Wednesday, May 28, 2014

But not really, maybe

When you are house hunting and job hunting, timing is the main factor. You can only scope out options from what is available, not from all the possibilities that may have existed. The only relevant thing is what's available now.

You build up a list in your head of your fantasy home but this will be tempered by reality. What can you afford? What kinds of homes are available at that rate? What are your must-haves? Your nice-to-haves-(but-not-dealbreakers)?

When you finally settle on a place, you begin investing in it. You spend money and time to make it homey and you resign yourself to accept the things you don't like so much. Maybe you hate the long, awkward kitchen but the location outweighs the inconvenience so you settle peacefully into a contented existence.

Same with a job. It has ups and downs, but as long as the ups are greater, you stay. You accept the parts you're not thrilled with because overall you want to work.

Nothing is perfect. You know this.

So why is it not the same with love?

You want love, right? Well, not really, if you turn away all the available options. (Which is okay, really, as long as you're honest with yourself. I mean, some people rent forever.)

At the core of dissatisfaction, however, isn't bad timing; it's expectations. What do you expect/desire from a partnership? If no one fits, is it because the idea of love is unrealistic? Do we expect our hearts to transport us whilst living mundane lives? Homes and jobs are not fantastical, not the way love can be.

No one makes movies depicting jobs that are pinnacles of joy and exuberance (if they did, patrons would laugh their way out of the theaters -- we've all held jobs and no one is buying it!).

But people still believe in a perfect love.

All around me, I see people yearning to meet "the one" and yet I think maybe what's elusive is that the blueprint is missing. Without knowing what it looks like, one can forever yearn for the perfect, unattainable scenario while eking out non extraordinary livings in imperfect homes.

I've spent so much time in a "temporary" place that I have become wildly content with impermanence. It's getting more and more difficult to imagine anything being worthy enough to make me uproot my freedom and space. The only longings I seem to feel now are mostly triggered when I see couples in love and building lives together. "Awww, I want that," I will think, touched by the deep demonstrations of their love, maybe even trying it on in the privacy of my head. What does it feel like to be loved like that?

So I want it, but not really, maybe.

Only if it's amazing, fantastical, the stuff of movies... but maybe that's unrealistic. When is it being grounded vs. settling?

(Sent from my phone)


  1. Not unrealistic at all. I've seen it. Lived it. There is a blueprint, but it's not the kind we're used to thinking of. It's not about some perfect setup or scene. (But it leads to those happening.) It's not what someone does or how they look. (Those, for the most part, cease to matter.) It *is* about a feeling. One that's been written about by poets and songwriters for eons. One that's been painted and danced and sculpted thousands of times over.

    The blueprint lives in every moment of happiness we've ever had... and every tear we've ever shed. That pulse of Fantastical Love runs the length and breadth of our lives as a whole. An echo of everything that ever was. A resonate tone of everything that can be.

    It exists. But we only see it--only truly experience it--if we dare to believe it's possible to begin with.

    Otherwise it's far too easy to write it off as just some fluke of memory, imagination, or biology. Because it is just like everything we've experienced before, utterly familiar. Yet still, in some terrifying and wonderful way, still something more.

  2. If you've experienced it, then you have a blueprint. What about people who have not? I've met at least 5 people who have never known what it feels like to be in love the way movies depict, yet they yearn. Some even want kids and families and are feeling increasingly antsy that they'll never find that feeling they're looking for. How do you find it when you don't know what it is? How much of that requires an internal shift vs. external motivation?

    I once read a quote from a grandpa to his grandson that said something like "I looked for years for the perfect woman and couldn't find her. Then when I realized I needed to concentrate on being the perfect man instead, your grandma walked into my life and it was the best thing that ever happened to me."

    I realize everyone's journey in love is as individual as a fingerprint and no one philosophy/quote/method that worked for one person will work for another, but this just all has me thinking.

    1. The experience *is* the blueprint. As in: You don't fully know it until you've experienced it.

      But, as I said, the difference between that Fantastical Love and everything else is a matter of magnitude more than anything else. It's a riff on a familiar song... how familiar really depends on how closely you've listened. (So, yes, a huge part of it is being the best you you can be... otherwise all the notes are muddled no matter what.)

      Getting caught up in "The Plan" (i.e. kids and family) is extra noise that gets in the way. (Note: Biology and society most certainly don't help put these things aside.) Panic, fear, self-loathing... all those negatives dull the tones of everything, making it difficult to tell the (metaphorical) Bach from, say, the newest top 20 hit.

      It's definitely music of some kind... but... well... just not clear enough to tell *what* kind.

      The first notes that have to be heard and felt crisply are those that come from within. Once you've done that, you can better find harmony with external things... better let the dissonant parts of external life pass by with minimal disruption.

      Over time, with effort both internal and external (as in: You ain't gonna meet anyone if you don't leave the house and interact with people), the best matches to your own tone will improve and, perhaps (if they're tuned in, too), that perfect harmonic other will roll in and the whole scale of the symphony will change.

      (I, uh, could probably milk the music metaphor more, but I'm in the middle of programming...) ;)

    2. I really like this: "The first notes that have to be heard and felt crisply are those that come from within." Very nicely-put. Yes.

      (I'd say more but I'm trying to be productive...)

  3. If you don't have a need/reason to settle, then there's no reason you should settle.
    Being grounded on the other hand, and more clearly deciding down what it is you want is something else altogether.
    Of course, in the end, chemistry will probably sway you anyway.

  4. Agreed. I wonder what happens in arranged marriages. You don't get to choose your partner. Can they grow to love each other just as deeply because they *want* to? So interesting to ponder.

    1. That would be where biology takes over.

      If we spend more time with someone than we do with anyone else, we're kind of hard wired to feel a connection with them... eventually. As long as there's nothing exceptionally abusive going on (and, more than sometimes when there is), that'll be close enough to "love" as far as those involved are concerned. Mainly because they know nothing different.

      This is where "comfort" can be a trap.

      How many people do you know who've stayed in obviously bad relationships (to those outside of the relationship) just because they've "always" been together? How many who get fed up with an incompatible partner and break it off... only to find themselves back with them days or weeks later (usually right after the first bout of loneliness or fear of being alone forever sets in)?

      Biology and habit. Two things that, if we don't recognize them for what they are, are exceptionally detrimental to finding the best relationships for us as individuals. (That's another reason why internal, personal work is so important to any good relationship... well, that or a total disregard for such "pointless" concepts as "love" or "fulfillment"... but those are more "transactional" relationships and, while they apparently work well enough for some people, and for a good long time were the norm, I think we can all do better than that if we want to.)