Different. Very different...
What follows are some of my thoughts from late 2011. I was in a relatively happy and functional relationship at the time. My Then-Partner knew of my 'issues' and did well to try and work through some of them with me. In some ways I still hold firm to some of these beliefs, and I found sharing them not only beneficial to me, but to many other people who struggle with 'Love' in a similar way. Get ya glasses on and sit back... There's a bit of content here. I want to follow these thoughts up with what I stand by now, and how things have changed... cos somehow I've ended up thinking I've found the person 'meant for me'. <3
(NB. There are links to the original blog at the bottom of this post if anyone cares to read through some of the fascinating comments and conversations that ensued.)
Meh to Love...
If Love is so fucking great, then why do I see it constantly making people miserable...?
Seriously, it's starting to do my head in. Like, I get it: it feels good to be loved; it feels worthwhile; it feels almost magickal when someone you find so special sees something akin in you. That's kinda what it is, isn't it?
You know, the word is not even making sense to me anymore. For a while, I've been contemplating, philosophising, researching and obsessing about what it means to me; now it kinda looks like sludge. And my opinion of it becomes murkier all the time. I am thinking I am not such a fan...It is a word. No more. And it has too many definitions to have any real meaning any more. It has turned to the white noise of a vacant apology... What the fuck does it actually mean? It's an 'everything' word... This is the English language on an epic fail. How can the same word be used to describe a feeling you have for your partner, and your favourite inanimate object, and your guiltiest pleasure? (....'less they're the same thing...? eek!) Every single thing can be loved, and love can be used as anything... noun: the concept of 'Love'... verb: 'I love...(insert abso-freakin-lutely anything)... (shit, did that sound bad...?) ' adjective: lovely, loving.
There should be more rules on using the word 'love'... or at least we need to think about our own rules for how we use it... I wonder if hoping children will eventually respond to the cooed 'I love you' with a garbled 'I love you too' is a good thing. Is this not a kind of response training? Are they not being set-up to think that is the 'right' thing to say? Eugh... it hurties my head!
So to be clear, because I have to, I am specifically all fucked up about Romantic Love... The Love that the Greeks (...in their infinite wisdom of having more than one friggin word to describe a multitude of experiences, feelings and attitudes...) call 'Eros'. Quick definition: This is the passionate love full of longing and intimacy felt for someone you love more than a friend. It applies to 'dating' relationships and marriage.
I'm not talking 'Philia': mateship. Or 'Agape': unconditional love, specifically designed to express the love of 'greatness', of the truly 'awesome'... our children, our gods; the things we would doubtlessly die for. I am taking issue with our urge to 'mate', our want of a companion and lover to share our lives with. Romantic Love. Eros.
The problem seems to be this... Two people are using exactly the same term to describe two totally different experiences. And it seems in the majority of cases the way one person loves is how they expect to be loved by another. We all have our own notion of what it means to love and be loved. And I am not seeing a whole lot of these definitions meshing long-term. So, of course, I have to question the idea of 'mating for life'... And I get this rarely happens, but if it were in any way a natural inclination then WHY in the fuck are there so many fidelity issues? And why are we all still running around trying to find our friggin 'soulmates', 'life partners', husbands, wives... Our One True Love...? And really, if there is one thing that screams religious influence it is the idea of divorce-free monogamy. One god... one partner... one way of thinking. Kill me.
Love has to be a chemical thing. There is no way to make sense of it in any other way.
(unless of course I again regress to my default 'Humans Are Fucking Idiots' position... I can stop myself thinking about any People Drama with a superior eye roll and a turned back) But I know clever, funny, loyal, awesome people can fall in love too. And I know clever, funny, loyal, awesome people who struggle with this shit, so if me blurting bullshit to a blog gives them a point of reference and a sense of not feeling so confused, then good. Love can't be total stupidity, hence I am blaming the chemicals...
I keep thinking of a scene from Arrested Development:
Tobias and Lindsay are sitting on the end of the bed talking about how they can 'fix' their marriage, and broach the idea of the Open Marriage where, explains the Analrapist, Tobias, 'the couple remain emotionally committed but free to explore extra-marital encounters'.
Asks Lindsay: 'And does it work for those people?'
Tobias replies, 'No. It never does. I mean these people delude themselves into somehow thinking it might... but...(pause) Hmm, it might work for us'.
So in context of getting into relationships in general... They work in the odd faerytale instance, but everytime somethng presents itself to us, we're like...'Hmm... maybe this time'.
Okay, I am just seeing that I think this is just my introduction, so before I give myself a headache or make a readers brain explode, I shall 'post' and add more as it comes to hand. Cos holy crap... I am done with being all confused, annoyed and frustrated at both loving someone and being loved. And I am sick of trying to work out what is wrong with me.
I be perfection... The friggin world needs to catch up.
