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Love Isn’t Something You Fall Into

“Lovers are those for whom no minute is like any other, people between whom nothing habitual takes place, just what is new, unprecedented, unexpected. In such connections there exists an almost unbearable happiness. When we understand our lives correctly, we can slowly grow into such happiness by preparing ourselves for it. When we love, we must not forget that we are beginners, bunglers of life, apprentices in love. We must learn love and that takes calm, patience, and composure.” 

Gone and Done it!
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The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote these words nearly 100 years ago and they are as true today as they were  then. They represent what is the most eloquent expressions of the essence of what is unquestionably one of the most difficult to describe experiences known to humanity. He reminds us that “we must learn love.” This may sound strange coming from a poet known for his mystical writings. And yet for those of us who have traversed the territory to which Rilke refers, his words serve as striking reminders of the inner qualities that are required of those of us who have committed ourselves to this path of the heart.

It is a great mystery that a process as natural and universal as loving should be as difficult as it so frequently can be. In fact, it seems that more often than not, the art of learning to love well is one of the most demanding challenges that we take on in our lives. Many people, having made a number of painful or unsuccessful attempts to develop sustained, loving relationships, conclude that they’re just not up for what it takes or that perhaps they’re not the type to settle down with one person. They choose instead to forego their dream rather than risk the prospect of continued pain, frustration, and disappointment.

Why is it that loving relationships can be so difficult for us to create and sustain? Is it true that there really are very few good candidates out there who are willing and able to relate honestly and authentically? And is it possible for us to unlearn defensive patterns that may have served us in childhood but now cause us to feel frustration and isolation?


These and many other questions inevitably arise once we make the decision to embark upon the path of love. And the further along we find ourselves, the more formidable are the concerns that we encounter. Many people believe that the opposite should be true; that is, that the deeper the connection that we develop with someone, the easier it should be, and if it’s not getting easier it’s because something is wrong; wrong with them, wrong with me, or wrong with us.

Not necessarily. Deep relatedness can bring out the worst as well as the best in us: our deepest fears and our greatest hopes, our selflessness as well as our possessiveness, our kindness and our insensitivity, our generosity and our self-centeredness. In working consciously with these emotions and impulses, we find ourselves feeling more trusting and open with each other and gradually begin to let down the defenses that shield and protect us from emotional distress.

Great love, great sex and great intimacy are the hallmarks of great relationships. Like the pursuit of happiness, great relationships don’t happen by seeking them directly; rather, they are a by-product of living life in a way that creates the conditions that will support the fulfillment of our intention. Getting clear about the kind of relationship that we want and the kind of person that we want to share that relationship with are undoubtedly important steps in the realization of our dreams. But the most important aspect of creating an optimal relationship has less to do with finding the person of our dreams than being the person of our dreams. It’s about who we become in the process.

When we identify the qualities that we seek to strengthen within ourselves, the likelihood of attracting the right person increases exponentially. Being a great lover has less to do with technique than with our quality of being. As we cultivate qualities like presence, generosity, compassion, commitment and trustworthiness, and integrate practices that embody those qualities into our lives, the quality of our relationships will naturally and effortlessly become enhanced.

There is truly no limit to what is possible when two people are partnered in an agreement to support each other in the quest to discover all that is possible on this journey. Yes, it does take effort, time, and energy, but as anyone who has stayed on the path for a while will tell you, the result is worth every ounce of energy that it takes to do the work, and much more. More, even, than you can imagine. So, what are you waiting for?

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Love Isn’t Something You Fall Into


Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW are considered experts in the field of relationships. They have been married since 1972. They have both been trained as seminar leaders, therapists and relationship counselors and have been working with individuals, couples, and groups since 1975. They have been featured presenters at numerous conferences, universities, and institutions of learning throughout the country and overseas as well. They have appeared on over two hundred radio and TV programs. Linda and Charlie are co-authors of the widely acclaimed books: 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last (over 100,000 copies sold) Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love, and Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams. The Blooms are excited to announce the release of their fourth book, That Which Doesn't Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. They live in Santa Cruz, California, near their two children and three grandchildren. To view our upcoming events and to sign up for our free newsletter, visit our website at:

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APA Reference
Bloom, L. (2019). Love Isn’t Something You Fall Into. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 9, 2020, from


Last updated: 9 Nov 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.