Came across this great comment while reading the comments of this post: “Those who believe in soulmates are found to be 150 percent more likely to end up divorced.”
This expresses my feelings on life, love and marriage even better than I could:
A few quick thoughts…
Soulmates? That’s a bit like a fairy tale. Nice story, but it isn’t real.
Best result: A couple of good friends who can put up with one another’s numerous…peccadilloes. A few shared interests, with both parties involved in separate hobbies and interests. Decent to good sex…while keeping in mind that it’s really business partnership that you’re involved in, not a porn flick.
Marriage is not a fantasy. Your partner is a real human being. Just like you, they have feelings, emotions, successes, failures, good days and bad. Treat them that way. Always.
Ya gotta be practical, pragmatic and grounded in the real world. Have some fun together and apart, but keep it real.
Start with realistic expectations and you’ll do ok. Anything you go into with phantasmagorical expectations is almost certainly doomed to failure.
Perfection? Nobody’s perfect. Don’t even go there.
That’s with one failed marriage and one successful marriage to my…credit. Seven years invested in the first marriage, twenty-six years this go around. I think I may have a handle on things this time.
Romance? Well, yeah. There’s a bit of that, but it isn’t what the relationship revolves around. It revolves around consideration for one another. iow, simple, common courtesy and treating one another, and other people, as if we were all real, live, girls and boys.
Don’t lie to one another. About anything…except that gift you’ve hidden away for a special occasion.
Humor. Don’t forget humor. A more or less shared sense of humor.
Remember the little things. They count.
If you make a mess, clean it up.
In general, act like an adult, not like a little princess or a spoiled prince.
One last thing. What works for your parent’s marriage, your neighbor’s marriage, or for anyone else you know may not work for you and your partner. Like individuals, every marriage is different.
That’s life, and that’s love. Special, unique, and very often, awe-inspiring, wonderful and infintely surprising.
UPDATE: Heh, of course, half the time I feel the way this guy does:
I find it amazing how many people believe in these medieval notions of love. And the really funny thing about it is that in medieval romances, the relationships are almost always adulterous, as with Lancelot and Guinevere. Strange considering the penalty for adultery at the time–castration for the man, banishment for the woman. But, in arranged marriages, I guess a woman has to have something to dream about.
I don’t believe in soulmates. I don’t believe in love. I don’t even believe in romance, which may sound strange coming from someone with a master’s degree in Romantic poetry, and a minor in medieval literature.
It’s because I understand romance and medieval literature. The problem here, today, is with the law.
Of course, soulmates get divorced. The law allows it. Some medieval idea of love turns sour, and she can take him for everything he’s got. She can even slap him with child support for children that aren’t his.
This is why I have never gotten married. I do not agree to the terms and conditions of the contract. And don’t quote the Bible to me. I’ve read the Bible, several times, in several different translations. This is not about the Sacrament; it’s about the contract. And I’d rather have the money.
All this talk about love and marriage, soulmates, it’s stupid. I am not about to expose myself to betrayal, abandonment and bankruptcy, because of some idiotic idea of medieval romance. And now she doesn’t like it. I really don’t care.
Love is a fleeting emotion. Romance is a game. Just write some silly love poem, make up some rhymes, throw in the word love, and you’re in. Get real.
The problem here is with the law. She has the absolute right to abort your baby, get knocked up by some boy at a bar, slap you with the child support, leave you, take the house and half of your money, have her boyfriend move in so they can raise their love child together. All on your dime. Why any man would agree to that arrangement is beyond my ability to comprehend.
Change the law. Nothing else matters but that. Change the law. Or stop complaining about it.
Yeah, soulmates, give me a break, they have a high divorce rate. It’s no small wonder. The law allows it.
And the man, what about him? He was stupid enough to marry her. End of story.
First time she caught my eye.
First time I caught hers.
First time she smiled at me.
First time she made my heart skip a beat.
First time I knew,
she’s someone special.
First date nervousness.
First bonding moment.
First call the next day.
First excitement from seeing her caller ID.
First rush from hearing her voice.
First calm from sharing our days.
First thrill anticipating our next meeting.
First planning for the next date.
First time laying awake thinking of her.
First time I just can’t wait.
First time she hugged me.
First time she put her arm in mine.
First time she cuddled next to me.
First time our fingers intertwined.
First time she gave me ‘that look’.
First time I get lost in her eyes.
First time we move in close.
First time her lips meet mine.
First intimate moment.
First extended kiss.
First long night together.
First long morning goodbye.
First time we share our secrets.
First time we pour out our hearts.
First time we share our dreams.
