I will always have a real strong romantic relationship with my coffee and The New York Times. No, but for real…
The other day I overheard a conversation on the playground after I picked up my son from school. There was this eight/nine-year-old girl who spoke to her “boyfriend”. He told her he did not like her anymore because there is a new girl in his class. He added that she used to be the prettiest girl he has ever seen but now she is only the second prettiest, so he wants to “break up”. For some reason, I could tell that his message cut through the girl’s third-grade core and how she stopped believing in romance right there while she ran away and cried.
All my life I longed for something different. Something out of the norm or challenging. Adventure spoke to me always. These days, I am not unhappy, I am just generally more skeptical of things; especially after hearing what this little boy did to the girl at the playground. I wanted to take her aside and tell her that there will be a lot more breakups and breakups and breakups and that this does not mean the world is coming to an end. It is all a learning experience and I know I was faced with the same type of men in my life until I learned my lesson. I learned that I simply cannot make things work when my gut tells me that this will turn out chaotic but I was just too blind to see and understand while rushing head over heels into something new.
I gave up on all that and embraced a different kind of romance. To be all on my own. A relationship with friends, creativity, art, meditation, adventures, mindfulness and paying attention to what I really want in life. And yet.
A little voice tells me that romance besides my New York Times is possible followed by an undeniable romantic type of pull of what is yet to be and to come. And in those moments, not thinking about my previous relationship(s), I could not help but wonder if that other type of romance involving another person may work after all. How can I believe in chakras but not in romance? I mean, all it really needs is two people pulling on the same string most of the time to make it work which does not sound so impossible or difficult.
My problem was that I developed a clear idea of how I thought love should feel and how I could get this feeling in my life. I am an avid reader and obtained a lot of my relationship-knowledge from articles and books I have read throughout my teens, young adulthood and later on. Then I started to listen to Esther Perel to cope with my divorce. According to her, a partner should never complete you. You complete you, your partner simply adds to your life because you are whole on your own.
I clearly remember the point I fell in love. For real. The healthy kind. The good, nice guy. And I was shocked and horrified at the same time to experience a feeling that I thought I lost. I was suddenly feeling “fuller” or “more whole” if this makes any sense. I felt more secure than ever, there were no lies, no bs, no debt, no questionable purchases and fantasies that seemed to be out of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel. I asked myself initially if this feeling of awesomeness is okay because there was a sizable piece of my heart that has been missing, numb or was inaccessible for quite some time.
I am fine on my own. I love to be by myself but I am also happy in a healthy relationship. Where it gets sticky for me is emotional dependence and trust. I do not want to be dependent on that other person emotionally or financially. The thought of dependency makes me cringe. Being in a long-term, normal and healthy relationship, I think it is okay to need the other person because you are committed to each other. You take the time and speak about problems and find solutions but do not cheat and justify it by making up excuses.
A couple creates memories and plans a future together. You are covering each other, over and over again. I read this article, that ” intimate partners’ bodies become physiologically entwined and your partners’ soothing presence reduces your stress level and helps you feel more at ease”. This sounds awesome and I feel it, but I believe to be in a romantic relationship it is important to be independent. I also want a more well-rounded way to describe my partnership in which there are two “me’s” and a “we”. I enjoy that warm, comforting emotion – that feeling where my heart feels so full and content at the same time. I will embrace love’s wholeness without fear. And if things do not work out, there is always The New York Times and coffee.