Tag: love

Who likes to fall (in love)?

I’ve read that it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. That sounds like something someone makes up while they are trying to recover from a breakup or worse, unrequited love.

I’ve loved a time or two. I’ve lost a time or two; in regards to love. I’ve even had the pleasure of experiencing unrequited love. For those reasons I’m not sure it’s better to have loved.

In many ways, I think I could’ve been ok without every experiencing love like that. But then again, I could just be recovering from a breakup or unrequited love!

I don’t know what I think about love, at this phase in my life. I do know that I employ too many fantastical ideas about love and relationships.

I do know that I stick with a person well past the expiration date. I do this in all of my relationships, romantic, familial, and platonic.

Please don’t tell me that familial relationships do not expire! I’m not suggesting that we will quit being family but I am suggesting that the dynamics change. Familiar relationships take work to maintain just like all other relationships.

Love, romantic love, is something I vowed to never do! I was uninterested of putting my heart out there and exposing my emotions. I was adamantly against ever falling in love.

Some people have said that the thing you’re most against is the thing that you will run into or at least find yourself doing. Well! I didn’t listen to that sage advice.

I looked up one day and realized I was in love with an amazing individual. Yes, he was and is and likely always will be amazing. I did not want to fall in love with him and I questioned the validity of my love for a long time.

I bet you’re wondering why I don’t believe that it’s better to have loved since I still still speak highly of the one I loved?

Well although my life improved drastically with his presence, I don’t know that I’d want to experience the vulnerabilities associated with falling in love all over again.

I don’t know if it was necessary.

If I seem confused, I’m not; however, I am still struggling with the vulnerability associated with falling in love.

I’ll never speak badly about this man, it’s really not about him. It’s about me and the complexities of my emotions.

You won’t catch me truthfully singing that I feel like falling in love

Love

Recently, I was told a magnanimous love story without a storybook ending.

The two in love did not end up together or reunite later in life.

The love the shared was interrupted by life and personal decisions.

The love story never grew beyond the beginning stages of love. There’s no way to know if the love was lasting.

From that love story I learned that love is not enough.

One must make concerted efforts to let love grow.

It was a beautiful love story, although I’d heard it before.

To survive the often harsh realities of life the beauty of the love, needed so much more.

My grandfather

My paternal grandfather died in 2010 while I was in pursuit of my first post-baccalaureate degree. He had throat cancer, but ultimately died in his sleep during work travels.

He was a roofer by trade and he was a hard worker. Even during the years he struggled with alcohol addiction, he worked faithfully. Today, experts would suggest that he was a functioning alcoholic – but I am not sure the title fits.

Of course, he worked tirelessly and he maintained his household; but there’s more to functioning than being able to work.

He was born in a completely different time than I was and his family’s composition was one that I can never fully understand.

In my early and middle childhood days I was afraid of my grandfather. He was definitely harmless, but he was loud. He would come into my grandmother’s house loudly making his presence known.

You see my mother was a quiet woman who rarely raised her voice so the most noise in our house was us children playing or occasionally the television or radio. I was unsure of how to what it meant when someone was loud.

In my wee mind people were only loud if there was danger near. So when my grandfather would speak loudly I thought something was wrong and I would cry.

For quite awhile he thought that I was simply crying because he was in the building! My grandmother and mother explained that I was just frightened by his loudness.

He was always crazy about me. I was his first grandchild by his favorite child. Seriously, everyone would agree that my dad was my grandfather’s favorite child.

Fast forward to my teenage years, my grandfather and I grew very close. I was no longer afraid of him and I realized he was only loud when he was announcing his entrance into my grandma’s house.

He and my grandmother were separated but still married. He still financially supported my grandmother; however, for some reason unbeknownst to me they were separated throughout my entire life.

Once I was a teenager I would go to my grandfather’s house and sit with him. I loved those times, some times we would talk but most of the time we would just sit in silence.

My grandfather is no longer around but even to this day I love just sitting in silence.

When I moved for college I talked to my grandfather at least once a week. Neither of us were really good phone conversationalist but with the distance between us we learned how to converse on the phone.

He would tell me about his travels for work and about the men he worked with. I would tell him what I was doing in school and how I thought college was stupid.

He would generally end the conversation by encouraging me to stay in school. He told me my schooling would pay off eventually.

You see he didn’t have much formal education and neither did the majority of his siblings. Education was something some of them aspired to but it seemed out of reach.

My grandfather did get to see me graduate high school and college. He was very proud of me. My pictures were all over his house and he talked about me to any who would listen.

He wasn’t a perfect man, no one is. And he had some issues, everyone does. But he taught me a lot about work ethic and character.

I’m glad I was able to let him know that I love him while he was still living. I’m ultra glad that I got to know him as a person and not just as my loud grandfather who doesn’t live with my grandma but seems to pay all the bills!

I think he would be proud of me today. As I prepare to use my education to educate others. He would likely remind me of how he would tell me that schooling is good for me and it will pay off.

Emotional Reaction

I hate you – at least that’s how I feel in this moment.

Hate is too strong of a word. One might say, but in the moment hate is the best descriptor I possess.

When I say I love you, no one tells me that love is too strong of a word.

Hate. Love. These words are often thought to be opposites. Some even suggest that there’s a thin line between them or perhaps they are on a spectrum…easily blurred.

If I tell you I hate you right now, will you even hear the words “right now”? Or will you only hear “I hate you”?

Does it even matter if you hear the entire statement?

Does the context matter? If I said it while I was upset or in the heat of the moment, does that change how you receive my statement?

I hate you right now, but I’m not sure what that really means.

