I went to my school’s homecoming this pass weekend. The homecoming events were more than lacking. But the parties I attended were hot. So Friday night as the liquor started to affect this lightweight, my rear end bumped into a guy as I got up from my table. He used this incident to introduce himself. It was cute. We chatted for a bit then he asked me to dance. Now even though I was concerned about my tipsy status. I still said yes.
He lead me out on the floor and we started to dance. Now I must admit that since most guys seem to only come to the club to stand around a drink, I am used to dancing with other women. And being the Fred Astair/Gregory Hines protégé that I am, I usually take the lead when stepping with other women. This guy was not having any of that. He said quite respectfully, “you’re going to have to let me lead.” I was impressed and decided to see what he could do. Well, I will tell you. He spun me and dipped me! Yes, ladies and gents. He dipped me.
That is a big thing because only the most confident dancers will attempt a dip with a new partner. Needless to say. He was able to walk away with my number that night. So guys if you’re hunting in the club scene, dance with your prey. Your work becomes that much easier.
I found out some news today that made me cry. A friend of mines is getting divorced. I can’t express how much I really was hoping that they would work things out. Even while knowing the improbability of that with them residing in two different states, I was hoping for a miracle. I was hoping that they would both come to their senses, realize the errors of their ways and reconcile. I can only imagine what they are going through now. After a few years of being together, they realize they want to spend the rest of their lives together and get married. After a few years of marriage, they realize that they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives together and get divorced. It doesn’t make sense to me. What did years of marriage reveal that years of courtship didn’t for them to change their minds? Having never been married, I have no personal experiences to compare the life of marriage to. However, I have dated a man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I can compare the self awareness of their situation to mines, just that theirs came after saying “I do.”
It may be the writer in me that makes me very analytic, but throughout the course of my last relationship, I analysed everything. My best friend said I was being too analytical and I needed to go with the flow more. I am so glad I disregarded that advice. Going with the flow would have never made me ask the questions that I needed to ask of a man that I was considering spending the rest of my life with. Not just questions of him, but questions of myself. The best question that a person can ask themselves while considering marriage is “If this person never changes, could you spend the rest of your life with them?”
Often times we find ourselves being attracted to a person’s potential. We do like the person they are, but the potential they have is an irresistible allure. No one is perfect, but everyone has the potential to be close to someone’s ideal of perfection. The person that shows the most potential to grow into our ideal is usually the one we find our hearts settling on. The unfortunate part is that, a person needs to be willing to become what you want. No matter how much they care about you, if they are unwilling to be the person you need them to be, you won’t go very far.
When I asked myself this question in my last relationship, I knew it was over. I had already invested years into it without much improvement. It always came back to the one thing that I needed that he was unwilling to give. This is why a journal comes in handy. Going back over how many times I was discontent about the same things showed that progress was not being made. I knew that I couldn’t spend the rest of my life with this. Did it mean that I stopped loving him? No. It simply meant that I became aware that he would never be the person I needed.
It’s not just about their character flaws. It’s also about the things that you need for them to do for you in order for you to feel loved. Affection and Love are two different emotions. Affection is much easier to communicate. It’s light and fresh. Doesn’t take much commitment to show it either. You show it as the mood hits you. Love? Not so easy. That’s why so many fail in showing it. It doesn’t matter what excuses a person gives you as to why they aren’t giving you what you need. The end result is still the same. You don’t feel loved. It’s obvious that a person should leave a loveless situation. I just wish the awareness of their situation happened before saying “I do.” Or maybe it did, but they both were trying to force the issue instead of moving on.
Have you ever looked at someone and just knew that if only they would do the things you needed and asked for, your life together would be perfect. That if only they would recognize all the things you are willing to do for them and hope they would reciprocate? Love is doing those things. When you understand that it’s truly about pleasing the other person that’s when you begin to love.
