I’ve previously shared my views of “true love” as a myth in our love-starved society. But I do believe in love and lasting relationships, and strive to infuse all my real relationships (regardless of length or labels) with the qualities that make for lasting relating. Today I was asked to talk about keeping all the fires burning. I just couldn’t stop thinking that people who ask these questions tend to be seeking “an answer” or a How To patch, but instead get stuck with hearing a lot of idealized Harlequin Romance hooey about how relationships are supposed to be, which usually serves to make them feel even worse. [Read my smooshier view on love (second link above) and please indulge me here.]
Love that is forged of Friendship + Lust isn’t about the Perfect One, heart-shaped candy or wedding planning gone wild — it takes concentration of steel to actively remember the commitment to it. That sort of love means work. That level of love is deeply satisfying in on-off lukewarm cuddliness to sizzling sexiness, the acceptance of unconditional love and nurturing in the security of buddy-companionship — and simultaneously holds great potential for boredom, situational blindness and eh!, apathy. Repeat beginning of this paragraph.
I’m paraphrasing a recent brilliant Diane Sawyer (married to director Mike Leigh for 21 years) comment, “Every marriage (and lasting relationship) is a foreign land. You may enjoy visiting but not want to live in this foreign land, but it works for its inhabitants.” Couldn’t agree more, and against the common “wisdom” that espouses a One Size ideology of what “works” or not in long relationships. Some individual relationships have more sizzle, romance, friendship, or companionship than others, and if they’re truly working (versus stuffed emotions, lazy habits, or excuse-making refuges to hide from not communicating respectfully, or having sex) for its inhabitants then there’s no “wrong way” to how yours works for you.
Dynamics can be a tricky thing. Remember not to check your baggage, because if you can’t hand carry it, it’s way more crap than you need to bring on this trip. Relationships are comprised of individuals who can always stand improvement, and that’s where to focus how to keep all your own fires burning.
Love that love. — BadWitch
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