Member Rara Avis
Are we limiting ourselves to just the human experience or are we speaking of universal love?
Actually, Trevor, my limitations were more strict than even that, pertaining strictly to relationships or, if you prefer another term, to romantic love. Were that restriction not applied, my answer would likely be different and probably require another rephrasing of the question. What we would then be talking about is conditional versus unconditional love. The only instance of unconditional love I have ever seen was the love of a mother for their child, and that might well be simply because the "right conditions" never happened. God's love is necessarily unconditional - else it would not exist at all. But I do not believe unconditional love exists in the romantic sense.
To say "fall in love again" would mean that a feeling of falling out of love would have to occur first, perhaps "stay in love" might be more appropriate.
I disagree. The phrase "stay in love" again connotes a lack of change. I don't think you have to fall out of love with the "old" person in order to fall in love with the "new" person, nor do I even think that is usual. Case in point: I am still very much in love with my last wife, even though I haven't seen her in twenty years. I never fell out of love. Of course, the woman I love no longer exists (and, in truth, didn't exist the last time I saw here, either - which is why we're no longer married). If I met and fell in love with Annette today, I would most certainly be falling in love again. And it would in no way negate the memories or feelings I harbor for a very different Annette.
Even though Annette and I haven't seen each other in two decades, the same exact logic applies even if the time span was much shorter. Say a single day. She still would have changed, as would I, and we would still have to fall in love all over again. And that would still, in no way, change the love we felt for each other yesterday. What I will grant you, Trevor, is that love is cumulative. The commonalties two people shared yesterday, and through a series of yesterdays, make falling in love again much more likely. But when the change is too great, and the differences begin to outweigh the commonalties, the relationship is in serious danger. Which is precisely the problem.
We wake up one morning and realize the person next to us isn't the same one we married, lo, those many years ago. Did they change overnight? Of course not! But we've failed to recognize the changes - until those changes outweigh the commonalties. We want back the person we fell in love with, but that person no longer exists - and if they did, they probably wouldn't love the person we've become.
My point, Trevor, was simple. If we recognize that people change and make an effort to fall in love again on a daily basis, the commonalties will almost invariably outweigh the differences. If we fail to see the changes (or, more rarely, cannot appreciate the changes) and allow them to accumulate, falling in love again becomes far more difficult. The result, sadly, is often another failed relationship.