Here I am, in my thirties, childless, at a stage where I make candid observations and came to the realization that I've completely lost my bearings.
I'm into serial monogamy as they say, and for the record, "serial" in my case stands for long-term relationships only.
Here I am with a career in full bloom, with fantastic friends, beaming, happy and healthy, however I've noticed that I now display a pragmatic maturity and a lucidity somewhat as acute as a splash of lemon juice on an open wound, which allows me to have a new outlook on romantic relationships.
So how's my little heart doing? Oh, doing fine, thanks. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with. I have a few little scars which serve to remind me of my life's key passages. I'm not afraid of scars.
Scars are pretty. It sorts of put a shiny red bow on one's personality and makes it more appealing. Doesn't it?
I've only been in love once. By "in love" I'm referring to pure, naive, unconditional love. I was younger. And then I fell in love again, this time around it was a more mature type of love, less fairy tale-ish, intrinsically linked to a sense of duty and moral obligations, which conveyed a more realistic and unbiased outlook on relationships.
I have given myself entirely both times.
A decade later, I sit here and wonder if I can love again according to the sociological norms that prevail.
I can have feelings for another human being, I can appreciate a significant other. But to be in love?
What does being in love mean anyway in 2013? How do we realize we're genuinely in love? Is it possible to be in a committed relationship and still desire someone else? If we feel desire for another human being whilst being in a committed relationship, does it mean that we love less or that we're not in "love" period?
My point is that Catholicism (p.s. I'd rather live my life as if there's a God and find out there's none than the opposite) has painted an utterly unrealistic vision of what a relationship should be ("married till the end of time!") and the bottom line is, in reality, unattainable.
"Love lasts three years," one said acclaimed French writer Frédéric Beigbeder. I tend to agree.
Statistics, science, psychotherapists, sociology... It holds much weight, at least in my eyes. Those four expose the truth, without idealizing it.
I can't help but to highlight certain trends... Around me, I see loving couples (but their relationship is fairly new so let's wait and see...) or spouses who are affectionate towards one another yet judging by their actions, don't love each other anymore.
Personally I feel that "to love one another" means to consciously choose/pick one another again, every day.
For me "to love" is to consciously choose to be with this person, day after day, with no ulterior motives than the simple wish of being together.
Rather than staying together out of habit. I'm pretty sure a lot of couples would not necessarily re-choose one another if they were given the opportunity to, whether money, moral obligations or courage were no object.
Human beings being human... I can understand that some stay together out of habit or because they feel for one another... however this is not for me.
Oh, I seldomly run into an elderly couple, two accomplices, holding hands. They're delightful.
However, I don't necessarily think this should be a goal in itself!
I look around me and I'm surrounded by a ton of people in a committed relationship experiencing profound communication difficulties, deep-rooted sexual problems or who choose to keep their eyes shut to the fact that many different areas of their relationship leave a lot to be desired. I'm not judging... I genuinely want everyone to be happy, to find their way.
To say that my actual vision of love in general is less romantic now than ever would be an understatement. It certainly is less Walt Disney-ish. More mature, perhaps.
I try to have an objective outlook. For instance if you've been with someone for years and that person cheats on you once, will that be a deal breaker? Imagine your spouse is an eight in every area of the relationship however strays once. Will that necessarily make him/her a bad person?
I don't mean to offend your sociologically appropriate feelings, but if you're with someone and this person remains faithful to you albeit being a four or a five in every area of the relationship; does it make this person a better human being?
I do believe that if things have been dissatisfying for a while, when all has been said and done (and tried), we should just move on.
Roommates with feelings? The taboo is so great. Yet, it's everywhere.
I'm trying to define exactly what it means to be "in love." Maybe one cannot conjugate Love to Present Perfect Continuous, after all.