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It Was Love When...: Tales from the Beginning of Love Paperback – December 1, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Robert K. Elder is the creator of ItWasOverWhen.com and ItWasLoveWhen.com. A journalist and author whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Salon.com, Elder was a staff writer at the Chicago Tribune from 2000-2009.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
It's that spark.
It Was Love When is an impossible kind of documentary work, in that I've set out to bottle lightning, to capture stories of the exact moment we realize we're in love.
I say realize because very often love sneaks up on us. We often don't realize we're "in love" until the right mix of chemistry, comfort, and passion finds us. Eventually, we call it love. Some of us can't help it. Others fight it. Very few of these stories are the fabled "love at first sight." Most often, I found while collecting stories for this book, love is a groundswell―an overwhelming of the heart, mind, body, and spirit.
Before I get too schmaltzy here, I want to point out that this project for me is essentially a work of journalism―a bit of story gathering and anthropology. Although love drives us, shapes our lives, and provides the foundation for 99 percent of all pop songs, we still understand relatively little about its nature.
What I love (to overuse the word) about working on this project is talking to couples. They share the same love even though they found themselves in love at different times, in different ways.
And, I have to say, I'm comforted by those stories in which relationships end, but the writers still recognize their experiences as love, as something that comforted and shaped them. Love that doesn't last is still love. Too often, I think, people discount romances that end as something less than love―which is a disservice to themselves and the people in their lives. The experience of falling in love helps make us who we are.
It Was Love When was inspired by my lovely wife, in part because of her reaction to the sister book in this series, It Was Over When: Tales of Romantic Dead Ends.
She hates it.
She thinks those stories are shallow, petty, and arbitrary. I disagree―nothing could be more human (and humorous and tragic) than the stutter-steps before we find love. There's nothing arbitrary about chemistry and finding the right match.
So, this book is for her―a closet romantic who claims not to be one.
If you read closely, you can even find our story in here.
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