Are You a Fool for Love? How NOT To Be a Fool in Love

It is a fact that falling in love makes otherwise smart and self-respecting people feel and act ridiculous. Whether it is finding pathetic excuses to call again when he does not call back right away, or scheming to run into her outside her office “by accident,” I don’t know anyone who has not at least once gone a little bit bonkers for new love.

It is not as if you don’t at least suspect when it is happening that you are being an idiot, but that doesn’t help you because you’re tackling your idiocy from the wrong end.
You try by the sheer force of will power to purge yourself of your idiotic impulses. This never ever works, which is why despite swearing to yourself and your friends that you are going to play it cool this time, you’ll still end up sneaking off for the twentieth time that day to check your messages in the bathroom again. Friend, you need to develop a better approach.

The fact of the matter is, you can’t make yourself stop wanting to do dumb things when you’ve fallen hard for someone any more than you can make yourself stop wanting cheesecake, or a cigarette, or a martini, or anything else that tempts you. Take a moment to let that sink in, because it’s really important. I’ll wait…

Now, the good news is that you can stop actually doing the things that make you look and feel like an idiot, despite the fact that you really want to do them if you use the right strategy. You can stop the compulsive voicemail and email checking, the constant texting, and the Facebook stalking. You can shut out all those premature thoughts of what your wedding will be like, and what you’ll name your children. When you’re wondering on your second date if he or she has fallen in love with you yet, you can stop yourself from actually asking them.

The solution begins with embracing the idea that dating is like dieting. Nobody loses weight by deciding they don’t want calorie-rich food anymore. You can’t talk yourself out of wanting french-fries, and if you are solely counting on the sheer force of will power to see you through when you feel tempted, you’re going to wind up eating a lot of french-fries.

The next step is to do some “if-then” planning. Over a hundred scientific studies on everything from diet and exercise, to curbing spending, to quitting smoking, have shown that deciding in advance how you will handle your impulses will double or triple your chances for success (e.g., If I am hungry and want a snack, then I will choose a healthier option like fruit or veggies”).

The key to a successful plan involves deciding what you will do instead of being the fool. So when you are taken by the desire to try to track him down on Facebook, or to leave the “not sure if you got my last message” message on her voicemail, what more productive and non-creepy behavior will you replace it with?  My mother once giving me some excellent advice about a girlfriend I was obsessing over.  “When you feel like calling her” she said, “then call me.” You don’t have to call your mother when love messes with your head, but having some sort of plan in place is essential.

“If-then” plans are simple, easy to create, and extraordinarily effective when it comes to resisting temptation, be it edible or otherwise. Just taking a moment to decide in advance how you will handle your less attractive impulses could mean the difference between finding Mr. or Ms. Right, and seriously freaking them out…

1 thought on “Are You a Fool for Love? How NOT To Be a Fool in Love

  1. I want to know how you could love someone new so much that you would treat your lover and partner of 15 years and mother of your child suddenly like trash. Suddenly treat them as a nuisance, an inconvenience and annoyance. Be extremely cruel and mean to them every time they see you. That he would suddenly treat them callous and cold so much so he doesn’t even care for their safety anymore, and in fact is The one who has and is putting them in danger and at great risk. If this person had done something to their partner to deserve this it would make sense, but when he was the one who cheated with this young girl since she was 15 and is now 23, and immediate was replaced by her, his new girlfriend who is 20 years younger than him, how could you love somebody so much that you were willing to hurt and destroy someone who loved you for so long and gave you a child? That you suddenly just want to cut them out of your life and completely destroy their life just to make sure they would never have to see you again. Why would you do things to hurt your partner of so long just because your new girlfriend has asked you to? How could somebody be so brainwashed that they would hurt those that loved them so fiercely for the sake of this relatively new person in their life, Who has never sacrificed for them, endured pain for them, compromise their own success for him, giving them a child and cleaned up after them for years? In fact this person has done nothing at all to prove their love to him He is even hurting our child by keeping us apart. I just don’t understand and I wish somebody could tell me why or how this is possible. He never gave me closure or answers. He just discarded me. On my birthday I told him That he had thrown his family away and he responded no I just threw you away. How can somebody just suddenly be so cool I don’t understand

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