PS. Oh and please... If anyone friggin 'awww's' me or thinks me or my idea needs pity... save it for someone or something that needs it. I beg of thee... This isn't the boo-hoo-ing of a sad-sack, lovelorn doormat. But ya get that. Don't ya?
Meh to Love... Part Der
It continues... And thank-you to the Nonny Mouse for giving me something to structure my thoughts around. I can see where I need to clarify some things.
Firstly, let me stress again, I am not in BooHooLand. My primary motivation is pissed-off-ed-ness cos I am feeling like I am being tricked by Society (for lack of a better term), and although this is of no particular surprise to me, my Bullshit Tolerator is broken...
And I am fed up with seeing many of the wonderful people in my life sitting there wondering the same shit; all of us feeling like freaks cos nothing and no one seems enough for us. But I don't think it is us. And I don't think it is any failings on the partners' behalf. I think we've been set up to fall; that's where my passion on this topic stems from.
So to step away from the linguistic thing, now we're all clear the specific type of Love on trial... and to tackle some practical issues; ask some more relevant questions.
*looks out the window and ponders for a bit*
Do you not think there is something weirdly 'dependent' about needing to feel fulfilled by another person? And I take Nonny Mouse's point about finding things when you're not looking; I've experienced the same thing. It's not that uncommon to hear about people who feel particularly bonded; they discover each other serendipitously. It is not the attraction or connection itself I take issue with... it's what that connection ultimately does to the two people who find each other and attract. Once you 'fall in love' you don't want to be without that person. You feel (omg...*gags*) 'complete': interdependently reliant on that person for a soft, safe place to sook; for sex; for sanity; money, fun, family, fighting... Your lives become so inextricably linked dependence is assured. And if or when they go... Personally, it's not a place I want to be, nor do I want to be responsible for anyone else being there. And I am seeing little need for us putting ourselves in the situation where the potential for such pain hangs like Damocles Sword, and frustration to the point of streaming tears is totally guaranteed.
I guess I would have assumed we were all grown-up enough to see that the 'life partner' thing might have had it's time. Look how fucked up most of us are. Why are we continuing to aspire to ridiculous expectations? Why can't we hook-up and be in love and not expect that person to be our Be All and End All...? Why can't we start something with the adult attitude (learnt from experience) that it will likely end? (And then play like children til it does?)
(Ok, hilarity break: Kim Kardashian wants to act! Never even knew my script for Gross Slapper Whore From VomitLand made the grade! Dumb moll. And ain't Kim an awesome ambassador for marriage and life-long commitment! Ha!)
Do I rest my case now? *giggles*
Nup. Got more to say. Sawwwwy! Ummm...
Right... to quote Nonny Mouse:
'I am not naive enough to think that having that person means a perfect and uncomplicated relationship, in fact it's having someone who can go through changes and accept your changes, confusions, mistakes (need I go on?) and still want to hold your hand on the journey that makes for an interesting and fulfilling partnership.'
I'm not that naive either. Nor would I ever want an 'uncomplicated' relationship; that would be weird and not at all stimulating. But here's the thing: How do you know they will accept your changes? Or you accept theirs? You don't. You DO NOT. And what if their changes are harmful to you? How much shit do you take from your husband/wife/significant other before you consider yourself? And does the 'Love' you show by staying, the 'Faith' you keep in your vows, the 'Hope' you instill in things improving, do these things keep you safe? Heal your physical or psychic wounds? And MORE... what if YOU are the abuser? What if you changed in a way that harms your partner and they refuse to leave...? Cos they 'Love' you? Can you leave some one cos their love for you is hurting them...? (Brain hurt yet?)
'Yes, Yes Mis(f)Risky... you have to TRUST. You have to have FAITH.'
And Yes, yes PersonWhoStillThinks-I-AmJust-A-LoveLornBrokenHeartedOldTart, I get 'Faith'. We are back to the faerytales of Grimm or God.
I am not sure if I am super-duper lucky, or if I am broken and fucked. (Not that they are mutually exclusive... I am the world's smartest ditz.) But I have 'someone who can go through changes and accept (my) changes, confusions, mistakes and still want to hold (my) hand' In fact, I have several someone's. They are my Close Friends, and I love them with an ease that is at times amazing when considered against my romantic relationships. These are people who allow me to speak, and honour me by letting me listen; they have no fear of my tears, or my volume. They hug me and kiss me and share affection and warmth for support and fun. They don't judge me or want me to be 'better'; they tell me I'm a mental case and make me feel 'normal'. And they can do all this cos they don't have to live with me day in, day out. I am not the most important person in their life. They don't get a chance to get sick of the things they love about me. And they don't see as much of the things they don't.
That said, Friend Break-ups can be just as devastating as the breakdown of a relationship. The difference being, we are more equipped to deal with this. There is rarely so much pressure to be together forever.
Ok, nuff for now.