14 Feb

So it is valentine’s day and I want to write a post about love. But writing about love is tricky for a skeptic like me.

Cynical and distrustful, romantic love is a massive conundrum for me. I do not believe in soulmates. I do not believe in love at first sight. But then, I am a romantic too. I love stories of love and romance. I love weddings. I love to see couples in love after many years. I love seeing a soft look or a gentle touch pass between long time partners. I love being around people who are in love. I love seeing the unsaid understanding that passes between people who are truly in love.

A friend recently mentioned that, now that we are “older” and more experienced, we are more equipped to know what we want from our romantic relationships. Relationships that suited us in the past may no longer “fit” what we have come to know of ourselves in the present. I think this is true for me. Today I definitely have a far deeper understanding of love and relationships than I had in my twenties. Different needs and different expectations. This got me thinking about what I would expect from my ideal relationship. What makes a relationship good, and more importantly, what makes a relationship great? 

I believe all great relationships have a great beginning. A grand, passionate, romantic story that you can tell the grandkids, or the neighbours kids, or anyone who cares to ask. Of course, all relationships go through highs and lows, but I truly believe that there must be that storybook element somewhere that keeps the Kismet going. That shared story that keeps you believing in “your story” when times get tough.

Good relationships have gentle touches, shared smiles, a “knowing” and trust that only exists between people who have seen each others souls. Great relationships are the ones that are like this after many years. Great relationships are all about the quiet moments. To me, this means more than any grand kiss or passionate moment. When you can sit with someone, not talking, not engaging, yet not wanting to be anywhere else, you are in the middle of something great. Of course, everyone has things they want to do and real life always creeps in, but if you can have moments like this every now and then, you are onto something great.

Great relationships also have great communication. Anything and everything can be discussed. Different opinions are not only accepted but cherished. A genuine delight for the inner workings of the other person’s mind is essential. Great relationships have great conversations. It is also about laughing together and having fun. In my opinion, deep conversations and cheeky banter have equal weight in a relationship.

Great relationships also know about forgiveness, acceptance and trust. These three key ingredients are just as essential as the other elements mentioned here.

Finally, the partners in Great Relationships are equals. Equals in love. Each one loves the other with a love that is equally fierce and extraordinary. There is no imbalance in affection.

Which brings me to my views on love. I think my view of love is probably too idealistic. I don’t believe that the kind of love I am talking about happens very often. I believe in love, but I am also severely cynical. I think love is rare and precious. I believe that it is possible to find a love that is real and enduring. I have seen it. I have also seen many people settling for a love that is less than extraordinary. I have seen what love is not.  Love is not about promises and grand romantic gestures. Give me that, and I will throw it right back at you. Love is not sex. Love is not committment. Love is not marriage. Love may lead to these things, but it does not flow from them.

I have seen what I don’t want from love and it has given me a framework for what I do want. I want an extraordinary love. A passionate love. A love with gentle touches, and moments of deep, unspoken, shared understanding. I want long conversations and fun and laughter. I want a love than accepts me as I am, without judgement and looks to understanding and forgiveness before anything else.

I believe that a love like this exists and that it is possible for all who believe in it. It’s the kind of love I want to give, I’m just not sure that it’s out there for me. As much as I want to believe in love, I am just as inclined to think it is all a load of nonsense.

But I want to believe…


2 Responses to “Love”

  1. Caroline Avnit February 14, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    I enjoyed reading this Pia.
    keep believing

  2. sleepyjane February 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    I liked this post and the images you used.

    Love is messy sometimes, and relationships are hard work. But it wouldn’t be worth it is it was easy would it? Most things rarely are.

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