I had initially hoped to post this on Valentine's Day, but I had some stuff to take care of last week, plus I ended up saying more than I thought on this topic. Thus, I'm posting the first half today, and the second half possibly later this week.
The power of love is a curious thing. It makes one man weep, and another man sing.
Sorry. For some reason, I started singing that old Huey Lewis song.
Anyway, love is indeed a curious thing. And it's also hard to pin down a definition! Love means, basically, caring for another. But there's different forms of caring. I care for my family and friends. I care more for family than for friends, obviously, but even within family, I care more for some family members than for others. Parents and siblings, in other words, should come before aunts, uncles, and cousins. Then there's the caring for another in the special way that can lead to romance, and then possibly to marriage.
Romantic love is probably the ultimate puzzle of our human existence on this mortal sphere (sounds rather deep and poetic, eh?). There's infatuation, which is basically a type of uncritical and unreasoning form of idolizing, and then there's the true and mature love. When one is infatuated, then the idolizer can't see any faults in the object of their adoration. That can get problematic (to say the least!) in that we all have faults, and some more glaring than others, but while we are "in love", we are blind to those faults - and often to our dismay later.
I've been in that state before. "Goofy in love", I mean. But it wasn't love, it was infatuation. I know this, because if it had been true love, then I would have married that woman, and I would still be with her to this day. And maybe I would have already had a child or two by now. I might also be in debt up to my eyeballs as the wife buys yet another pair of shoes from the most expensive shoe store in town while son Johnny is charging up a storm getting the latest electronic gizmo that will gather dust by the end of the month while daughter Suzie is dating some weirdo named “Skrattch” who’s wearing so much metal with his body piercings that he can’t go through airport gates without tripping all of them off at the same time.
Ahem. Sorry. Got off on a tangent there. Anyway, those infatuations proved to be just that – immature infatuations – and not true love. In other words, it wasn't meant to be; and perhaps it was for the best. It's entirely possible that "Miss Right" has already come into my life and gone.
....but I don't think so.
Why do I doubt it? Because I think I would have known by now that “Miss Right” had come and gone out of my life. In other words, right now I'd be ruing having let her go. But I have no such regrets over any woman of my past. Actually, now I can see that those I had been infatuated with in the past would have been wrong for me for one reason or another. While I do regret not having gotten to know more women in the past, there is still not anyone from the past that I now regard as “Miss Right”.
So what does that mean? That means two things: 1.) "Miss Right" is still in my future, or 2.) I was not meant to get married. Thing is, not being married for the rest of my life no longer scares me. I've come to accept the possibility. It's not something that I necessarily desire, but at the same time, I'd rather be single for the rest of my life than to be miserable from being married to the wrong person. People marry the wrong person because of different reasons. Among those reasons (and this list does not pretend to be complete) is a lack of patience, a lack of maturity, being "goofy in love", or being afraid of NOT being married. None of those reasons will ever lead to a happy marriage.
This, I know, because I have seen many, many examples of how to marry the wrong way. Ain’t that sad? I can’t count the numbers of marriages and divorces just among the people I know or have known. And the lesson from those failed marriages is that there is such a thing as marrying the wrong way. There’s many examples of marrying the wrong way, actually. Fortunately, there are some people I know that are still in their first marriage. For those folks, it looks like it’s going to stay that way, too. They’re examples of mature love, and it’s such people that gives me hope that I, too, may one day know the truest and best form of caring for another.
I shall be continuing this topic later.
Coming soon: Part 2
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3 months ago