“Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”

(Erica Jong)

 

 

This may be a bit of a honest post that will not make easy reading.  I make no apology for my honesty.

 

I tend to own up to be cynical about love.  In reality that is not the case.  I truly believe in love.  I have a deep heart that I am careful about but I have, on occasions,  let it fall in love.  The people in my past who had my love still do have it.  It may have changed from a romantic love into a love based on friendship but it is still love and it will never change.

My last long term relationship of 8 years was one that I hoped would last, but it didn’t.  Fault lies on both sides, but from my point of view lack of affection and the continual battle of minds just became too much, I lost my peace, I lost myself and became someone that I didn’t recognise anymore, someone boring, grumpy, flatlining.

I realised that the romantic love had died for both of us, in the end we had become friends and business partners, and although it would have been easier to “accept my lot” I knew that it was unfair on both of us to do so.   We had a lot to lose by breaking up, but we had even more to lose if we didn’t.

I did love my ex very deeply, I knew that because of the problems that we had and how hard I tried to understand them.   I did hope that these problems would resolve themselves but in the end I realised that they never would, the problem lay at the very heart of us, we were friends rather than lovers, business partners instead of loving partners.

I had to face the fact that either I accepted this or moved on.   In the end my conscience got the better of me, my ex was a lot younger than me and really needed and deserved, as I did,  to have a heart that was alive again, from my point of view I wasn’t really prepared to be a companion.  I wanted to be wanted, not needed or put up with.

I moved on, with the friendship and love of my ex with me as she has with me.  We certainly care for each other and trust each other and I would still lay my life on the line for her.   I wish her happiness in all she does and I know she does the same for me.

I have met some lovely women during this period of “singledom” and I did tentatively let my heart go briefly only to have it left full of doubt and hurt at being taken for a fool.  I am still smarting a bit over this but it became obvious that the relationship was not on an equal footing, I was expected to understand, compromise and change, without the same consideration being offered.  It was one sided, based on an ideal, not on reality.

I have never uttered the word “love” unless I have truly meant it.   I know I have hurt people, I really have never meant to, but I have been hurt by false declarations of love because I tend to believe people are as honest as I am when it comes to affairs of the heart.

My life is a nice wee life, I have everything I want (well … apart from a campervan and a home in Lesbos! but these are dreams I can work towards!)  I am happy being on my own, I have wonderful friends and a wonderful dog that loves me unconditionally, as I love her.    If someone is out there for me, then we will meet, life and fate ensure that.  If not then I have a lifetime of love to look back on.

I know I have the courage to love for real, I just feel not everyone does.

Cynical, maybe .. I prefer to think I’m just realistic.

A quote from the Velveteen Rabbit sums it up (I’ve posted this before.. but just in case you missed it)

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”