulthood sexually capable, but romantically stunted. We don't get to experiment with relationships the way straight kids do.

    So while straight kids are getting crushes and having mini-relationships as kids - and fighting through them at an appropriate age - we are left to get started at 20 or 25 or even 45 totally unprepared for the feelings we experience. We also go though the breakups using adult weapons, so to speak. Instead of wanting to take back a bracelet or refusing to speak to someone or that kind of appropriately childish behavior, we call out the lawyers or engage in other destructive activity - the weapons of adults.

    Only when we are allowed to develop romantically as we should do I believe most of us will emerge into adulthood ready to engage in deeper relationships in our 20's or 30's.

    NOTE: This is specifically NOT taking potshots at those who somehow CAN get it going in their 20's & 30's - in fact, it's a compliment to them that their heads are screwed on that tight. But for most of us, learning how to be involved romantically with another person is a bumpy ride with a lot of damage left by the roadside.

    Joey
  • jbchitown

    Posts: 11

    Jun 04, 2007 4:36 PM GMT
    The answer is YES you can fall in love but the real trick is staying there. My partner and I have been together going on 19 years now! We have had our ups and downs but weathered the storm. He is 7 years older then me but it seems as the years go by that I am catching up. LOL
    I think a big reason we have stayed together is that we communicate on a regular basis and try not to let the small stuff bother us. We own a house and have 4 dogs (our kids). We both have had our share of affairs but never let it destroy our core relationship. I certainly don't have all the answers but I feel if it's what you want and you're willing to work at it then a LTR is possible.
    JB
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    Jun 04, 2007 5:17 PM GMT
    Ah, BigJoey brought up something I hadn't considered. How straight teenagers are more socially accepted to date (though I hope that's changing) and we have fewer oppuritunities to experiment with love in a safe romantic way.
    That's not to say it doesn't happen of course. But the gay couples at my high school were often the topic of harsh jokes.
    Why is gay love such a joke to people, maybe even ourselves? The relationship from one man to another man is sometimes stereotyped as the "duke" and the "dutchess" when there is actually much grey room in between. Gay relationships are still cloudy in the media and person to person and I sometimes wonder what I'm to expect. I've stopped trying to lead myself either femme or hypermasc but is our culture defined enough to have such open fields... That is, should we provide a definition of gay love (that sounds silly, probably shouldn't). I guess love's just a big mystery and perhaps why it stings so many gay people is because we are that -people. People get hurt in love, especially since maybe men are more prone to confuse sexual emotion with I really like you emotion.
  • jbchitown

    Posts: 11

    Jun 04, 2007 7:10 PM GMT
    Oh one more thing, SEX ,yes it is important but it should not be the only defining thing in your relationship, kindness, laghter (lots & lots of this helps), respect, and trust. When you can look at each other without saying a word and know what the other is thinking your on your way to a LTR. It sounds scary but it's pretty wonderful.
    JB
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    Jun 04, 2007 7:14 PM GMT
    I am heartened by the amount and content of thoughtful postings here...who says we're all shallow?!!
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    Jun 07, 2007 12:06 AM GMT
    Also being obsessed with science I know just how powerful chemicals and hormones are. I mean, where in the world would human beings be without the endocrine system?

    the truth is people confuse chemicals with love. Chemicals and hormones give you this extreme euphoria when you just meet someone. Sometimes its so strong that you literally crave that person. You really like each other. But thats what it is.

    Liking someone, infatuation. Its not love. Its nothing more than an incentive to make you want to be around someone long enough to fall in love or desire a long term relationship with them.

    Love is the force that keeps your relationship going after these chemicals wear down. If you have not created enough history, or learned enough about that person to need them after those chemicals and hormones wear down then its doomed. Because everything you find annoying about someone will be multiplied by ten when your body adjusts to the new chemical and hormonal levels and see that person for who they are.

    So the issue, people need to learn how to rely on more than just that initial spark.

    Also its just so hard to please people these days. No one can be happy if they feel like they're settling in the slightest bit. So now you have a bunch of people more than capable of finding love, but are lost and confused as to why they can't find someone who pleases them.

