“All you need is love. All you need is love. All you need is lo-ove. Love is all you need.”
I’m so glad those days are gone!
Besides, love is not all you need, although it comes close.
You also need a definition.
Because we SO pervert the meanings of bedroom words these days.
So today we will just stop and talk about regular, human, marital love, as we find it around us, when it’s attempting to be genuine. You know, the kind of love they say to make sure is REAL before you get married?
Okay, here goes!
There are at least two kinds of marital love that claim to be the real deal and to be the goal. Most often, we find either one or the other in a marriage, and not both. And probably that’s not good, unless something heavily special is going on.
Like Napoleon and Jose—no, I mean, like Antony and Cle—no, I mean like Romeo and Juli . . .
Yep. Some of the most famous love stories were disasters, weren’t they!
We don’t want what they had, do we! NO!
We want stability, hope, friendship, respect! YES!
We want things many star-studded marriages throw away for a few nights of illegal pleasure.
So here goes, the first definition for that elusive first kind of love, the kind we normally think of when we contemplate a marriage.
Love Type One—
Lots of people think they are experiencing love when they notice a new neighbor.
Whether in the neighborhood, in class, on the job, at church, etc., if he is smart, cute, friendly, etc., he may be “the ONE”!
They have a lot of fun, flirting.
One or the other, or both, begin trying to figure out how they could be together forever, etc.
If someone asks if it’s the “real thing” they don’t want to think about it.
In fact, that can be the definition:
If you no longer want to know if this is the real one, then it is.
So the stability of the relationship we are building is hung upon using hot hormones as the mortar, which, wow, actually IS intended to be the magnet in a marriage, but the entire purpose of hormones is to boost the mechanics of “be fruitful and multiply”, NOT to be the only glue for keeping it all glued together.
However, just as fast as they slide in and flair up, hormones also can slip away and fade. Yep.
Hormones even can schuss clean off the mountain, sometimes, from one flower to another, sometimes hopping about like rabbits, and sometimes just as prolific.
If the hormone-infused couple happens to be married, (to each other—why do I have to say that?) then at this “fading” point, the honeymoon might be beginning to halt.
And sometimes it doesn’t take very long.
Love Type Two—
As we age, we learn to figure a few things out.
Often, then, it is too late, but not always.
Sometimes we find a couple who have basically a “love-to-hate-you” relationship.
It can be so frustrating to watch. I’m sure it must be frustrating and disorientating to be inside it.
Often, one or the other member of this pair is smart enough not to trust the “fast-flair” type of “love” just described above.
They cannot stand to look at each other, but it can be maturity that motivates.
However, being fearful of trusting too fast, of loving the wrong one, of any and all mistakes, can be just as crippling as being everlastingly eager to jump into something too fast.
Often this couple of hate/lovebirds views each other as a last resort, or an “old friend” who is not much of a prize. If they spend time together at all, it is after reckoning carefully the risk of being seen together, even by each other.
It’s the topic of many a comedy in the movies, especially starring Spencer and Katharine.
At the last, most desperate moment, the arrival of a modicum of awareness causes each to notice he actually has personal moments of neediness, and also to notice how completely relieving it is to know someone reliable.
Finally, gratefulness gallops to the rescue and we see the claws being tucked in and the fur sinking until we begin to hope for these two poor souls.
THE MIDDLE GROUND—where it all begins to make sense.
There is a lot of space between the two types of love we’ve discussed and room for many, many unhappy ones to float around, unresolved, unloved, unfulfilled, unrequited—un-everything!
In this group we find:
The Semper-single (with or without parents in the background)
The I’ve seen the village and I’ll raise myself thank-you types
The ever-entrenched in making a fortune that never arrives (denial on steroids, or on SOMETHING!)
The oft-divorced (aka: the impatient)
And even the gender-confused and re-confused (and full of blaming).
Don’t shudder too fast, friends, because in this group we also find (drumroll, please!) the STILL MARRIED AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!!!
These dear, long-lasting ones may have begun with a fast flair, yes.
However, they have arrived at maturity and appreciation for each other, at easy friendship, relaxed conversations, and comfortable silences, as they work and play together.
The harmony is palpable and very attractive. The glances, the touches, the calm, and the ease all inspire.
These who have arrived on the other side of the void are the beacons who cause us to want to do better, to be more patient, and to smile more.
Their honest effort, patient forgiveness, and their sheer ability to overcome the doldrums and to blow past the stubbornness of self-serving can give us awe.
These are the enduring because of being durable.
These are the weeping but reaping ones.
These are the ones who can wait to figure out if faults, as well as the fun-flair of hormones, can fade.
Because if faults can go away as easily as fun can flair, a lot of invested hard work can be salvaged and a lot of happily-ever-after harvesting can finally be realized.
And it’s worth it, being one of those.
Mix your hormones in with some of that dependability and see if it isn’t just the bridge you need over the storm between the fun and the harvest.
Yes, I’m talking to you. And to me. ❤