Someone asked me recently if I still believed in the possibility of a truly wonderful and loving romantic relationship. They seemed somewhat surprised when, without hesitation, I said I did. But look at what you’ve been through, they exclaimed, pointing to parts of my history that can understandably be seen as potential impediments to my ability to believe a loving romantic relationship is a possibility in life.
Well, I said, If I were to give my history that kind of control, then it would still be damaging me, now wouldn’t it? I don’t think it deserves that kind of power, do you?
No, they said. But do you really think being swept off your feet, you know, all that heart pounding stuff, the butterflies and all, you really think that’s possible?
Of course, I said. It’s part of nature. Nature is life and life happens to us whether we like it or not. If you are walking in the rain, the rain hits you doesn’t it? It doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your history, how old you are, how tall or short or thin or fat. No bigotry in nature. The thing is to be brave enough to accept life, and sometimes I think accepting the beautiful miraculous things in life, like falling in love with someone and their falling in love with you, is scarier than the frightening things.
Because if it is going to work, to flourish, you have to be willing to be you fully in the relationship. So if the all of you is present, it can feel like the all of you is at risk. Equally important, you have to be willing to allow the other person to be who they are. People are always going around trying to abbreviate each other without even realizing it. Like you fall in love with the entire person and then when they feel the same way you get terrified and then, usually without realizing it, you try and pare them down into a Reader’s Digest version of themselves, no offense to Reader’s Digest, by the way.
You baffle me.
Get in line. Look, my closest friend in the world is deeply in love with a wonderful woman and she is deeply in love with him. And he is older than I am. People spend so much time worrying about life, what will or won’t be ,that they forget to live it. These two live their lives together, and therein lays the wonder of it all.
I see relationships all over the place where the two people might be together, but they aren’t sharing life together. People in marriages or live-in relationships where the only thing they really share in life is the bills, if that. It’s heartbreaking.
And what about Gay marriages, the opposition to Gay marriages?
Oh, please. The opposition to Gay marriages is rooted in ignorance, which far too often is fueled by hatred. Hatred is a major fuel for ignorance and vice versa, you ask me. I was friends for quite a few years with two women that were a couple. Man, let me tell. you They really loved each other. I mean adored each other. They worked together, owned a business together, cared deeply about each other. If people were able to see a relationship like that for what it really is, two people that really love each other, and maybe stop giving their histories or antiquated belief systems so much control over them, maybe they would grow a little. I mean is there too much love going on between people these days?
And what do you mean when you talk about sharing life as opposed to – ?
I mean what is the point of simply being tenants in each other’s life?
I think the joy of a relationship, the pay off if you will, is to be able to share life together. Obviously, individuality is important; you don’t give up who you are for another person. But I can think of things that I dream of, like seeing the Grand Canyon or going to Germany and standing in a room where Beethoven lived and other things that I’d love to share. That’s the wonder of it. And share too what she loves. It’s heartbreaking when you see two people together who are so over yet they are afraid to declare their independence. Sad shit for sure.
So you still believe.
Of course… why shouldn’t I?