Monday, April 12, 2010

This ain't no thinking thing...or is it?

I am an analytical person. It is a good thing most of the time but sometimes it can be a real pain in the ass. I have been accused many times (more times than I care to recall) of "thinking too much." One time somebody I love and respect very much asked me if I even have the ability to be passionate about anything with all the time I spend analyzing things. Those that follow my blog know that I do have the ability to be passionate (and even senseless) at times, so I know I DO have the ability to be passionate. But I will also admit that I used to not show that passion, and the accusation that I was unable to pushed me to be more open on my blog about how I feel about things.

My experiences in "love" have not been good. I have spent much time analyzing the concept of love. My recent involvement with the most wonderful woman I have had the opportunity to know has brought this subject to the fore front of my mind more than ever. Mandy and I have discussed this subject at length and there are times I can almost hear a chuckle in her voice at moments that I tend to over analyze things. Thankfully she is patient with me at moments like that and doesn't turn up the volume on the TV!

In our culture we are raised with these ideas about love. Love is forever. Love is about finding "the one." Love is blind. Love at first sight. And the list goes on and on. These phrases all SOUND good. These statements all gives us the "warm fuzzies." That is...untill they bite us in the ass. I am not sure that this blog will make a lot of sense but I want to share some thoughts and conclusions I have come to about love....

(A) Love is less about finding "the one" and more about finding the right type of "one".
Now, I am not going to get into poly relationships because those relationships are NOT for everybody, as a matter of fact, having tried them in the past, I can definitely state that they are NOT for me. And since this is my own personal thoughts and feelings about love I will not be discussing poly relationships because frankly I am a one woman man, and want my woman to be a one man woman, and want my woman to want me to be a one woman man. I will come back to this concept at some point in this rambling blog so sit tight.

I remember growing up and hearing the story about the paper heart that was torn in two and the parts were separated, scattered across the world and would never be complete until they found each other. The idea of course is that there is one person out there made for another person and they would never be complete until they found each other. Now this sounds romantic and all well and good till you begin considering that I may be born and raised in the backwoods of NW Georgia and my "one" may be a poor little chinese girl in some remote rice field in northern China whom there is no chance in hell I will EVER meet. At this point I am seriously screwed! So this concept just does not work for me...not at this stage in my life and given the experiences I have had.

As I have thought on it and analyzed it I have come to the conclusion that it is not a matter of "the one" as much as the right type of person. It is about chemistry. Now this may sound obvious but hear me out. The right kind of people just "mix" well so two unlikely candidates when thrown together may actually turn out to have the right chemsitry and they are just right together. Now the problem is, I am not the same person I was eighteen years ago when I met my first wife and we "fell" in love. I have changed, grown, for better or for worse, and am just not the same person I was then.

This is a significant point because the other day my buddy John and I were discussing how many people in my age group are getting divorced. It really seems like every time I turn around I am hearing of somebody else, right around my age that is getting a divorce. Much is being made of the rise in divorce rate and a lot of things are being blamed for it. But in all honesty I wonder if the nature of chemistry coupled with the changing rules of society are all that is needed to explain the rise in divorce. Allow me to explain.

A couple meets at age 18, they "fall" in love and are determined they have found their happily ever after. The chemistry is just right and the world is as it should be. They get married and couldn't be happier. Time goes by and the two people begin to grow up and mature. Now one of two things are going to happen. They are going to either grow up together or apart. Now by this I simply mean that if they grow up "together" on the same page or in the same direction then the chemistry remains mainly the same. They grow old and are happy and life goes on. By growing apart I mean that they change, they mature in different directions with different interests and outlooks in life.

Now you may disagree with this but I will take my own first marriage. When we met we were both in love and we were both in church. We were extreme right wing and were raising our kids that way. Life happened. I am now an athiest and a liberal. She is still very much in church and is still very much extreme right. Among all the other things that happened we simply grew in different directions. Now the major difference today versus fifty years ago is that fifty years ago divorce was frowned on as a mortal sin. Divorce was essentially something that would ruin your good name, ruin your reputation and would put you in a position where you basically had to move away to get away from the shame of it. Because of this social environment, couples that grew apart lived in the same house as strangers. They each did their responsiblity but essentially lived in different rooms or went about their days without hardly talking to each other in a loveless marriage because that is what society required of them. Times have changed. So when those couples that grow and mature apart, rather than together, lose the chemistry, rather than doing like previous generations they divorce go their separate ways and find somebody that they have that chemistry with.

Now you may disagree with this, but it really brings things in perspective to me. You may ask why this was such a big deal to me. Because I want this to be something that lasts forever, I want that this relationship be something special that lasts forever. I need to know what I am dealing with. I need to know the parameters I am working within. I need to know that if I am looking for "the one" that she is "the one". If I am looking for the right type of one...looking for that special chemistry then I am not looking for something "magical" (though no doubt in its own way it is just not a "mythical" type of "magical") but rather looking at something that can be examined and can be understood...yes I I go with the quantifiable bull crap again! So I won't go into details at this time of WHY I am really liking the chemistry in this relationship, because well, it is too early in it for me to go there, but suffice it to say I am really happy with the way it is going...just in general here are a few things I have watched when it comes to "chemistry":

(1) Intellect. You think differently at middle age then you did at 18. I mean let's face it, when I was 18 I was young, dumb and full of cum. I thought with the wrong head 95% of the time, and that is putting it mildly. I drove like an idiot with no concern for those around me. I spent money as fast as I got it. A car was only a good car if it was a cool car. Motorcycles were a good idea. I really could go on and on. Now somethings never change and I admit that. Sure, I still think with the wrong head sometimes, just the percentage has changed somewhat I would like to think. A car with good gas mileage and room for the family is a good good car and I traded my balls (in driving) for kids. The way we think changes.