First time we don’t want to be apart.
First time we know we have something special.
First time I see that look in her eye.
First time she tells me she loves me.
First time she makes me lovingly sigh.
First time I tell her I love her.
First time I see tears in her eyes.
First time I know I’ve found her.
First time in love in my life.
First moment of passion.
First gentle touch of her hands on me.
First feeling of her soft body.
First feeling of ecstasy.
First time tough life moments endured together.
First time life’s joys shared together.
First time challenges met together.
First time we see our future together.
First time I see the wonderful person she is and will continue to be.
First time I see the simply amazing woman she is inside.
First time I realize the better man she brings out in me.
First time I realized, I want to be with her the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, throughout my life, I seem to have attracted girls/women who like whom I am, but also just use me for my good, giving, caring nature. I attract girls/women who like to take, but don’t really give back anything to my life. And then there are many who have actually made me feel worse about myself, even when I did all I could to make them feel better about themselves.
After enough of that — being in relationships with girls/women who only take and don’t give — it takes its toll on you.
I think our hearts naturally replenish themselves with love, but they need refilling once in a while. They can’t survive alone on the natural love that lives inside us. When we give love away to others, we need others to help replenish us with love as well. That helps us stay filled with love inside.
Unfortunately, throughout my life, I have had my ups and downs with being who I know I can be, because I’ve gone too long at times without having my heart replenished by someone in my life who can fill me with love in return.
So the conventional wisdom is that men don’t understand women. Well, I think most men understand women quite well. We understand that the majority of women are completely irrational and emotional in their behavior. As the infamous scene from As Good As Gets goes:
Receptionist: How do you write women so well?
Melvin Udall: I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.
And that’s pretty much what seems to be the difference between men and women: men are logical thinkers driven mostly by reason, while women are illogical thinkers driven mostly by emotion.
Case in point is something about women that has annoyed me since college. I’ve been told numerous times in my life by various women that they like men who are “mysterious”. Which basically translates to… a man who is a handsome-looking “bad boy” who doesn’t communicate and doesn’t express emotion or feeling. Yet, at the same time, ask women what they want in a man and they’ll inevitably state they want a man who’s romantic and caring and can express his emotions and who will be their best friend (ie someone to whom they can talk and with whom they can communicate).
Now, men can immediately read this and understand that these are two completely contradictory things. But, of course, girls/women don’t seem to understand that about themselves. They don’t see any contradiction whatsoever in stating what they want is a man who is open and emotional and communicative and yet what they actually go after is a man of “mystery” (ie no communication or emotion).
So what ends up happening is girls will date the “mysterious” “bad boy” and probably marry him. Then, inevitably, they get disappointed that their “mysterious” non-feeling, non-communicative “bad boy” doesn’t magically turn into the romantic best friend of their dreams after they’re married.
Why on earth women do this, I have no idea. If you want something, it is usually a good idea to actually, I don’t know, go after what you want… instead of choosing the exact opposite of what you want and then becoming disappointed and blaming of the guy you chose for not being the man you wanted.
I have run into this sort of girl/woman all the time. She’ll state to me how she wants a certain type of man, yet she’ll turn around and date the exact opposite of that type of man. This has been especially frustrating for me, because I have always been that type of guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve (emotional and feeling) and always seems to be too open and honest to a fault (communicative). (I actually had a good female friend in college tell me that I need to “be more mysterious” and not so open.) Yet, what happens is that girls/women keep guys like me around only as friends… to bitch to about the men of “mystery” they date/marry.
I just shake my head anymore. Ironically enough, if women were more logical with their choices of men, they would have their emotional, romantic and communicative needs filled much more. But, as Melvin Udall stated, women don’t use reason. And, of course, lack of accountability comes into play when women decide that the reason for their relationship troubles is not their own decisions, but rather “men suck”.
Uh huh. Sure. Men understand women just fine. The problem is that women don’t understand themselves.
You know, I am really getting annoyed with God.
Each day I hate that He made me the person and man that I am. Each day I have more and more examples of people and girls — especially girls — who seem to be repulsed by me.
Yet, if OTHER people do things that I do, or act the way I do, or say things I do or perform on the field as I do, people, and especially girls, give them plenty of attention. But me… nothing. Cold shoulder. I’m getting fed up with this.
I wish I could just flip a switch and turn off everything about myself that makes me… me. Turn off all my emotions, all my feelings, all my passion. I don’t want to feel ever again.
If I can’t feel, then I won’t care. If I don’t care, then I won’t feel all this pain inside every time I’m rejected or ignored or shunned for being… me.
I don’t want to be me anymore…