I’ve never been a “rule follower”. Conversely, I have never been considered a “rebel”, I simply follow the beat of my own (albeit unique) drum. I am unapologetically myself and raw. My writing reflects this rough-edged quality: in that, I have no formal training in writing anything. I have favorite authors from whom I would guess I take inspiration. When I do take the time to try and explain myself out using the written word, I almost feel as though my sentiments can not be fortified. Like a composer sending his sheet music to a person incapable of understanding the notes on the staff. Not that I think so highly of myself as to compare myself to a composer…but more like I am so full of words… that to get them out into a coherent and readable piece without meandering on for several paragraphs as I madly type in no particular order or style, is difficult for me on a good day. It’s almost as if I need to be reading this aloud for the reader, in order to try and feel comfortable that my cadence is understood.
Maybe that entire paragraph I just wrote just shows how deeply and annoyingly insecure I am about everything…right down to what I write that may never even be seen by anyone. All that being said, in a sense, you’ve been forewarned.
I’ve clung to an archaic idea of what romantic love should be.
The kind of love you hear about online, in stories on your newsfeed of the couple who had been married for 67 years and wound up dying hours apart…so distraught the thought of living without the other inevitably and literally kills them.
The kind of love that is so often depicted in Disney movies and romantic dramas…is this concept just that? A fairytale?
The feelings you get from a new relationship hearkens back to this kind of “ romantic love”: Giddiness, anticipation, want, hope.
Are these feelings doomed to fail and decay with time?
Have we been tricked by the warm glow of Hollywood’s manipulated portrayal of romance? By the writings of so many authors, poets, and songwriters?
Is romantic love only a momentary feeling?
If that be the case, then I guess I’ve experienced true romantic love.
I dream…constantly. A nuisance to say the least. Wild and vivid dreams, weird, chaotic and nonsensical. Most of these dreams are irrelevant regurgitated scraps of the days prior. Of course, there are nightmares. The typical frightening dreams most people have. But of all these dreams, to me, the worst are the ones in which I feel this deep “love”. These dreams don’t revolve around any man in particular. It could be someone in my waking life that I would think to myself “No chance in hell!”. On an ‘easy to relate to’ level, it feels like the celebrity you’ve idolized and drooled after for so many years has come to your front door and said “I’m here to take you away” (cliche…I know…forgive me). But on a complicated and very tempestuous level, I can quite literally feel this “love” in my heart, a heaviness, as if my heart had suddenly found a new, deeper, undiscovered rhythm.
Once I become conscious, open my eyes and come to the realization that my dream was just that…a dream, I end up feeling hollow. Confused….and deep bitter sadness. I would liken it to grieving for someone that never existed. Strange, but very real.
I’ve been in 2 serious long term relationships. They always start out the same…those same early romantic glow-y “Hollywood” feelings.
The first ended unceremoniously. I spent nearly a decade trying to prove a point to myself, I guess. One day, I just woke up, clear-headed and exhausted by the whole thing. He was surprised. I wasn’t. I had been mourning our relationship for almost 2 years. I barely cried when it ended.
The second, I’m currently still involved in. I sense a similar pattern, however, in this relationship. It started beautifully and, in the beginning, we would dream of what together we could accomplish. How we’d be like the old couple I mentioned earlier. Playing with our grandchildren someday and telling them the sweet story of how “Nana and Pappy” met.
As my relationships have evolved, I have too. The problem is, I pick men who don’t evolve. I do everything in my power to fix them and get them on the right path. I encourage, uplift and mend what can be mended. The rest is up to them, which, thus far has been an impossible undertaking for any man. Meanwhile, I ask for no help, I’ve never needed it. I’ve always been innately self-sufficient. I then go on to resent them for something they never even asked for.
Once the newness wears off, aside from the obvious grievances I’ve shared above…every relationship I have personally seen ends up in the same hum-drum state eventually. So, it’s not just me. I can not recall any couple that has been together for a long period of time that doesn’t either hate each other and/or just tolerate each other’s existence.
From what I can see, a long term relationship can be summarized very easily in this day and age…you sit in the same room as the person you’re in a relationship with. You don’t really communicate besides a brief chat about some garbage show you both want to watch. You argue about what to eat for dinner. You eat. You sleep. You work. And you do it all over again day after day. Add or subtract children depending on the relationship.
I truly believe life itself is hum-drum and dull and only punctuated with moments true unbridled happiness.
I believe unconditional love is truly extraordinary and exceedingly rare. I’m lucky enough to have that with a few people in my life; My parents and my brother. There is nothing they could ever do or say that would make me not love them. They are, to me the most vital source of love in my life, which without, I would be severely crippled.
Is unconditional love unattainable and therefore incompatible with romantic love?
If the person I’m currently with were to stray, I would leave him. If he were to make a bad decision and get arrested, I would leave him. He has a substance abuse problem and if he can’t get it under control, I will leave him. ****, even if he does…I’m not even sure I want to stay.
What I do know is: unconditional love is a real thing. I feel it on a daily basis. It’s there even when I don’t want it and feel like being left alone. I’m moody, you see, but I’m working on it. Romantic love…well…I just don’t know if that’s realistic. Is caring about someone’s well being romantic? No. Does buying a house together make it a home? No. Is this dreamy romantic love forever possible with someone else? Anything’s possible. Will the next man be just as or more so difficult than the last? I don’t know.
Frozen. Fear seems to have overtaken my wit. Fear of being alone. Losing the things I worked so hard to obtain. Losing the time I invested with the purest of intentions.
As my biological clock ticks, each tick seems louder than the last. And what to do about that? Wait.
Is the problem me?
Is the problem just down to the men I pick?
Or is every romantic relationship headed for the same vapid, boring existence given the right amount of time?
I don’t know and I’m almost too scared to find out.