We can go on all day about what isn’t love. We know from the first glance when something isn’t love. But we have to search deeper to see what Love is. There’s a reason why you can’t say you Love someone without having done something to show it. That’s because love is about action. Yes, plenty of people have abused this knowledge to the point where people are afraid to act out of love but it is necessary.
We are not mind readers, we only have what a person says and does to determine how they feel about us. The wisest people I know will always look to the actions before they believe a person’s words. This is why it is important to know a person’s love language so you can speak to them in the way that touches them most.
We can’t be self centered in love. Being self centered makes it impossible to see the needs of the other person. This leads us to doing only those things which we would do for oursleves. And although those things will make them feel special, it won’t make them feel loved if that’s not what they want. Then you will find yourself sitting alone asking “What more do they want from me?”, over something as simple as holding their hand as you walk down the street.
It’s simple things like these that we overlook and bypass in making grand gestures to show how much we care. Looking from the eyes of a person that wants the simple intimacy, how would it look to them when you keep denying them something that simple? Even with all those grand gestures, you still failed to give them what they truly wanted. Something that seems so easy when compared to the other stuff. So it shouldn’t be surprising when they say they don’t feel like you love them. In all honesty, you haven’t done anything to make them feel loved, have you?
So with this, I ask readers to observe their partners. Truly get to know them. Only by knowing them can you know how to please them. It’s really that simple.
Before I start to go into what Love is, it is important that I tell you what love is not. The seed that causes much confusion in our heads about love is that love is an emotion. When we start to look at love as something that we choose to do and not an emotion, our understanding of love broadens. Why do we associate love with such a weak thing as our feelings in the first place?
We wake up in the morning happy. Someone says a mean word, or does something to make us sad or angry. Then we cry or do something to change our feelings back to happy ones. Plans go wrong so disappointment sets in. Meet a new interesting person and euphoria takes over. Do we really want something as fickle as the wind to be something with which we make important life decisions? Putting Love in the same category with such weak things as our emotions is a serious mistake.
Love makes us feel things but just because it makes us feel does not make it an emotion. The world is filled with things that touches our senses but because love is intangible we want to place it our feelings. So does that make all intangible things an emotion?
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 ESV.
I have had an obsession with understanding love that began during my last relationship. I prayed once asking God to show me what love is. I had lived a lifetime and realized that I didn’t know what love is. Ironic isn’t it? I, who grew up in church, had to ask what love is. Looking back it saddens me that I even had to utter that prayer. Unknowingly admitting that I did not know God just by saying that. I am very glad that I did pray because by doing so I showed that I was ready and willing to be shown my own ignorance. The revelations that I have gained since praying that prayer is astounding. It has made me into a better person, a better friend, sister, daughter and Christian. It has strengthened my relationships all the way around.
So I this time I am going to focus on what Love is. It is what it is. I will share what was revealed to me and probably some of the sad memories that brought on these revelations. So I hope everyone enjoys my “Love is…” series.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 ESV
Everyone has it. A song that transports them back to a time in their life that is over and thoughts of a person they could never be with. For me that song is Alecia Keys’ “No One.” It makes me think of a person that for a time I seriously thought could be my husband. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Other people ask how do I know when we never even dated. I was curious about that for a while. Thinking of “what if” scenarios that ended with him and I blissfully wed. But life has taught me something. There are no “what if’s” in life. We make decisions and act accordingly to who we are at that moment. Our entire history would have to be rewritten in order for us to act differently.
So I accepted that although I cared and he cared, it wasn’t the care that would end with “I do.” And because we didn’t do anything to taint the memories, I can always look back fondly on those moments we had together. Harmonizing to “No one” and trying to maintain the facade of friendship when there was something more potent brewing between us. I must admit that it is an amazing thing that we didn’t cave under our attraction to each and cross the line. It was so obvious to anyone that saw us together, what was there. But that was who we both were in that moment, two individuals too afraid to risk anything and possibly missed out on something great. However, I do believe that there is something greater in store for me.