Monday, March 01, 2004

What Is Love?

This is something I’ve been pondering lately. I guess because I had a brief flurry of dating (which has now left me a bit sour and put off). I don’t know if I believe in ‘love at first sight’, it’s a lovely concept but I don’t know if I buy into it. Although I do know people who swear that the first time they met their significant other they knew that he/she was ‘the one’. Still I can’t help but be skeptical. Nothing like that seems to work for me. I’ve had that ‘OMG! This person is so amazing, I want to be with them forever’ (or the ‘I can see forever in your eyes’ as D would say) feeling before (Roller Coaster Man) but that never seems to be reciprocated back so I am left with genuine doubts as to ‘love at first sight’ being genuine. So it leaves me wondering what exactly that is. If not love is it just misguided obsession? With me, it’s possible – hell even probable.

Then there is the ‘Like at first sight’, this I trust much more. I can tell – like most people – if I click with someone – like me and XXXX and not like me and Mr. Asshole. I do like XXXX very, very much, if things were different… well who knows what would happen. I’m enjoying spending time with him right now; he’s an absolutely fabulous man.

Anyway all this love talk brings to mind a conversation I had with a coworker about 9 years ago. Her name was Karen, she was old enough to be my mother and we got along famously, best of buddies at work. She appreciated my spontaneous, optimistic personality and constant smile on my face. I liked that she was just as silly as me and liked to laugh (she did have the best laugh). We worked in utter hell but being able to take a break to make her laugh made it livable (mime day was one of the funniest things we ever came up with). She had been married for 26 years. One day she was talking about Charlie (her husband) and she told me how when he entered the room she still got goose bumps and butterflies in her stomach. After 26 years, still. I remember looking at her and briefly thinking she was lying, and then feeling extreme jealously. No offense to my husband but we didn’t have that kind of relationship, I just assumed people didn’t have those kind of relationships – that was Hollywood and fairy tales. Karen telling me about her love for Charlie left me wondering if I had made the right choice to marry my husband (I know I did despite all that has happened, I have two wonderful children and he is my best friend now, we make better friends than lovers). I still remember the look in her eyes when she spoke of Charlie.

And here I am almost a decade later wondering. I don’t really trust my heart in these matters. Not nearly logical enough. One needs to be logical when choosing a mate. Yet my heart is still clouding my head from time to time, and I have to admit that I don’t like it not one single bit. That’s a lie, I like some of it. I like how thinking of that person makes me smile and sigh, I like how just the sight of that person makes the butterflies in my stomach take flight, I like how in quiet still moments my mind wanders to that person and I find myself smiling and looking forward to seeing them, I like the warm feeling I get from hearing their voice… there is a lot to like about it all. But there’s enough not to like either – the out of control feeling, the queasy roller coaster feeling, the missing someone feeling and the emotions, oh the flood of emotions. Tears, elation, sadness, loneliness, giddiness, anticipation… ugh, enough already. And enough with this confused feeling as well. I need a switch somewhere that I can just turn all this off. Just have a logical physical relationship with commonalities and friendship, not the rest of this.

All of that makes it sound like I’m insane, and maybe I am. I doubt many would argue that I am not. ;o) One of my dear friends has accused me of being afraid of commitment – actually a few people have said that to me. One has suggested that I intentionally sabotage relationships and another has suggested that I intentionally seek out unavailable men so as to have a reason to not have a commitment. It seems silly, but completely possible. Except for Roller Coaster Man, he’s not unavailable – maybe he’s just an exception. I don’t know, I can’t imagine what I’d be afraid of with a commitment. Eh who knows, maybe it’s time for me to get some therapy.

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