...Do you remain in love during every waking moment? Do you continue to love that person or thing until you just can't love them any more? Or will there be ebbs and flows? Will there be days when you don't feel the same way, making you wonder what you ever felt in the first place?
It wasn't a person that made me bring up this question, it was a city. The first time I went to Sydney, I fell in love with the place. I can't explain what it was exactly, but I just felt at home. I could quite easily see myself moving there, if only I had the means. I've been back many times since, mostly because circumstances had brought me there. And every time I've been, I've enjoyed it just as much. I was much more eager to go out and try all the cafes and restaurants, I was perfectly content just going for a walk and taking everything in - something I find boring back home.
But recently, I found myself travelling there completely on my own. It was the first time I'd been that alone outside of Adelaide. The plan was just to fly in, stay overnight, attend an audition and fly back out that afternoon. I'd booked the cheapest accommodation I could find - a 16-bed hostel room above a pharmacy in Chinatown. None of the guests in the room knew each other, which meant that the hot, stuffy, rickety room had a permanent, uncomfortable silence. Practically the only people who talked were an overweight, balding Indian man with poor dental hygene who was very difficult to understand... and a stand-offish British girl who yelled at him for waking her up.
Going out of the building, I suddenly noticed how hard it was to walk down the dirty street without bumping into anyone. People seemed in so much more of a rush and would get annoyed at you for slowing them down. In some places there was a smell of sewage in the air and when I saw signs taped up on lamp posts spruiking places to rent, they were going for four times more than what I'd remembered seeing in the past.
I think it was after a shockingly poor night's sleep, stepping outside and finding an unhealthy-looking layer of smog in the air, that I finally realised that - at least for the moment - I wasn't in love with the city any more. So that brings me back to my question. When you're in love, are you in love permanently? Once you're out of love, is that final? Or can you be out of love for a moment, with the knowledge that it's only temporary?
Of course, this applies to people too. Until now I've believed that once I find the person with whom I'm meant to be for the rest of your life, it would be like the end of a journey. I'd wake up every day and think "Wow, how lucky am I? I'm with this beautiful, strong, caring girl that I love and who somehow loves me back." I didn't imagine there'd be days where I wake up and think "This is the last person I want to see right now."
People often talk about loving without being "in-love". Does it work the other way around? Can you be in-love without loving?