Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Love Isn't Practical but it is the life and the death of us all

I can honestly say that in the course of 61 years I have been deeply in love about 12 to 15 times. I'm not talking about lust or even friendship with lust, (friends with benefits). That is an entirely different thing. I'm talking about the kind of love when you really can't think about anything else for years. Where almost every waking and sleeping dream is about this person.

Even though I'm 61 now I'm still not immune to falling in love even though I haven't considered being in love very practical at all since I was about 15. I have always known that love is the life and the death of us. It just isn't practical.

Though in my teens and 20s I dated hundreds of women(in the 1960s and 1970s when one could do that sort of thing without dying of AIDS or STDs). By 1980 all the rules had changed. But dating isn't about love, usually though it can be about deepening friendships and long term relationships.

Though there is almost an infinite variation of different types of love, the kind I'm talking about here either gives one life or kills them. For this reason many people try to run from love and this doesn't really work. And just embracing love doesn't fully work either. No. In the long run to understand love one must understand it is both life and death. To think that deep deep love is only life is to risk death. And to think love is only death is to really be a fool.

To both benefit love and to survive love one must view it as a paradox and here it is:

"Without love you cannot truly live but unless you understand that love is not just friend but your enemy as well it will truly destroy you and your life completely"

Young love is like walking out in front of a truck and expecting it not to hit you. You have to learn the fine art of walking across a street without getting hit to survive it even once.

So, after searching for love in hundreds of relationships in my 20s, in my second marriage I looked not for love but for a friend to help me raise my son after my first divorce. I remember going to a party at age 32 after having been divorced and raising my son alone a few years and meeting my new wife before we started dating. The two people we were sitting talking with were single and very in love with the idea of love. But both my wife to be(we hadn't got to know each other or dated yet) said, "NO. You want to be married to someone who is your friend and shares your interests." But now these obviously single people for life we saying, "NO. Your wrong. You have to hear bells ringing and you will know that this is the one." And then we would both be saying, "No. You just need a friend who shares your interests and who has your back(protects you from outside harm)"

Obviously, the other two people never married but my new friend I and I were married for 15 years and raised our older three children (2 hers from her first marriage and my 1 from my first marriage) to adulthood.(over 18)

But what I'm trying to get at here is that who you are married to successfully for years and years has less to do with love and more to do with friendship and common interests.

I would say I have fallen in love at least once every 10 years. I have never been lucky enough to marry anyone that I was really in love with except for my first wife and that didn't work out because she was just too young(21) when we got together even though I was 25 and was mature enough to be married. And still because we were in love we are still friends, even though both of us have been married three times now and both of us have traveled all over the world. And even in between my second and third marriage I considered getting together with my first wife again for about 1 day. But quickly we both realized we couldn't go down that road again.

Being in love isn't practical and it might cause you to die if you are young and inexperienced(suicide). But without love why live? So, the old saying is true.

"It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all."

No comments: