Well, I didn’t.
I still believe in love, but I believe differently. Brace yourself for the metaphors…
I believe that love is an invitation. I had a therapist once tell me love was inviting someone to dance. I have never forgotten that; think it quite a beautiful idea.
I think that love is a signal, an invitation, a sign, perhaps even an icon. It is a map to a destination, but having the map is no guarantee you get to the goal.
Love is first most important ingredient in a recipe, but it isn’t the only one. If goal is the cake of happiness in a happy healthy relationship, then love is the flour in the recipe. It is essential, perhaps the most essential, ingredient, but alone it isn’t enough make a cake. (Yes, I know, very McArthur Park)
So I no longer believe that if people are really truly in love it means that they will definitely have great relationship in the future. For love to lead to a happy relationship, love needs a lot help. There are so many other factors that aren’t about love, but are about human relationships. People have to be committed to working hard over the long haul. People have to be willing to deal with the ebbs and flows of sexual attraction over time. People have to know that the person they love will definitely change, sometimes in unpredictable ways. People have to willing to share with one another the most deeply personal, difficult and embarrassing parts of life. People have to be willing to pay the price that can come when being in a romantic relationship someone changes other relationships in their lives.
I think that far too many people get into long term committed relationships too quickly.
I think people need to really take the time to get to know someone before committing to them. I think marrying/partnering at young age in our post-modern world in is simply silly. I think people should experience a good long period as a single adult, before committing to someone else. Get to know yourself before you commit to someone else! Get to know someone before you commit to him/her!
As for the old standard of not having sex before marriage I think it beyond ridiculous. It was an old, very sexist, custom that has ALWAYS applied to women more than men (few people have ever been upset that a man wasn’t a virgin on his wedding night!) and was clearly about men being sure that his property was “new” and that any children were HIS offspring.
In today’s world the notion that ANYONE would make a commitment to another person before having a sexual life with them is foolhardy. If you committing to a life with someone and sex is part of that life, isn’t important to know if you are sexual compatible? I say people should LOTS of sex before marriage so you know this is person you would like to have LOTS of sex with in the future! Sex is not the only, or even the most important part of love, but it is a part of love and should not be easily dismissed. No one should put up with a bad sex life. As stated above, sex ebbs and flows between people, but it is always something people will revisit again and again.
I think that too many people get married/enter a committed relationship in general. Is it so wrong to live your life without a partner? Is it so wrong to know that being in a long term relationship isn’t right for you?
At 44, I would honestly still LOVE to be in a long term loving relationship, but I have no regrets. I have loved my life as I have lived it and I am not sure there is much I would change. I want to be with one special person, and yet, if it doesn’t happen I attend live, love and enjoy my life just as much as if I sharing with one special someone. There other kinds of love, friends, family, pets (hey Sammy, you finally made the blog!) that have always filled my life with joy and I hope always will.