can a man fall in love without realising?

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SciSarahTops

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Your hero may tell himself that all the fire and passion he feels is a matter of lust. Just can’t keep his hands off of her. She’s too enticing. But it is, he will tell you, not an obligation of the heart. He could walk away from her in an instant if he had to. Really .. he could. Because he’s rational about these things. Keeps his feelings compartmentalized.

People live like this. We live deceiving ourselves all the time. Hell, half of us here probably believe we’re gonna be wealthy and famous writers one day. :tongue

The truth only comes when we’re hit over the head with it and forced to confront reality. So I can buy your premise quite easily and, done well, think it would be a fun read.

GOLD
 

Layla Nahar

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Love is the writer's friend because it doesn't exist.

There; I said it. There is no such thing as "love". There are many and complex emotions that, as writers, we can hide under the banner, but love is not a definable thing like "hot" or "cold".

I agree with this, actually. Think about all the people who worry 'does s/he really love me?' and the person in question says they do, but the receiver doesn't see what they're getting as 'love'. I also remember hearing a radio thing by an anthropologist who lived in a society where they didn't have a word for 'love'. It's a while since I heard that broadcast, but the culture was really lacking the ideas that we put under the 'love' umbrella. They performed actions for people they considered important, but the difficult-to-define thing we take for granted, they didn't bother with it.

To Marian P's point - ^this is a hard sell in a thread dedicated to romance novels.
 

Marian Perera

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To Marian P's point - ^this is a hard sell in a thread dedicated to romance novels.

Yup. It doesn't matter to me if people debate whether love exists, or flat-out say there's no such thing as love, but how does this apply to romance again?

Short of maybe a story where a character adamantly says "love doesn't exist" but then develops an attachment to his lover and does all kinds of considerate caring things for the lover and saves the lover's life, all the while insisting that love doesn't exist, which eventually becomes the sort of quirk that has everyone affectionately rolling their eyes because they know better.
 

Maxx

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I've just been reading a lot of psychy-analytic stuff and boy are they sure love exists, which is kind of odd, but there you have it. So, sure a person could find love "impossible" basically for lots of neurotic reasons BUT love and desire seem to be different most of the time so some confusion might be quite natural. One of the weirdest things is when you realize in retrospect that you just had one hell of a love affair...so gosh...with love any amount of weirdness can happen and psychy-analysts (if no one else) will back me on that. So its desire and fetishism that are normal and love that is extraordinary and somewhat rare and sometimes only known after it is over.
 

morngnstar

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This plot point has been particularly troubling to me lately as my life imitates my 'art' - I'm in a relationship with a man that says "I don't know what love is anymore." I get that it's can be hard to identify or quantify the feelings you have for a partner long after the romance has gone, or for an ex you still care about, but I feel if he was in love with me, he'd surely know it and would have no reason to deny it. So now I find myself doubting the premise of my story - although the situations are slightly different.

If I may play Dear Abby, I think love means a lot of things, which I think is what Bacchus was trying to say, in an unnecessarily edgy way. So while his love for you in one sense may have faded, his love in another sense may have grown, which is why he's confused. Is love the first thing, or the second? If he wasn't in love with you at all, he would know what love is, it just wouldn't be you.

In any case, your art doesn't have to imitate your life, and your story can be true even if it's a different story than the one you're living.
 

Norman Mjadwesch

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One of my friends had four kids with her best friend. But life happens and her husband had another friend that he shared a lot of other non-domestic interests with. My friend saw that her husband was in love with this other woman and she pointed it out to him when the pain and loneliness became too much for her to bear. It completely blind-sided him, he had no idea! Oh, and no happily ever after came of such an honest conversation, at least not for her. He left his wife and kids and moved in with his newly-revealed true love. Now, I’m not privy to what happened behind closed doors prior to all of that, but the way that whole thing panned out seems to indicate that the hubby seriously had no idea that he was in love with another woman. And no, he is not the cheating dirt-bag type who used to trample all over his relationship. These are just normal human beings who grew distant with one another over a long period of time because of the pressure of jobs and kids and mortgages.
 

