On Being in Love

I was Forty yrs old when I finally fell in love.  Real love…not highschool love, or that one guy you couldn’t get over because he was so full of passion (aka crazy) that you held on regardless that he was really just an awful person (we have the ability to sustain drama, even seek it, in our 20’s, that we seriously lose the patience for in our 30’s and 40’s).

I didn’t want to wait that long for love, I was sure I was missing out, even began to feel like this was simply my lot in life…perpetually single girl.  When I began internet dating I did so to have a fling.  I was tired of the club scene and I was tired of leaving up to chance what I could supply for myself.  I did not suspect I would meet someone to love, I thought Id meet someone to kiss, and that was close enough for me at the time.

Well…I did meet, and I did kiss….and from that first kiss, I knew something, I don’t know what, but something clicked…he was all wrong for me (typical) and we both knew it.  We decided to let a good thing play out, literally agreeing to continue seeing each other until we both found more appropriate people to be with.  Its now 2 yrs later and we’ll be moving in at the end of next month.  Perpetually single girl is single no more.

Here’s the thing…I spent over a decade single prior to this relationship, save a fling or two that barely counted for much.  I never thought Id say this in my life, but…Thank God.  Thank God for all the time I took to know me.  To dream of love and what that might look like.  Not someone to lose myself in, but someone to find myself in.  Someone that would make me stronger, healthier, more the “me” I liked. I know, I know…love is an inside job…and believe me, I get that, but no man (or woman) is an island, we get better sometimes by the refinement provided by the people we hold close to us.

Love is a dangerous thing in the hands of those who misunderstand it (as I so often did). Your partners eyes are often a filter that we see ourselves through.  When I see myself through the eyes of my boyfriend, I see a funny, pretty girl, with unlimited potential.  I also see my insecurities reflected back at me…which can be a good thing, because it gives me the awareness that I need to address them.  Just recently I became hurt because my boyfriend stopped touching me in a way that made me feel desired, it wasn’t until further introspection that I realized the hurt lay in my own frustration that I would not allow myself to be touched like that.  I would tense up if his hands would wander to a place on my body that I deemed to soft to be attractive.  This was MY issue to fix, he just shone a light on it. (Lets face it there’s only so many times you can push someones hand away before they stop trying).  Love makes you accountable.

I am so grateful that at this stage in my life I have found a partner, when I am mature enough to have a real responsible, mature, evolving, meaningful relationship based on LOVE…not lust, not passion, not shared dysfunction that feels like love turned addiction…that’s not to say that there is a lack of lust or passion, its just not what binds us.  What binds us is a deep respect for each others minds and life path, the love we have for the kindness which lives in both our hearts, the potential we see in each other, and the beauty we see in the present day that we share, aware of the added beauty that the other person has brought to it.  What binds us, quite simply, is a great friendship (and yeah, a little lust).

I used to envy the people who married their first loves, I used to wish Id met someone and had a family earlier on in life.  I used to wish Id marry rich and travel the world.  Well My boyfriend was not my first boyfriend, and he is not rich enough so that we can travel the world, but he makes my life richer, so my world is more beautiful and that is enough.  Love is everything its cracked up to be, says I, the once hopeless romantic. Don’t let anyone tell you its not, they say that because they themselves have settled, you don’t have to.  You can meet and marry and love your best friend. You can be made better by sharing your life.  Pick the right one…and the key to that? Wait until you are ready, if you are in a relationship where you are too scared to voice your opinion, your not ready.  If you fear younger or more beautiful women, your not ready.  If your desperate, your not ready. If you are willing to change a fundamental part of who you are for their sake…your not ready.  You will not be ready for what a relationship has to teach you if you have not yet learned the lessons you need to by being in one with yourself first. (I know because I lived it) I was not ready till I was 40…and if that was what it took, it was worth it, more than worth it.  Wait until its everything you thought it would be…and even more….and then…work at it, because the work that you will put into your relationship, will be work that shows up in your own life and makes you better. That’s the power of love…and its worth waiting for.


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