I recently had a conversation with some friends about love...finding the one you will spend the rest of your life with. One of the participants - a man who will remain nameless to protect his identity - said he did not believe in "falling in love" which made the bristles of this romantic soul rise.
Though he did believe in a spark, he wasn't a believer in "falling in love." What really does that mean? And where did it come from? My research came up somewhat inconclusive, though its first usage was recorded as a colloquial phrase on 1423. I love the idea of "falling" for someone. That helpless feeling of having no control and just going with the soaring emotions welling up inside you. Being a lover or origins, though, it concerned me that there wasn't some beautiful story about two star-crossed lovers from the Middle Ages where the woman was about to fall off a cliff after losing her supposed only love when her true soul mate caught her and not only saved her life, but she "fell" in his love. Now that's the origin I was looking for.
After further searching, I found a disturbing possible origin of the phrase. One person associated it with the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve "fell" due to their love of self-wisdom and not in love with their Creator who provided them a perfect place to dwell. Gee thanks, Adam and Eve.
Falling in love may not be an accurate description of the rising feeling of love, so I may be more careful in its usage. But I refuse to abandon using "I'm head over heels in love."