The longer I’ve lived, the more I’ve grown to wonder something.
When exactly did love become a noun? Isn’t it supposed to be a verb? An action verb, at that? And if I’ve learned nothing in my years on this earth, I’ve also learned that there are two things that are not for wimps. Long termed relationships and aging. And sometimes I think aging might be easier because there’s really nothing that can be done about the passing of time except maybe make healthy choices to make that passage a bit easier.
Love, the lasting kind, takes a lot of work. It’s not all roses, hot bodies, and rampant sex despite how much I adore the books and movies that tout this message. Is some of that a part of it? Absolutely! Would they be so popular otherwise? I may not be a therapist, but here’s my take on the impact of these things:
- Roses, candies, cards, and romantic gestures- They let your partner know that you’re thinking of them. That they’re a priority to you and that (especially if you’ve been together for longer periods of time) you aren’t taking their presence in your life for granted.
- Hot bodies- Okay, so more often than not, this isn’t always your own or your partner’s, but rather the viewing of others for the purpose of fantasies (hopefully shared and communicated with one another to keep your relationship fresh and interesting). But if it is yours, even better! The message your sending is that you care to keep yourself in tip top shape so your partner can admire and enjoy your physique for years to come….and that you want to make sure you live a nice long life so that you can spend as much time with the people you love as humanly possible.
- Rampant sex- So over time this may slow down from 3-5 times a day to several times a week/month. The thing about sex, though, is that it’s hugely important so that you maintain the physical and emotional connection with your partner. Listen, that hot and heavy, can’t-take-my-hands-off-of-you passion can be cyclical. But that doesn’t mean that shared comfort and vulnerability is anything to turn your nose at. That vulnerability and connection is a form of communication, too. It is a type of comfort, release, and a way of sharing your most intimate self.
Think for a second about a parent/child relationship. When a child screws up, does a parent just walk away because it’s too hard? Do they quit caring? Do they find another child that might be “easier” to deal with? But isn’t that what we do all too often in relationships when the going gets tough?
How many times have you heard someone talk about a marriage and end with a shrug and “if it doesn’t work out, we can always get divorced?” Is that really giving a relationship a fair shake?
My heart has been aching for a few friends who’ve recently come to me, speaking about their relationships in terms of ending them. And don’t get me wrong… I’m well aware that there are plenty of things that can happen to permanently destroy a relationship. And I’ll always support my friends, regardless. But there’s so much damage done to a person’s spirit when relationships end and the connection, the trust, and the partnership are severed.
I’m lucky. My guy and I have been through ups and downs…22 years worth. Regardless of all that life has thrown at us, he’s always been my very best friend. When I’m hurting, he’s the first one to open his arms and ask if I need a hug. He cheers me on, and I do the same thing for him. He understands who I am and accepts me unconditionally, even when he doesn’t always agree with the decisions I make. But he’s always in my corner, cheering me on in the good times. Building me back up through my failures. He listens to me. Believes in my dreams. And I do the same for him.
And we talk. Even when it’s not the easiest conversation. Or when the truth hurts. We still talk. And when one of us screws up, we apologize and mean it. If one of us is still holding on to hurt or anger, we share that, too, until we’re finally able to let things go. There have been times when we’ve both fought with each other and for each other, though as we’ve grown together, the “with each other” doesn’t happen as much.
And for those of you who have wondered how he handles the racy stories I write? He grins and shrugs. Does he read them? Bits and pieces every now and then. The girl on girl action scene in Four One Night? Yeah…. LOL! His response? Low key, like him. He just nodded and said it was hot.
He’s the other part of my heart and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it’s work. Constant work. Worthwhile work. And the reward of him being such a core part of my life? Worth every sacrifice. I’ve told him that when I imagined my “dream man,” I never pictured him, but I thank God every day that he sent me everything I didn’t know I wanted and needed. Things I never dreamed of asking for past the superficial stuff.
Aren’t I lucky?
Now it’s your turn…. Share your thoughts on love. (By the way, you don’t have to agree with me or my thoughts. I’d still like to hear from you.)
22 thoughts on “It’s Just a Hallmark Holiday, Right?”
I totally agree that relationships are work – hard work. And if both halves of a couple aren’t willing to give it their all, there will be one of two outcomes. Either they won’t be happy (or as happy as they could be), or they’ll treat their marriage like it was a lease and trade their spouse in on a new model. 😦
Yup. It reminds me of that quote about love not being 50/50, but rather, divorce is. Love means both parties giving 100%. I always thought it was spot on.
