I have this crazy theory that there are three types of love you must experience in your life before you can truly understand what love is: Crazy, Hot Love, Lingering too Long Love, and Love at Last. Which order they happen in, is completely random. What we learn from each one will either make us stronger, or devastate us completely. How do I know? Well like I said, this is my crazy theory; it’s not only what I’ve seen over and over again with my friends and family, it’s also what I’ve experienced throughout my own life.
When I was twenty I fell head over heels for a cute college guy who I met at a night club. I was living in The Bronx, working at my first job, and never felt more alive. When cupid struck, I had no idea what I was in for. I had had relationships in high school, but nothing had prepared me for what I was about to experience. I jumped in head first. All I wanted was to spend every waking moment with this guy.
I abandoned myself, my friends, and my interests. He became my only interest. There was no dullness, just wild up’s, and debilitating downs. If you could graph this type of love it would be a sharp spike up followed by a sharp spike down, over and over again. When it finally came to an end, his decision of course, I felt as if cupid had taken that arrow, stabbed it into my heart, twisted it around good and hard, then yanked it out, leaving behind a jagged edged hole that I thought would never heal. But alas ‘tis true, time does heal all wounds, and after a long year recuperating at my parents home, it healed mine.
Too many drinks, and too many bad decisions later, I decided to go traveling abroad. When I came home I felt refreshed, open minded, and alive. I decided to keep that open mind when it came to dating. I met my second big mistake at a chance meeting in my local pub. (Seeing a pattern here? Nightclubs, bars, alcohol, poor judgment…) Though the man I met there seemed nice on the surface, quietly, in the back of my mind, a little voice was sending me distress signals, “S.O.S.” Though seemingly subtle at the time, hubris and denial brushed it away. I was ‘together’ now; I was ‘open minded’ now…
So, I accepted his invitation on a date, and five years later found myself emotionally disheveled, needy, and dependent. It was as if I had slowly, been turned inside out. My reflection in the mirror was becoming transparent. I knew if I didn’t leave I would wither away. It was an exit I initiated, plotted and escaped through. It was I who had lingered too long in a relationship that was going nowhere. On the graph of love, this type looks like a mediocre spike, followed by a long never ending flat line.
So who comes along after your hearts been impaled, and then rendered bitter? Why true love of course! It does seem the kind that sneaks up on you when you least expect it, at least, that’s the way it happened to me. Just when I had resolved myself to be ‘cool, single’ Aunt Jean, and pursue multiple degrees back at school, I was bitten by the bug under the most unusual of circumstances. I had agreed to go to a surprise birthday party with my sister-in-law. (note: Not a bar) I didn’t even know the person who’s birthday it was. I was just helping my sister-in-law out of an extended five month postnatal confinement. Who would have guessed that my husband to be, was the first person she introduced me to at the party.
Ten years, three kids, and two houses later, we are still together, still happy, and yes, still in love. Not crazy, can’t keep your hands off each other kind of love, that produced too many children, but the warm simmer kind of love: dependable, reliable, and comfortable. True love takes work, but it’s the give and take kind. This love graph looks like a sharp spike, followed by the gentle and not so gentle curves like waves in the ocean that wax and wane until with any luck ‘death do you part.’
So here is to true love, and the crazy, wonderful ride it takes to get there!
Happy Valentines Day
Post by Jean James courtesy of: http://www.inthepowderroom.com