I used to believe in love, oh sweet love, that innocent type of love. The puppy dog… you are so amazing, goo goo, twinkle in my eyes, blushing heart, skipping a beat, kind of love.
Well… now I don’t. I have been around the block too many times to believe that type of love exists. Is this what happens when you turn 40 and become a jaded hag? Haha. I have gone too far down the rabbit hole and have seen and learned through my experience the truth of what love and a relationship really means, and I am no puppy dog. I am more like a feral cat with ragged fur and startled reflexes ready to pounce, scratch and bounce at any moment with any sudden moves. Yep, I think I may be triggered by this love and lost game.
Thinking back, I remember that there is always that romance period as you get to know someone; it feels like love… but it’s not love. I am on a quest to find out what love is… let’s move through these thoughts.
Oh, those sugary succulent beginning stages, how I miss you. I miss the naivety of who I was when I believed. I remember the beginning stages when love seemed so exhilarating and stimulating. You spent hours upon hours’ eye gazing, smiling sweetly at each other, talking about your likes and dislikes, sharing music, favorite shows, comparing notes on life, exploring each other’s bodies, so divine, in heaven, I’m in heaven! Your eyes capturing the sweet surface of the other, longing to taste them. You are thrilled to hear what he has to say, what is swirling inside of him, and he perks up to hear your thoughts, and is mesmerized by the obscurity and uniqueness of you. You and he are all that exists, time stops and presence is in this engagement of bliss.
Until it all wears off, sorry honey but the honeymoon is over.
You speak, he cringes, because you talk too much, your voice, which was once honey to the bee, becomes more like fingernails on a chalk board to him. You were once Eve on a pedestal, hair perfectly flowing in the wind, dripping in gold and moonlit dreams, and now you have become Kali, with your tongue hanging out, skulls in hand, destructive and always on your period… you are an emotional unstable wreck in his mind and he no longer wants to hear it. He begins to turn inward, becoming more and more emotionally unavailable every day, moving further and further away from you. This is where the creation of the man cave begins, a safe place to hide from you, the beast of all beasts.
When he talks, you do the same, you cringe and shut down and revert to your shell. Seriously? is he talking about the same thing again? How boring and obsessive, how very masculine and material. He is loud and obnoxious and can’t be quiet enough to just BE together. His presence is earsplitting.
Then you are faced with an everyday regular human being, just like yourself, standing next to you. What happened to the God and Goddess that we were? Where have they gone? The fantasy has become reality. Crashing down to earth with a shattering strike to your world, to your dreams, and any expectations you may have had; you can kiss those pretty things goodbye.
As the relationship progresses and you get even closer, it gets more enmeshed and confusing.
Those days of staying up all night chatting because you can’t get enough of each other, running around and swirling on cloud 9 with that “new love high” are gone. Now you are wondering how you’ll be able to stand being next to this person all weekend. Wondering how you are going to avoid the “this is getting weird” feeling. Strangeness and the awkward silence are what you have become. You start to speculate on what they are thinking; they are wondering the same about you, yet no one is speaking. You start doing and saying strange subconscious things to each other. Snide little remarks, passive aggressive actions and words, it becomes uncomfortable. You sleep next to each other, but you wonder who is sleeping next to you. You don’t know anymore, why? Because it takes work! Why? Because relationships are not a walk in the park. Please tell me, any of you, if you have experienced a walk in the park relationship, perhaps then I may have more hope.
Life is work, relationships are work and sacrifice. I hate sacrifice, I like to do whatever I want, when I want, with whom I want, but how does this compute to commitment? Perhaps this is my problem. Can I change that? Should I? I am trying to work this all out in this writing. Maybe we will have an answer after all this comes out, but maybe not. We shall see!
Here’s the thing; when you decide to be in a relationship, it is not only you in your bubble, you have to share your bubble with someone else, which means you have to take into consideration the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, ideas, motives and so on of the person who you have allowed to enter into the bubble with you. Now, you share not only a bubble, but a grimy river of both of your issues, day to day troubles, anxieties, worries, obsessions, and fears all mucked up and merged together. This is not easy to sift through or do, you have to think about when to be selfish and when to be selfless. It takes a lot of practice in presence and mindfulness. Oh, what work!
Oh, and the ego, what a great occupation this is! This is a whole other job. Suddenly you are working three jobs. Your regular 9 to 5, your home life with your children, and now a third job being your significant other. It is a constant reminder to put your ego aside to avoid a full-on war, a neck to neck till death kind of war, especially with stubborn alpha dog/lion types who don’t like to be told anything, and will not back down easily. Why? We want to be the winners. As you know, this can be a bloody disaster if the ego is not kept in check and runs like the wild vengeful stallion that it is.
Relationships are a constant need to learn, to remain soft when you want to be hard, open when you want to be closed, seen when you want to hide. Relationships and intimacy are fun, aren’t they?!
You want real inner work, a real ass kicking? A real drill instructor? Get into a relationship and let someone see how dysfunctional and messed up you are, and allow yourself to forgive the others messed up-ness. Certainly, you are going to see the ugly parts where you once saw mystery and fascination. Your ugly parts will be put into the spot light on center stage, how uncomfortable is that? Can you handle it? Can you face yourself as the other is shining the spot light on you? Or will you be like most that run away. Real love and relationships are a test of strength, time and perseverance. Are you open to learn what true forgiveness really means? Self-compassion and compassion in general. Can you sink into your heart? Can you learn to pick your battles? Let petty things go? Breathe through the stress and have the courage to ask for space because you love yourself? Allow the other space, because you love them too? Can you learn to know when to speak and when to be quiet? Well… these will certainly be learned in a close relationship. Relationships are not for the weak and certainly not for the faint at heart. Can you do it? And what is love that endures? Is it really just how well we can learn to get along? Still reflecting on that bit. More to come…