Every woman should experience a kind of love where she is worshipped, put on a pedestal, cherished and made to feel like the most important thing in the whole world to someone, even if for a millisecond. Because let’s face it, it’s good for our egos.
But, every woman should immediately recognize that this is not real.
We stayed up all night talking, drinking and kissing. I don’t remember falling asleep, but when I woke up, sometime during the day, he was staring at me. I blushed and he moved a single piece of hair from my eyes and said to me in a honeyed voice, “I always knew I would meet a girl like you.” Whatever doubts I had about him vanished at the precise moment and I embraced him without any reservation. Does this sound like a scene from a movie? Well, it is 100% real and it is exactly how it happened to me. I remember it like it was just yesterday. I remember the room, the lighting and even the color of the pillow I slept on. I was 21 years old, eager to begin my life and ready to fall in love. And, here was a man who saw me as a goddess; he couldn’t believe his eyes.
I remember riding in his old beat up Buick to Charlotte. It was 10PM on Friday night and we had decided on a whim to drive 3 hours to see our friends for the weekend for my 25th birthday. We were crazy in love. We were spontaneous, not a care in the world. I remember holding his hand and saying to him that my heart was ready to burst. It sounds cheesy doesn’t it? But, hard to believe that I still remember the feeling. It is so fresh in my mind. The perfect blend of hope and anticipation with a heavy dusting of lust. That is how we took ours. Strong, intense and robust.
Stay with me here…
I was 28 years old when he proposed to me. I came home from a business trip to find the apartment clean and the laundry done. Yes, we were living in sin. The dining table was set and he poured me a glass of wine. I remember that he asked me to come over to the living room but I was too tired from my trip. He didn’t give up. He gathered me in his arms and brought to the couch and kissed me intently as he gently sat me on the chair. He took my breath away with that kiss. I was dizzy. Then, he got on one knee and my heart began to race a million miles. I knew what he was doing, but for the life of me I don’t remember what he said. I remember his face, his eyes… and his voice, ah that moment was truly magical. I said yes and proudly accepted his declaration of neverending love. It was a fairy tale moment and I was beginning my forever with my very own Prince Charming.
Each scenario is from a different relationship and all of those relationships ended, eventually. These relationships ended, not because it was lacking in love or romance, but, because it was lacking in real life. I read an article recently about how our taste in partners drastically changes as we age. We are genetically programmed to fall in love with a certain type of guy in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and so on. The article brings up the age old biological clock quandary. Women are looking for security in a partner. But, what happens when gender roles diffuse and women become more and more independent? What is our motivation then for choosing Mr. X vs. Mr. Y? There is another hot debate over women’s fertility rates in decline; that fewer women are having babies these days and even then, they are having them much later in life. So, what is happening to men’s role in today’s society? What is the ultimate purpose of being in a relationship?
Every woman should experience a kind love which sweeps her off her feet, at some point in her life. But, once the euphoric heart palpitations subside, every woman should seriously evaluate her partner for what he brings to the table. Ask yourself, what is point of being in a relationship with this particular person? Forget his boyish charm and good looks for a minute and ignore the fact that he is a doctor or an investment banker. Forgo the hallmark holidays and what the movies tell you about love and romance. I think we are brainwashed into thinking that love has to mean a certain thing, a series of actions which must be recreated over and over and re-enacted in a thousand different ways. There is nothing original anymore. Life is 100% not a movie or a dream. Love has nothing to do with fairy tales or heroes and heroines in lala land pursuing magical unicorns. Relationships are really hard work, day in and day out, by real people who are flawed, incompatible and dysfunctional in a variety of ways. Ask anyone who has been in a relationship for a long time and they will tell you that the secret sauce to their success is not the ‘Kodak moments’ as we like to imagine, but the daily grind of committing, recommitting, compromising, giving, taking, negotiating and renegotiating, especially when you don’t want to, for your wants and needs.
I’m single by choice and not even on the prowl for a partner. I’m taking a break from the circus. The only time I even acknowledge my status is when I’m confronted by a TV commercial glorifying love- especially during this time of year, or when I catch a romantic comedy- I can’t believe they still make these movies. But, I quickly snap out of it because I remind myself that I’ve had some great loves in my life and I’ve shared a mixed bag of life experiences with them. I’ve no hard feelings about anything! My expectation for a partner has definitely changed, but it has nothing to do with my ticking clock or social definitions. Real love to me, is ‘hold my hand’ companionship and ‘got your back’ friendship. It’s is about making a deliberate choice to be in it together, each and every day.