Today I spent most of the day with a dear cousin. She’s very kind and very wise. It was rainy but not too cold to be outdoors for a long while and so we spent a lot of the afternoon talking outside of Starbucks…
We chatted about many topics, but one of the most poignant was love.
“What’s the difference between a business partnership and a romantic one?” I asked her after she had suggested that my expectations for love and men in general might be a bit steep. She had also expressed that to her relationships are about partnership.
“Well, business partnerships are all business and romantic partnerships are about two people building a life together. They’re about being concerned with each other’s entire lives.”
I questioned how different that was from my interpretation of love, but we came to the agreement that we were indeed looking for very different things. She appreciates the “strong silent type” and I’ve realized that I prefer a man with a more openly expressed or at least experienced set of emotions.
“Men like that are rare.” She warned me.
And all this was after we had chatted at length about my relationship with Mark coming to a likely end. Like many people I share my marriage woes with she seemed to worry that I was letting go of a good thing. Relationships change over time, they often say.
“But what if you’re dying inside?” I reply. Then, in response, they usually suggest counseling or, as in her case, they wonder if I am indeed right to leave. But they still worry… And today, as very stupid as it is that I’ve missed it, it hit me how different my view of love is from many other people’s.
“I’d just like the freedom to find someone I can share my deepest self with. I want to at least try to find someone who I understand who understands me.”
“But be careful not to get stuck on some dangerous idea of perfection.” she cautioned.
“Shouldn’t there be some level of happiness that matters though?”
“Yes, but stability is important. Especially as you get older.” She responded.
I adore her. And still, sitting there in that lovely peacefulness of her kind presence I realized that I will always need to hold on to some shred of hope that I can find love because anything otherwise will be giving up on my life itself in one way or another.
“People are going to think I’m the bad guy. They’re going to think I’m an idiot for leaving Mark.” I admitted.
She knowingly and empathetically smiled. “Well, you’re trying to take your time and think it through though. You’re really thinking it through. That’s very commendable.”
I always thought I was too conventional by most people’s standards. That was what people always told me as I was growing up. Sometimes I wonder about that now…