When I was younger life consisted of movies, work and TV. Back then in those days I was very much in church. I didn't look for or want intelligent conversation. Politics was not something I was interested in and my views were spoonfed to me by my church, other preachers and (gag) Rush Limbaugh. I did not even really attempt to think for myself. With time that changed. I began to question everything...and I still do. I want to understand not only the end results but how you got to them and I want to verify that each step was handled reliably and responsibly. The point is at this juncture in my life I want a woman that I can talk to and discuss issues. Current issues. I want to be able to discuss theology, religion, politics, social decay, cultural differences, moral views and the list goes on and on. I dream of being with that person that we may disagree but we are going to discuss it and it may get heated but we like it that way!

I have dated women that when I would try to broach these subjects, subjects that are important to me, their reply would be, "well, I really don't want to get into that." Sure we disagreed, and I knew we disagreed, but I hungered for that kind of chemistry. A woman that knows her mind and isn't afraid to speak it but is also willing to hear my mind at the same time...that is priceless. It is part of getting to REALLY know somebody you love. And I have to say...I have totally enjoyed the conversations (and some HAVE been of a mildly aggressive nature) with Mandy...and who knows...maybe there are many more in store.

(2) Emotional. This is something that is much harder to "quantify". And there is much I have yet to learn about this. I do not feel that I am quite at liberty to speak for both of us, and emotional stuff is something both parties have to speak for themselves in. But I will say this, already there are days she knows what I am feeling five hours away...through just a simple text...and sometimes without even a text or a phone call...and visa versa...

(3) Physical. I mention physical last for a reason. First that contact has been limited, and by nature of the distance will be for some time. Second, for the first time in my life, the physical IS important but is not the msot important thing in a relationship. When I say I was drawn to her for mind and intellect I mean that. We met blogging. Sure there was a physical attraction from the moment we began talking and it was just pictures, but there was much, much more. I don't downplay the need for physical chemistry in a relationship. At some point every factor of the chemistry will take the lead in importance. Sometimes it will be all about the physical and at others all about the emotions and at others all about the intellect. Every part is integral...

(B). What love is to me.
Me and my second wife, yes sadly I did say my second wife, used to argue a lot about what love is. I really have some pretty opinionated ideas about what love is...this is not the sum of all it is, but the things I am about to mention, I feel, are integral to it.

1. Love is chemistry..I already discussed this so I won't go into it again.

2. Love is choice. Now mind you, I am not saying that we choose who we love, no it is not that simple. Nor am I saying that we choose to continue loving somebody because if that were the case there would never be divorce. What I am referring to is that real love is not something we "fall" into, as though we tripped on our shoelaces. Once the chemistry is there we are adults and we are responsible to this something I want to pursue, and if so am I willing to take the consequences. Now the reason this is important is too often people want to play the victim act, as though they did not have any part in it and the other person just used them. No my friend, I am 33 years old and am a grown man. If my relationships did not work it is not all their fault, it is my fault too. My choices affected it and it was MY choice to pursue those relationships in the first place.

3. Love is an action. This is HUGE and was the main point my ex and I used to argue about. Love is more than just an emotion. It is more than something you feel. It is something you show. The old saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words." My dad used to always say, "You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving." Love requires action. With great love comes great responsiblity. My ex used to always say that I expected her to work to prove her that a hard concept to understand? If a husband does not provide for his family, does not protect them, does not provide the emotional and physical support needed...does he love them? If a wife does not take care of her family does she have the right to say she loves them?

4. Love is an emotion. Yes...there is an emotional basis to love. It is this emotion that we feel. It is a powerful emotion. It is also an emotion that can be killed. Many of us have been there.

(C.) Myths about love.

1. Love is blind. Love is not blind. Infatuation is blind. Lust is blind. Love is not. You love in spite of flaws. You do not ignore them. You know those flaws are there, you accept that they make up part of the person you love and you love them regardless.

2. Love is eternal. Love is not always eternal. I have heard the death knell of love. I have seen love burn as high as the sky...and I have seen that flame flicker and die. Love can last a life time, and you hope it does. But love takes work for it to last. Love is not eternal in and of itself. Love has to be developed, love has to be maintained and love has to be appreciated when it does last. If you take it for granted it will die.

3. Love is not a "thinking thing." Trace Adkins (one of my favorite country music singers) once did a song saying that love, "ain't no thinking thing, right brain left brain it goes a little deeper than that. It's a chemical, physical, emotional devotion passion that we can't hold back. There's nothing that we need to analyze, there ain't no rhyme or reason why. This ain't, this ain't no thinking thing." It sounds really good on paper, it sounds real good to a fast beat and it sounds real good to a heart that has not been broken into a thousand pieces. But the older I get, the more I realize My heart, if left to its own devices will seriously fuck me up. I have learned to use my head as well.

In conclusion I am sure at this point this just looks like a lot of rambling. I am not sure it makes sense to you. But what I do know is that after careful consideration of these facts I find myself more and more intrigued on where this whole thing with Mandy will go...for sure it promises to NOT be a boring ride and I look forward to the Wonderful Journey...


Evil Twin's Wife said...

It drives me crazy that people think relationships are all happy and easy and for all times, like the movies, when in reality, it takes WORK on the part of both parties to keep it fresh and it takes compromise to keep it even.


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