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A sudden problem for a man who just realized he has to assert himself against time

Dear Reader,

Help me on this one:

Does the heart ever grow old?

Can one still feel all those powerful and pleasurable emotions experienced in a first love even if it is the second, third, fourth, and so onth time? Or more problematically: Can I really say that what I feel in a new love is new? Or are they just the same feelings that only differ in intensities (some greater, some less), partly because they are invoked by different lovers, but ultimately the same because love, if true, cannot contradict itself and would thus always be the same.

Or to put it figuratively: Is love like a book or a movie that you do not mind reading or seeing again even if it will surely be less exciting because you know you will be able to understand it more?

Bottom line: Does love bless young romantics or older, wiser lovers?

Any thoughts, dear friends?


  1. Anonymous1/31/2010

    When I fell in love the second time, I struggled to recapture the same passion, and the same intense psychological fever I felt when i first fell in love. But no, I have already learned and become disillusioned. No matter how hard I tried, my fantasies weren't anymore as wild, nor my hopes as high. I have become realistic, and this saddened me, because, isn't love supposed to be out of this world and insane? My present love, adult love, could at times be quite cerebral. Young lovers are to be envied.

    I think I see what you mean a little bit. I look forward to knowing about your thoughts on the subject. :)

  2. Friend,

    Yes, I see that you gleaned the concern hidden behind the words above, a concern that struck me from nowhere as I was listening to a friend gush about a new relationship. I envied her youth and ebullience, her abandon and daring. But what I envied the most, and perhaps this reflects more of myself and less of her, was that she was able to go through all those intense emotions once again with abandon, emotions I had known so well.

    I am afraid, perhaps very much like you, that love can be cerebral (I like that word you used) as one grows older precisely because that supposedly means, in principle that is, becoming wiser. I can tell you here about what philosophers have said about how desire needs wisdom, and how knowledge perfects love--that love is not a feeling, but a responsibility, etc., etc. But that again would be too cerebral, that again would be a rationalization which will always thin itself out and offer no consolation to a heart, which in certain quiet nights, wishes again to beat faster than it should.

    It's not even just "missing" those emotions, or wanting to immediately fulfill those desires, or simply just longing for a new love. That is to miss the point. The point is, as you raised correctly: how to abandon thinking and properly just love. (Funny because I had just remarked in passing in a class last week that a love rationalized is love no more.)

    How do you think, my friend, can one love not only "as if" for the first time, but really for the first time. Do you think that is possible? Or is it the case that love, like riding a bike, will always be the same love even if there are other beloveds, and the only difference would be that some are loved more and some less, like some rides could be tiring while others thrilling?

  3. Anonymous2/06/2010

    I have been thinking about this long and hard, and I'm afraid I have reached a dead end. I'm afraid I do not know, and I do not know how I may know. Perhaps someday soon, the answer will be presented to us, like a gift. For now, I would like to keep hoping that that kind of love really is possible.

    Take care my dear friend. I wish you that kind of love. :)

  4. It is indeed better to receive it without understanding it than to explain it but not have it.

    But something I thought recently: Love makes everything new.

    Likewise, my dear friend.

  5. Anonymous2/07/2010

    Or at least a love that, while lacking in freshness, is full of ardor.

    Love makes everything new. I have always liked the idea of that. :)

  6. Perhaps the feeling of love/passion the 2nd (3rd, 4th) time around is something renewed more than it being totally new. I would not say the feelings are the same as before, because you personally, have changed over time. The process of renewal brings something new to the table - could be a new perspective, a new attitude, etc. So when you love, not only is Love itself brought back to life; there's already an added value.

    This is just my insight :)

  7. Interesting, dear N!

    Though that's the trick with all re-'s: can something renewed be really new, like something renovated be brand-new? But I understand what you are saying and I guess that's it: A love renewed could be the closest thing we can experience to a first true love.

    I think an aspect of the problem surfaced: we remember old loves and experiences. What a joy, on the one hand, if we could easily forget past loves so as to receive all those emotions for the first time (again). On the other hand, to forget means you do not learn: and most probably you will commit the same mistakes which made it necessary to end previous relationships.

    What would you say, friend, could be "the added value" to subsequent loves? And do these bring us closer back to passion or keep us away from it?

  8. Sorry it took me this long to reply.

    Personally, I find that when I am reminded of past experiences, there's only 1 thing that strikes me - and that is, how good it is to love and be loved. It does not matter whether the previous relationships went well or ended badly. All I know is that, I have loved, I have given myself totally, and the more that I lose myself to the Other, the closer I am to being complete.

    And to be reminded of the goodness of love constantly is enough to keep in the realm of Loving.

    I wonder if that made sense :)

  9. Dear N, it makes perfect sense to me.

    And what a beautiful thing to say. Come to think of it, all that is ultimately worth remembering is love's goodness. I have experienced that already. After the pain, the wounds, and even the betrayal, it happens that what really mattered was that once you loved that person--and that person also loved you. And what more can a human heart ever ask for or bear?

    And because love is like the good and the true and the beautiful, one can never exhaust it or traverse all its paths. No one love at any one time can ever claim that it cannot be a greater love. Hence love can be--must be--repeated, but it need not be repetitious.

    Thank you, N. I think I have my answer. May you also find yours.

  10. Love? It is always new. :)


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