Musings on Love on the day of Love

When I was a younger woman, I had all sorts of notions about love. The funny thing about preconceived ideas is that life has a funny way of making mincemeat of all our lofty thoughts on such matters. Today is Valentine’s Day; a day that in modern time is about showing our love for that special person. Or a day which in our culture can sometimes be summed up simply, if you love someone you must spend money and if your gifts are proved to be lacking there may not be much more love in your future. Of course, the messages are even worse if one does not have that special person in their life. After all, who will send you a dozen of roses? Or treat you to a fancy dinner and shower you with oodles of gifts and curl your toes with hot steamy sex? Let’s be honest, Valentine’s Day is filled with heavy expectations and when they aren’t met, it’s a ride on the emotional roller coaster.

Having run off at 18 to get married and having remarried again at 24, I have to say that Valentine’s Day has never been that big of a deal for me since I have pretty much been partnered for most of my adult Valentine’s Days. The funny thing is one of my earliest dates with the current Man Unit of 17 years was on Valentine’s Day. I must say he did it up right with all the bells and whistles but the truth is even if he hadn’t, the odds are that he probably would still be my wing-man.

Over the years as we have seen our fortunes rise and fall, the importance of Valentine’s Day has lessened for me. Love is shown continuously in how we choose to live and how we treat our partners and ourselves. In the early years of my relationship with the Man Unit, I didn’t love myself enough so the Man Unit’s love was strong enough to sustain us for the love I didn’t know how to give myself. It’s why I had to focus on the exterior things that he was able to give me and why when those things didn’t meet my notions of what love should be, I was crushed.

In choosing to share my life with another, it’s interesting to watch how love changes over the years. Years ago, I needed that big bag from Vicky’s Secrets and a spa visit to feel loved. Now I need very little because knowing that I have a person who allows me the freedom to roam and find myself, always trusting that I will come back to home base is far more valuable than that pink bag ever was. Waking up each day to the smell of coffee massaging my nose from the first floor is the ultimate in love because the Man Unit hates mornings and gets up early to accommodate me. Love was shown when he walked away from the lure of six figures and an upward career trajectory to be here for me and my son in Maine. Love is the times, he put his needs last to put mine first and I learned love when I put my needs last to put his first. Love is a dance of constant give and take where each partner takes the lead as needed. Love is the times when you go broke together literally but can stay up until 4 am making love and still find the joy in life when really from the outside looking in; others might say that you should be crying.

This isn’t quite the post, I had in mind when I sat down, but that’s life, it never goes quite the way we plan. To love another fully and completely, I believe we must love ourselves fiercely and passionately. Loving oneself is to know yourself and to trust in the wisdom that you hold and not allow others to define you. So on this Valentine’s Day, no matter what your relationship status, show love to yourself first and foremost and if there is a special person/s in your love, be willing to dance the dance of love and don’t worry about the external factors. Flowers are lovely and trust me I love em, but they die and eating out tonight is overrated, most restaurants are packed and overpriced.

To love…that which keeps this journey vibrant.

Musings on Love

Its Valentine’s Day, a day when flower shops, candy stores and Victoria’s Secret all probably do a brisk business. A day when expectations often exceed our reality and leave us feeling let down. Regular readers know I have been married a while, its been 11 years to be exact, 13 years total that we have been together.

In light of the day, I feel like sharing a few thoughts on this love thang….for starters I am convinced that the reason divorce rates are so high these days in the US is because most of us are walking around approaching the business of love like a bunch of teenage girls.

See, falling in love feels good, when boy meets girl and a connection is made, it feels great. In the early days of most courtships, we are on our good behavior, even at the point we realize the relationship is serious, we are still walking around not truly revealing ourselves in many cases.

I just shared some of this with the Spousal Unit yesterday so now I will share it with you. The past few years of our marriage have been less than perfect, truthfully at times the idea of bailing has sometimes crossed my mind. Why you ask? Well as we settled down, meaning we bought the house and added our own child to the mix, life started to get heavy. In the past 3-4 years, there hasn’t been much time for all the sweet shit that made me marry Mister Spousal Unit, but after closer examination I realized that the problem is not that we have fallen out of love, its just that I was still operating with a teenagers view of love.

I realized when I thought about my parents own marriage, 31 years and it was one of those to death did they part affairs and I know first hand it was not all roses, in fact there was about 10 years that were less than ideal, yet my folks were old school so they realized it wasn’t going to be all good. The saddest tragedy with my Mom’s early death is that right before she took ill, they actually were falling back into that teenage love and it was obvious to all around. In fact they finally had the house to themselves since their entire marriage had been spent raising kids, since I was born 6 weeks after they married. Yet no matter how rough the road got they were there for each other.

Today as I sit back and look at the examples of love they showed, I know now what they had was real despite the fact it was messy as hell at times. Yet when my Mom was sick, too sick to even cook, I watched my Dad, a man whose cooking skills are greatly lacking attempting to prepare the same homecooked meals my Mom had lovingly prepared for 30 years…yeah the food sucked but she knew he did it out of love.

No, real love often involves that mundane non-glamourous shit…around here the hubby shows his love by driving my no driving self around when he really would prefer not too. Its love shown by allowing me my time in the morning to drink coffee and veg out on the computer while he plays with our daughter. Every night he makes me a glass of ice water and carries its up to my nightstand so that I have cold water in the middle of the night.

I remind myself of these tender moments and actions when ever I start to feel pissed that he doesn’t earn much cash, granted he earns enough to still be considered the breadwinner but its less than he used to and as a middle aged man in a dying career, I know it fucks with his pride. Sometimes he gets sad that no longer can we afford the weekend getaways that marked the early years of our relationship, gone are the special Vicky’s Secrets for no reason.

Yet these things are not love, shit the fact that when I was almost 50 lbs overweight he still loved and desired me and never once made negative comments about the weight remind me that his love is real. I will admit sometimes I fall short in the reciprocation department, after all I know I should stop bitching about his missing hair, its been years since he cut it off since the receding hair line wasn’t working.

Sometimes love doesn’t feel like what we think it should, its not always butterflies in the stomach, sometimes its just a feeling of contentment knowing that your partner has your back.

Anyway happy Valentine’s Day, if you are not partnered its still as day to share love, the love of family and friends is just as special as the love of a partner.