How to Fall in Love in a Busy World: What I Learned From Ernest Hemingway

Finding love is not as simple as turning over rocks, especially if you’re really busy at work.

As someone with a full-time job or a business, we may don't have enough time to go out on dates with a complete stranger. Usually, busy people just end up finding their true love in the workplace at a time when you least expect it.

It’s not wrong to fall in love with a colleague – the heart wants what it wants. But, this comes with a lot of challenges – from getting the attention of the person you like to asking him or her to go out with you. How do we go over these obstacles? Ernest Hemingway has answers and I found it in one of his works entitled a Farewell to Arms.

A Farewell to Arms: The Story

The story follows two employees, Catherine and Henry, who are very dedicated to their jobs. They work for the war effort and both of them are slowly starting to dislike it. They start confiding in each other and establish a friendship. They enjoy each other’s company and consider it a good distraction from the stressful drama and tragic events that abound in their workplace.

Eventually, they start seeing war for what it really is – a terrible waste of human life. Their bond goes deeper than friendship and they decide to take control of their lives.

So, how exactly does this telling tale of love, violence, and enduring dedication teach us to fit love into your busy work schedule?

What I Learned From Ernest Hemingway.

Conjure strength, passion, and purpose in everything that you do.

In the book, the workplace where the characters move always deals with tragic news. People are dying, loved ones are missing, and everyone is losing hope. Despite this, some characters still choose to do their best in their jobs, just like Dr. Valentini – the best surgeon on the battlefield. No matter how bad the case that passes through his skilled hands, he practices his job with skill and competence that anyone will admire.

In real life, this teaches us that no matter how bad things get, always stay true to your duty and show passion in your work. This won’t only help the company get higher profits, but will show others that you have a radiating sense of purpose and passion. Believe it or not, purpose and passion are one of the most contagious energies ever. Perhaps those might be the x-factors that your soulmate is secretly looking for.

Recent heartbreak? Divert your attentions.

In the book, we see how the characters deal with different types of emotional stress. There is the never-ending flow of bad news in the workplace. On top of that, they battle with different heartbreaks from their personal lives. When Catherine first establish a connection with Henry, she tells him that she recently lost the love of her life. To cope with this heartbreak, she diverts her attention and entertains another man who is starting to show affection for her.

In real life, Catherine’s actions teach is that it is necessary to diverting one’s attentions from emotional stresses. Staying in your sad and lonesome state is just going to aggravate your current situation. Talk to others! Go out after your shift! Perk up and start to live with the fact that you can now entertain other romantic conquests – even at work.

Don’t hesitate to break free.

In the book, Catherine and Henry eventually decide to escape all the bad things that has to do with the war. The lovers decide to move far away from their dreary war-torn home and move to the Alps. They wanted to start their own lives that is devoid of tragic news, gun shots, bombs, and suffering. It was not an easy decision to make, but they went against all odds and did what they want anyway.

In real life, it is also difficult to say goodbye to your comfort zone. The war may be over, but the stressful atmosphere of a big city and a workplace can prevent us from doing what we want to do with our lives. If you and your loved one think you are ready to face the world without the security of a corporate job, don’t be afraid to break free. Nothing beats living the life that you want with the person close to your heart.

Be fearless in the pursuit of happiness.

In the book, Hemingway shows us how the two main characters pursue happiness. We see them start with playful flirting and follow them until they recognize that they are deeply in love with each other. They have a love that is both genuine and inspiring. When they realized that the only thing that would make them happy was to move away, they did what they wanted fearlessly.

In real life, this shows us that happiness should really take center stage in your life. No matter how much you love your job, you have to manage your work-life balance and prioritize doing what makes you happy. If that happiness involves going on a trip to Norway with the girl of your dreams – do it. Don’t let any comment from your boss get in your way.

Accept the reality of loss.

In the book, we see the war take lots of lives and cause a lot of grief for the different characters. Death is something that all the characters have to deal with. But, outside the battlefield, death continues to cause heartbreaks - Catherine dies while giving birth and leaves Henry to go on with his life alone. This event punctuates the novel with a tone of loss and acceptance.

In real life, this teaches us that accepting loss is an important part of your life. When you do so, you’re sure to enjoy peace of mind. Even without death involved, we lose people every day. We break up with people we love and we are forced to go on without the company of that other person. This can be heartbreaking, but it is something we should learn to get over. The reality of losing your loved one is as real as the air that you breathe so you should always be prepared for this.

Ernest Hemingway is a no-nonsense author in both his writing and the lessons he tries to convey. The nuggets of wisdom in A Farewell to Arms are things that you need to pick up to help you get to realize that there is an amazing world outside of your work and you could always fall in love no matter how busy you are.

At the end of the day, it’s all about acceptance and prioritizing your love for yourself so you can be ready to love another.