Being in love sucks, and I remember quoting to a friend recently that it makes you weak and exposed, debate how you wish!
Yes, arguably there are also some benefits to being in that euphoric, can’t live without state, but I now start to question is it love or is it dependency?
Have I been in love yes …. You could argue that at the tender age of 15 it was a different love to the type I would experience now many years later. At 15 I remember that very giddy, head over heels, romantic but awkward feeling. Holding hands, meeting up for lunch at school, doing homework together, and exchanging gifts ….I remember valentines used to be this huge occasion, flowers, chocolates, perfume, a card the whole package. But now …… I just think that it is some commercial entrapment, so I try to avoid it.
So love in your teens is fresh and new and untainted, almost innocent ….but as you extend into your 20’s it starts to change, as relationships become all important and the need to possibly be loved within the confines of something more secure. When you get to your 30’s for women (yes I know more generalisations) we start to think about the future more and if you have been with a partner for a while, love starts to morph into a need for commitment, possibly children and the cottage with the white picket fence.
In your 40’s + love takes on a number of different guises and depending where you are at in your life, your circumstances, single, married, dating, other (big category, many variables) your opinion changes.
If you are married 40+ and you have been with you partner a long time, then yes of course there is something that binds you together hopefully beyond the extent of a wedding ring, mortgage and children – although I am being pragmatic here! Love in this scenario could be mistaken for respect and friendship, a soul mate or partner for life. You are secure; relatively happy so why upset the apple cart.
If you are single and 40+, depending on past experiences, you might be very jaded about men and have given up on any type of romance, or ….. being the eternal optimist that your next one cannot possibly be worse than your last – you keep looking.
So….what is love? Having this discussion with a girlfriend the other day we pretty much came to the conclusion that it doesn’t seem to be definable anymore, which I have to admit is pretty sad. Yes, I love people and yes there are different types of love depending on who it is directed at, but being in love – hmmmmm! Does love mean you cannot, eat, drink, sleep that you think about that person 24/7 and feel that your life is not complete without them – well, have been there and it’s not a very positive feeling and yes it does make you vulnerable and weak. Is love about mutual respect and friendship…in that case I love quite a few people. Is love some romantic myth where fairy tales exist …unfortunately I still elude to that.
Different thoughts, ideals so what do you do? If you are single, you start dating somebody – you like them, they like you, you don’t feel any animosity towards them, no irritable habits, they seem 90% normal. When do the boundaries cross over from dating and friendship to something more?
My friend is dating this guy, they spend weekends together, seem to click, he even bought her a pearl necklace on their last date to indulge the whole being a princess scenario (scored pretty major in terms of brownie points). So what now, does a second date become a third and a fourth, will the friendship become more concrete in terms of a commitment and a relationship …. then what? Big question does the commitment take on the guise of dependency where each have expectations, constraints, conditions (oh no sorry that’s a marriage – smiling) or does the friendship turn into love …and so the cycle begins again – what is love?
“Love is the alchemy of the East. Like the clouds it is pregnant with a thousand bolts of lightening. Deep within me moves the ocean of his Splendor and all creation springs from it.” – Rumi (1207-1273)
Simple but true, love does fill you with that all-consuming thousand bolt feeling and crashing waves. Yes it can make you weak, but it can also consolidate, secure and give strength. Dependency is when you take love for granted, you assume that it will always exist and therefore you no longer make the effort.
So you want to be in love, make it happen ….take the risk, bear the weakness and ride the waves. You want to stay in love, put in the effort, invest the time and keep the passion and fire alive. Can’t be bothered, too much effort married too long then just accept what you have – dependency and let the flame just flicker.
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