    And any woman would tell you that men are greedy. Put a bunch of them together and it gets even worst. Even worst than that is the newer generations where sex is just glorified. You just aren't a man if you don't sleep with 12 different people a weak.
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    Jun 07, 2007 5:27 AM GMT
    I admit I only read half the replies to this thread, not because I didn't want to read all of them or didn't think they were worth reading, but simply because I'm tired and want to say what's on my mind before it's lost.

    I am and always will be one of the most hopeless of hopeless romantics. I believe when it's right it's going to hit me like a ton of bricks and my life will never be the same again. I'm only 23 and have only been dating for about 3 years, but I've never been one to jump from relationship to relationship and fall in and out of love easily.

    I've dated about 5 guys, but only the last two were at all serious, and only in the last one did I honestly know what true love felt like. My problem was simply that I wasn't loved back to the extent that I was in love. As a person I am fully capable of, and truly hoping to, being faithful to one person for the rest of my life and never for a second regretting it.

    I just haven't found that person yet. I honestly hate dating. I hate putting myself out there when I realize there's a large chance I'm only going to get hurt. I wish there were an easier and more accurate way of finding a person who will treat me the way I deserve to be treated and love me the way I will love them...with every single part of my body and soul...

    Until then I'm only hoping to make a few lasting friendships and hope that something more will grow from one of them. I have to believe that true love is out there, because if it's not it will be the biggest of disappointments for me.
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    Jun 11, 2007 4:22 PM GMT
    Ofcourse Love still exist, it may just be one of those right time, right place situations. Age is never a factor about love. Love is so much deeper than what you look like, or how old you are, you would be surprised at how many older people dont want to be with younger people, as far as love goes. There just good enough to sleep with, nothing more. (not always the case).
    I personally want to be in a LTR, its just i havent found any body that really wants it, and for those i did find, they really weren't my type as they were too young. Im 25 and my ideal BF would be somebody who is early to late 30s, Simply for Expirience in life. I DID have a BF when i was 18, and that relationship lasted 5 years till i had to move because of my job, sadly it was the worst decision i ever made.
    My point is, Yes Love still exist, but everbody's basis for comparison is different when it comes to love. Some times love has to do with being so incredibly sexy, that you lust after that one person, when infact you dont love them, you love there body. (or specific feature be it, There Wallet, Their body, Their voice, ect..
    While others love deeper then those features, they tend to look for, what you do for them, how you treat them. They want somebody who is romantic and does random acts of kidness, Buys you roses, or takes you out to eat or go dancing, or go to the park, snuggle up close and watch a movie, sleep in late and cuddle in the morning, Things like that. Thats ofcourse is what i look for. Some look for fetishis(sp?).

    Finding Love is really now adays harder it would seem, But still it Does Exist, I exist and its the only thing i want. Perhaps its cause im still young, But im pretty sure i will always have this about me. Im not big on the random sex with stranger life. Doesnt mean i am innocent though *wink*.

    Bottom line is (and no pun intended) Love will find you when you least expect it. But the question is, will you be ready for it, or will you push it aside without knowing what you could have. Never judge a book by its cover, Most people tend to do that a little to much now, and its ashame what they are missing out on. I say that cause a Guy i was talking to not to long ago got the total wrong impression of me, and after wards he was felt like an ass for assuming that i was something different. And that assumption was based on a 2 minute phone call compared to weeks worth of chat via email.
    Be true to yourself, dont judge others, be prepared for something new and exciting, Enjoy life to the fullest and try not to be the ass whole person. Avoid those who are. Make a statement about your self and people will see that in you and those who want what you want will be attracted to you.

    ~Sincerely Dusty Ray
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    Jun 11, 2007 9:44 PM GMT
    wow!!!! i think ,first ,lets define LOVE...what kind of love are talking about, when i had my practice, i heard so many definitions and to be honest , none sounded like love
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    Jun 14, 2007 5:35 AM GMT
    I'm glad to know that there are more romantics and those interested in ltrs besides me.

    I think love is being able to be yourself and let your partner be himself and loving each other in that odd way that is filled with tension and release. It is unconditional, but rarely looks the same way twice and yet is always the same. Contradictory? Yes and no.
  • ndbilly

    Posts: 71

    Jun 14, 2007 9:36 AM GMT
    Of course people still fall in LOVE!

