Posts tagged love
Loss is inevitable, and yet love is the most transcendent part of life. How to reconcile love and loss? How to live when the potential for sadness and grief is ever-present? I’m contemplating this sense of enormity right now, inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnet 64.
I got engaged! To the love of my life! It’s that fairy tale fantasy I have doubted many times on the record could ever really be true. Yet as I move onward into marriage (have I mentioned how amazing my fiancé is?), I have been reflecting on my single days-gone-by and finding myself nostalgic. Voila, the top 5 things I miss:
1. The certainty that I am more important than anyone. I don’t believe in compromises that leave both partners in a relationship weaker, or less-than-fully-happy. I love Hanna Rosin’s idea of the ‘seesaw marriage’ in which partners take turns shouldering burdens so that they can each fulfill their own potential (she talks about it at length in her book, The End of Men). You can alternate working and going back to school. You can come up with creative ways to share the housekeeping. You get the idea. Add children to this mix and the see-sawing gets ever more complicated and multi-dimensional. I believe we all can have it all and be great parents, too. It just may take a very complex Excel spreadsheet to figure out how.
But when you’re single, you don’t have to get creative about WHO is going to pursue their passions, splurge on the designer loafers, dash off to Istanbul for the weekend, oh, and take out the dog for his walk. It’s all you, baby. For better or worse. And most of the time, having absolute discretion over your priorities and being able to adjust them at will is a goddamn blessing. Embrace your sole importance, all you single ladies.
2. Emotional, Spiritual, Mental, Financial Independence. Emotional dependence on your man allows you to open up and be truly, freely vulnerable. Spiritual dependence on your man - and on the universe, to protect him and your life together - gives you a rich, full experience of the complicated microfibers of our human existence. Mentally depending on your man to take on his share of life tasks and challenges, and knowing that he will, is a stabilizing gift. Depending on more than one income to save and spend obviously brings security.
However, feeling complete in (or at least basically on top of) each of these areas all by myself gave me such a compelling sense of power and personality when I was single. I did not need anyone but myself, and I reveled in that independence. My man and I are now figuring out who we are, together, in each of these areas. It’s a new, exciting process. But I miss the solidity I had before, and that I hope to build now again, anew.
3. Not having to be nice about things I find obnoxious. OK, I don’t HAVE to be nice when my man does something to piss me off, especially when he knows it will piss me off. But more and more in my relationship, I find that patience, good humor, and compassion all work to diffuse annoying situations. Complaining about the less-than-perfect and bemoaning when mistakes are made is a surefire way to put both you and your man at your worst. So, more and more, I am a lot nicer now. I have abundant patience, which, believe me, is astonishing. I think this phenomenon is what people are getting at when they say their partner “makes them a better person.” I wouldn’t say I’ve become better; I’ve just learned to bite my tongue. When I was single, I was less inclined to play the diplomat and had more incentive to instigate. I miss those good old fiery days!
4. The sense of sexy mystery just before he orders a drink. I now take incredible comfort in the routines my man and I have created together. They bring me happiness in leaps and bounds. I love knowing this person utterly, and I love being able to look at him and sense exactly what he’s needing or craving in that moment. But when I fantasize, I look back on the early days, when I sat next to him at the bar and thought to myself, “What the hell is a tequila gimlet? That’s a great idea!”
5. Having the option not to love someone. When you are single and a guy is in your gaggle, it is up to YOU how you cultivate that relationship. You can decide if and when a guy has fallen out of your favor, or disappointed you too deeply, or revealed something less-than-savory about his character. But when you are engaged - soon-to-be-married - you lose the right to that judgment. You and your man are taking on each other. You are going to disappoint each other in some ways. You may even severely let each other down. But you don’t get to step outside your relationship and re-jigger. You’re in it and inextricably bound to it. Your relationship is larger than both of you. Gone are the days when I could have downgraded my fiancé from Boyfriend Prospect to Ego Booster or Accessory.
From now on, the choice has been made, and my man is only moving up. I am choosing this, and choosing him, because I know that he above all others is worthy. So, single ladies, heed my advice and cherish your gaggles while you still have them in free motion. Cultivating your gaggle is the best way to learn about yourself and find the right guy - it is also the element of single life I truly miss the most.
Thanks Horia Varlan for the photo!
True story: When I had sex with (the guy with the) smallest penis I’d ever encountered, I orgasmed almost instantly during intercourse, and it was awesome.
Small-penis-guy is no longer in my life, but I had learned the fun way that size doesn’t matter, and that smaller can be better. So, I was not at all concerned when I ordered the iPad mini as soon as it was available.
You see, as I had already explained on this blog, my iPad is the perfect man. Ergo, this brand, spanking (heh), new iPad mini is going to be my perfect man…wrought down to mini-sized perfection. Hooray!
And so, I present the longstanding and now-more-true-than-ever reasons my iPad is the Perfect Man:
I’m in love! The deep, profound, stirring, giggly, excitable, crazy, starry-eyed kind of love. I wasn’t expecting to find it when I walked into the new Apple storeon 67th & Broadway – I certainly wasn’t expecting to purchase it for $499 – but there it was. Love at first site. Love at first (i)Touch. It was a magical and revolutionary feeling.
Before I sign myself over to the nearest green-fielded sanitarium where bespectacled doctors will probe my mind with inquisitive stares and nurses in white hats will wheel me about with a plaid flannel blanket on my knees, I thought I would write one last dispatch on this beloved gaggle blog in which I warn you, Dear Readers:
When you embark down the path of loving commitment to another human being in a consummate and consummated lifelong relationship, craziness will not be far behind you.
My boyfriend and I had “the talk” a year ago, but in the past month – thanks to Hurricane Sandy and the temporary relocation to Philadelphia it brought upon us, as well as our mutual mad rush of closet organizing, apartment-and-house improvement, co-obsession over the dog’s new diet, and a rogue (and incorrect) headline on The Ricki Lake Showannouncing we were married – we have upped the ante of our already-established loving bliss and actually begun the busy business of living our lives together.
This fact has brought upon me such an overwhelming sense of heart-wrenching joy (I can’t believe this incredible person actually wants to be with me!!!!!) and terrifying fear (what if something happens to him????) that I have been going out of my batsh*t crazy, motherf**ing mind.
In lieu of sending (yet another) spate of anxious text messages to my beloved (hi how are you? / where are you? / how are you doing? / are you ok? / I LOVE YOU / I LOVE YOU / emoji emoji emoji emoji), I am going to enumerate and attempt to account for the symptoms of my distress.
Consider it an offering to science.