If you are just tuning in, I’ve been writing for the last couple of days on the what I call The Love Myths. These are so culturally ingrained, we don’t even realize that these beliefs are running our lives. If Love is a choice we make, and NOT something we fall into, awareness of our underlying operating system is going to be a big help. Today’s principle Love is Not Time Bound, actually addresses a whole slew of myths. Do you believe any of the following?
Love takes time to grow
Love is for the young
Love wanes over time
Love disappears when you lose touch
I’ll address these all, actually in reverse order,because I think the first one is the most deeply rooted. I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with my best friend from high school after a lapse of 19 years. H and I were wild girls together, partying at Studio 54, riding home in limos, challenging each other to lose our virginity. (I won, I’ve always been hyper competitive). After I went away to college, we grew apart. After I stopped being a wild party girl, I particularly distanced myself, because I didn’t want to be reminded of some of the darker days that came with that lifestyle. On Christmas day, we reunited over brunch on the Upper West Side of NY. It was as if no time had passed. We talked freely, and for hours, with the comfort of being close friends who knew each others’ souls.Love is not time bound. Once I have loved you, I will love you forever, even though it may look different.
Which leads us to the next myth, that love wanes. I’m having this radical idea that there is not more love, or less love that we can feel for someone. There’s just Love. You might have more desire and willingness to express it at times. You might be really hurt, or angry and that can mask the love. If love is a choice, you can decide that you love someone, and practice the skills of loving (that I’ll get to in a few days). If love is waning, it’s because you’ve lost your commitment. Lust wanes. The endorphin rush that accompanies new love wanes. But your capacity to feel loving never wanes. My relationship with first husband was a challenge, after he left even more so. But I can still find reasons to love him, including the fact that he gave me two gorgeous daughters, and he left me in a good place to move on with my life. I think he loves me too, and to the best of his ability, seeks to meet my needs as a co-parent.
Love is only for the young?
Two of my best friends are having a wonderful love affair/marriage and they met in their fifties. I think the older you are, the more clearly you know yourself, and the more willing you are to invest the energy and time that a relationship takes. I met my second husband when I was 41, and my next great love affair is just around the corner.
Which leaves us with love takes time. When I was a little girl, my mother would say, “put on your coat, it’s cold.” I wasn’t cold, she was. Kids run at a high metabolism. This is the first step in the conditioning of children, to make them doubt their own senses and instincts. Because of this, we tend to disregard our instincts about people. We hold ourselves back for fear of making a bad choice. Now, I’m not saying you should get into relationship, romantic or otherwise, on the fly. But I do have a love at first sight experience. When I was in college, I met Joe J. at a party on the eve of my year abroad in England. We talked all night, and the next morning I said, “I just met the man I am going to marry.” Our love grew, and survived a year long distance, and another six months once I returned, only to crumble due to his family not approving of my religion. The first time I spent the night with Marc, the fireworks were NOT happening, but I woke up the next morning and thought I was home. Love can blossom in an instant, if you are willing to let it. Then you see how it develops. If you keep investing in the relationship,the love will continue to deepen. It may change form. The marriage can end. But the love doesn’t have to die, it just changes form too. Remember on Day one when I said how do you want to be loved? If you continue to find the places where what you want to give matches with what they want to receive, and vice versa, love continues beyond time.
In case you missed the previous posts:
Tomorrow: Love is Good Will in Action