    Not how you love your friends or how you love your favourite restaurant. I am talking about the real thing, LOVE that makes you smile, makes you cry, makes you calm and makes you crazy.

    Just out of a LTR because he loves me but is not in love with me. I know I LOVE him. I know it because it hurts, it is not rational, it is not describable...

    I am now working on un falling in love... or dealing with it being over. However, as much as it hurts, I look forward to finding that person with whom I can share this and who will also share their love for me.
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    Jun 14, 2007 4:41 PM GMT
    I sure hope people still fall in love. I remain hopefull.

    I was asked by someone if I had ever been in love and how did you know it. My answer was very simple yet very complaicated. Yes I have been in love and I don't know how I knew it. All I can say is that it felt right and every moment I spent with him seemed like time had stopped. I cheerished every moment of it. When there were complications it hurt like nothing I've ever felt before. That pain stuck with me for a long time. Even though it hurt so badly it was something that I don't regret. I learned from it and maybe it wasn't the right time. Maybe things weren't meant to be. but I did have a great time and lots of wonderful memories to hold on to. Now let's see where else life takes me.

    I have no idea where I was going with this but... whatever. I still believe that there is someone out there for everyone. It's just a matter of time until things happen.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Jun 16, 2007 11:56 PM GMT
    yep...there are alot of crazies out there but we still are able to fall in love
    ...I've done it twice already
    and while it can be damned infuriating its a great thing when you're in it
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    Jun 17, 2007 3:19 PM GMT
    I'm sure they do :-D I know a couple of gay couples who are madly in love and they have been together several years.
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Jun 17, 2007 8:05 PM GMT
    I'm sure it still happens. But in my experience here, most guys don't want to take a chance on love... they just want the quick sex. OR, they feel like they need to be "sure" before even taking the chance (as if that's even possible).

    One guy I dated, who was as crazy about me as I was about him, just couldn't go to that place and wouldn't even admit that he really wanted to be with me. He tried to say that he just wasn't sure what that was supposed to feel like. I had to cut him loose because if you can't tell me that you like me and want to be with me (which wasn't in any way a declaration of undying love), "you gots' to go!"

    I think it just comes down to fear. It's also about idealism and taking risks, which is a very scary thing when it comes to our emotions. But without taking the risks you may never get the payoff. And then again, after dealing with so many non-committal guys here I can understand why many of us stop trying.
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    Jul 19, 2007 7:02 PM GMT
    Since I'm just coming out, I can't comment on gay ltrs, but I can comment about being in love, generally.

    I met my wife 26 years ago, we became good friends, and fell in love and got married (I wish that I had understood, then, that I was gay). We have had our ups and downs, but we have had an amazing marriage. I still love her so deeply, but my ability to physically love her is pretty much gone, simply because I'm gay. I want to divorce her, not because I don't love her, but rather, because I do love her, and I want her to be happy, and I know that she can't be happy with me. Sometimes you just have to love someone enough to let them go.

    When you are truly in love, making sacrifices for the other person is no effort. You appreciate everything they do for you, and you want to do things for them. You actually appreciate the annoying little things they do, and you appreciate the differences of opinion that they have. There are a thousand different things that I could say about what makes a loving relationship, but I just don't have the time, or space to do so.

    I fully expect that when the time is right, I will find a man with whom I will fall in love, and it will be a forever kind of love. When things get a bit stale, then maybe we need to invite a third person to our bed to kind of shake things up a bit. Maybe we need to have a fling with someone else.

    When Obscenewish told me that he has relationships on the side (as does his partner), and when I read about jbchitown's affairs that he has had outside of the relationship he has with his boyfriend/husband/whatever you want to call the significant other these days, I realized that you can have a deep and abiding love and commitment to another and have relationships on the side, as well.

    Hell, my wife had an affair with my best friend, and all I could think of was that I had no problem with that... at all. Whatever made her happy.

    Yes REAL love exists, and it is possible for a real, committed long term relationship. It's what I want from all of this.