Ivanova

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Old love, having started fast and hot, and then over the years weathering storms and other various tests, can get comfortable. It's possible to become comfortable in it, and, carried along by faith, complacent. I've experienced periods of time where I question if the love is still there, feeling doubt and uncertainty. Then something comes along that brings it out again, making it explode in my heart, impossible to overlook or ignore.
I agree that these experiences can be wildly different for many people.
 

frimble3

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Old love, having started fast and hot, and then over the years weathering storms and other various tests, can get comfortable. It's possible to become comfortable in it, and, carried along by faith, complacent. I've experienced periods of time where I question if the love is still there, feeling doubt and uncertainty. Then something comes along that brings it out again, making it explode in my heart, impossible to overlook or ignore.
I agree that these experiences can be wildly different for many people.

And some people only recognize the 'fast and hot' part of love, and the feelings others consider 'becoming comfortable', they interpret as 'falling out of love'. Their definition of 'love' is so narrow that it can't be maintained, and so, a love that is either growing gradually, or leveling off, is, to them, not really being in love.
 

Lone Wolf

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Yes, there are lots of different forms and feelings that come under the banner of "love" - with different interpretations.
For clarification the novel is a Romance so my question only pertains to the 'romantic fall-in-love' feelings of a new relationship.

Thinking deeper about my story-line it's not really the issue I feared. A few months into their hot & heavy relationship he breaks if off and has her relocated (because otherwise they can't resist each other). Whether or not he loves her isn't really the issue. He feels his desire is out of control (being very controlled is very important to him) and he is neglecting his work and put his apprentice in danger. Perhaps if he realised the depth of his love he wouldn't have sent her away, but he also thought it would be best for her in the long run anyway. Perhaps his feelings weren't THAT deep at this point anyway. It's only a year later - after spending time apart then together as friends - that he admits that he truly loves her - no doubt his feelings deepened over this time.
I guess the thing that caught me up was that he later says he'd been in love with her the whole time - claiming in retrospect what he didn't admit to at the time. But then can you really say at what point you fell in love or when your infatuation changed to real love? Not me anyway. So thinking this - and with your helpful input - I think it is believable that he would say this. Now he has the hindsight of seeing his feelings didn't fade with time, nor without the endorphins of sex.

So thanks everyone! So interesting & helpful to hear different views
 

MontyBurr

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Some old fart once wrote:

"Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs."

My first love was teenage hormones awakening. (Hell they were awake, showered, eaten a nutritious breakfast and were waiting for the bus.) That one didn't count.

Another was intellectual. She laughed at an obscure reference I'd made in a presentation. She was the only one out of 15. We lasted a while.

My last and final love was/is gravitational. I can't explain it. She lives in my shoulders.
 

indianroads

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Yes, there are lots of different forms and feelings that come under the banner of "love" - with different interpretations.
For clarification the novel is a Romance so my question only pertains to the 'romantic fall-in-love' feelings of a new relationship.

Thinking deeper about my story-line it's not really the issue I feared. A few months into their hot & heavy relationship he breaks if off and has her relocated (because otherwise they can't resist each other). Whether or not he loves her isn't really the issue. He feels his desire is out of control (being very controlled is very important to him) and he is neglecting his work and put his apprentice in danger. Perhaps if he realised the depth of his love he wouldn't have sent her away, but he also thought it would be best for her in the long run anyway. Perhaps his feelings weren't THAT deep at this point anyway. It's only a year later - after spending time apart then together as friends - that he admits that he truly loves her - no doubt his feelings deepened over this time.
I guess the thing that caught me up was that he later says he'd been in love with her the whole time - claiming in retrospect what he didn't admit to at the time. But then can you really say at what point you fell in love or when your infatuation changed to real love? Not me anyway. So thinking this - and with your helpful input - I think it is believable that he would say this. Now he has the hindsight of seeing his feelings didn't fade with time, nor without the endorphins of sex.

So thanks everyone! So interesting & helpful to hear different views

For me (as a guy) the story line above does not ring true. However, everyone is different - so there you go.
 

Roxxsmom

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Whether or not it exists, I doubt there are any romance or women's fiction novels where the take-home message is "love doesn't exist".

That's something I find very appealing about these genres. They are not cynical about love.

This. And sometimes, in an era of fashionable cynicism, where happy endings are harder to find than they once were in many genres, I enjoy sinking into stories where couples will somehow find ways to be together and happy.
 

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