I’m not feeling very lovingly toward you so does that translate to hate?

I won’t hate you during the next moment; but in this moment I do. Does that change how you receive my statement?

I hate you right now; but, perhaps I’ll love you later.

Does that matter since I hate you right now?

Romantic relationship role models

Ok that’s a mouthful but coming of age I did not have couples that I could model my future romantic relationships after. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that everyone around me were in bad or toxic romantic relationships; but, I am suggesting that I didn’t see enough of any romantic relationship that would eventually serve as a model.

This is partially because I was raised under the ideology that “children should stay in their place” which led to me never really knowing anything that was happening in the adult world.

For much of my youth, outside of weddings or other special occasions I didn’t observe adult couples being affectionate. Occasionally, I eavesdropped enough to hear the adults discuss finances or household responsibilities that were often gendered based.

Until I was an adult, I don’t recall my parents ever having date night and I definitely never heard about how any of the adult couples came to be a couple!

I can’t tell you how my parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles met their romantic partners. It’s funny. I watch a lot of cheesy romance movies on a popular television network that’s known for the cheesy!

I am glad that the adult couples I observed when I was coming of age didn’t try to present the cheesy television network’s version of romantic relationships; however, I do wish I would’ve received a more full picture of romantic relationships.

Fortunately, I know that even if I observed a detailed version of romantic relationships when I was growing up; I would still have many of the same issues. Quite frankly, every relationship is different and the individuals in the relationship are unique; therefore, no roadmap or model would ease my issues with relationships.

I do believe that the privilege of observing real life romantic relationships can help or hurt your development as far as your receptiveness to love is concerned…but I know that relationships take work regardless of your starting position!

Some people have a healthier idea of relationships than others. Others have fanciful ideas of relationships and then there’s people like me who are simply going with the flow because we really don’t know!!!

It’s ok to not know what you’re doing in your romantic relationship – no one really does or else there wouldn’t be so much “help” available for our consumption!

If this love is real, my relationship looks like…

Many of us are led to believe that there’s someone out there for us; waiting to embark on an adventurous romantic relationship with us.

There are so many popularly held beliefs about love that it’s easy to become confused by it all.

We are taught that it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved; that love will find away; that if someone loves you they will do [fill in the blank].

Sigh.

No one really likes to discuss the hard part about relationship or even how every relationship has a different course.

I recall when the popular craze about how to know if a guy is into you was all the rage. I remember trying to pinpoint things that expressly signified that Mr. was into me.

I often came up short, or at least with a mixed message.

Needless to say…I became confused!

The researcher in me now knows the fallacies in the popular arguments about how to tell if someone is into you or not…but at that time I just knew that these articles, books, movies would provide the answers that I oh so desperately needed.

I’ve loved before, it wasn’t all sunshine and smiles. For a fact, it was downright difficult to love – for me!

Be easy, I’ll explain! Loving someone romantically often led to me thinking of that person and considering their opinion.

Yeah! That was no fun and far from any vision I had of myself.

The love was reciprocal; although, even that was difficult – for me!

I didn’t know how to let myself be loved. I mean, this person had no obligation to care for my wellbeing so I often wondered why? I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what’s the catch?

I’m not suggesting that I am by anyway unworthy of love; however, along with those messages I subconsciously picked up about love – I also learned that no one just does something without wanting something else.

I’m sure you’ve been privy to those messages also. They are also in our television, movies, books, and conversations.

I didn’t know at the time why I continually questioned the validity and reliability of the love being given to me. I understand more now.

Thankfully, I decided to get to know myself more without the pressure of improving my relationship or my ability to accept love.

I simply desired to be a better version of me. This is why I am acutely aware of the messaging we receive in so many facets of life.

At the moment, I love someone romantically, and I’ve loved this person for quite sometime. I am careful about what messaging I allow to enter into my relationship.

Some times I find myself searching the web for someone’s opinion on relationships or specific questions pertaining to the relationship.

Without fail, I leave that search I thinking oh this individual might love me or he might not.

I also leave those searches thinking that I might have low self esteem and need a swift intervention or I might be a strong independent woman who knows what she wants out of a relationship.

After I stop stressing over my internet search (yes, as intelligent as I am – an internet search knocks me off of my sanity rocket) I remember that although the information presented by all of these great minds is good in its own niche – none of the authors are able to generalize my relationship because everyone is unique.

Don’t get it twisted…I do appreciate advice but I refuse to be consumed by the advice.

I am unique, with an interesting set of characteristics & the Individual I love is unique also.

It’s important that I don’t cheapen our relationship with the confusion that is the opinion of others.

Where’s my fairy godmother with her wand of happily ever after? Romantic relationships would be so much easier that way!

Romantic relationships

Before I start, I’ll say that I haven’t had many romantic relationships as far as quantity goes; but, I’ve had a few quality romantic relationships in my adult life.

It’s also important to point out that I was focused on my educational aspirations and therefore I made little time for romantic relationships.

Somehow I managed to have a few quality relationships

Now that school is over and I can think about romance in a different light, I can say that I’m happy that I did not focus heavily on this aspect of life much.

I’ve read a few articles and books in the popular and indie presses about relationships and those are very confusing.

I personally feel that many of those sources are out of touch with the reality of romantic relationships.

I know you’re likely wondering what does she know if she was so caught up in school? I have had romantic relationships, been in love, and endured relationship loss.

My current relationship status is unimportant.

Romantic relationships are not easily explained so be careful when reading the massive love advice in books, blogs, and from “gurus”.

We all enter our relationships with baggage – I’m including our personal beliefs, world views as baggage – therefore our situations may not fit the advice in the love columns.