I couldn’t agree more!
My marriage is in limbo right now, but only because the wife and are too busy caring for a sick loved one to concentrate on each other. But we’ll endure. We always do.
That’s the thing. You’re aware you need to take the time to reconnect and you’re willing to do it. It’s amazing what a bit of effort and insight can do. 😀
We’ll get there.
You have just written the most beautiful Hallmark card ever for your husband. Happy Valentine’s Day, Kitt.
With a few minor detail changes, this could be…us. My Accomplice and I will celebrate eighteen years of knowing one another next Friday, and as many years of marriage at the end of August (we knew what we wanted, and didn’t waste time).
I wrote this poem for him, last October, and I think it sums us up – the honeymoons, and the ugly places, the joys and the tragic sorrows…all part of what makes us – us.
As for my racy stories – he’s a little jealous of the Vulcans, honestly. But he LOVES when I read the “naughty bits” to him, or when I want to experiment to see if things are physically possible…and he doesn’t mind if I sometimes write in my head during sex.
In return, I don’t mind if he starts a sentence today, and finishes it three years from now (yes, it’s happened, and more than once!). He’s worth the wait.
We’ve even stopped fighting over the Sweet Spot in the bed, where we both like to put our knees. We share. =)
*Hugs* That’s so awesome. My guy has been the inspiration for a poem or few for me as well. Glad to know we have like minded friends.
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Like you, he isn’t the “dream guy” I pictured (my tastes running toward the Pierce Brosnans and Leonard Nimoys of the world, not Henry VIII’s doppleganger!)…but I can’t imagine living these years without him – especially the terrible parts. The pivotal moment, for me, was knowing there’s no one I’d rather go through hell beside, or have beside me when the world collapsed around us.
It’s not always easy, and it’s usually not level…but the man still makes me smile when he walks into the room!
I’m so glad for you!
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And I for you. Love is a mighty cool thing, when done right. ❤
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In Romeo and Juliet, after Romeo meets Juliet for the first time and has fallen madly in lust/love, the friar tells him “Young men fall in love with their eyes.”
So true.I think falling in love with your eyes means you have fallen in lust first. It takes time for love of the person to arrive as the couple gets the physical attraction out of the way so they get to know each other better.
Well put! Lust at first sight is definitely often the beginning parts of making a connection. If you’re open to it, and lucky, sometimes it can develop into an amazing long termed relationships.
Love? “Let me count the ways…”! The many, many, MANY ways!
The more I do it, the more I learn new ways. Some ways demolish the bullseye, others crash-and-burn even before lift off! 😛 Through them all, and those still to come, it’s all manna for the Soul. ❤
"The prude is in fact the libertine, without the courage to face his naked soul."
— Alexander Scott Neill
Ah, my friend, the world is in dire need of boundless, limitless love. For sure. It’s also important to note, this is one of those instances where the quality of what you give is at least equally or more important as the quantity of what you share.
Absolutely Kitt! No doubt. However, I’m sure you must agree that there is more than 9 or 10 different ways to express love, and as one learns those methods then naturally a good heart, a Giver is determined or at least open to perfecting & refining those methods. 🙂
Love definitely takes very many forms and shapes…
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Kitt, it has taken me a long time to finally say that being alone is okay. I am not in such a huge hurry anymore to find someone. I have been hurt, and badly, through my life when it has come to relationships and romance. I haven’t given up and I still believe that love is a wonderful thing. I really enjoyed your post and am so happy (nearly jealous) that you have such a wonderful relationship with your husband. I am glad he is okay with your writings and your tastes. I may have simply always been looking for the wrong person or type of person. We shall see. As you know, I am making some changes to me and my values. That may take me to where I need to be in order to find someone to enjoy life with. For now, i will enjoy it all by my self. This is not a sad thing – simply what is and I accept it.
I’m glad you are coming to terms with yourself and your worth. I wish you all the luck in the world on this adventure of self discovery.
So many of the things you mention in this post should be done and celebrated every day, and not just for a one day borderline holiday. Like you said, love is not all roses and candy and hot sex. Some effort, undertanding, and work is also involved
You’re absolutely right, Phil, and I couldn’t agree more.