If you’re like me, you’ve learned a bit about love over the years. If you’re like me, you’ve had your perceptions bashed upon the rocks, the waves of life repeatedly making you pull them out and reassess. If you’re like me, each success and failure has taught you a little more. It’s hard to say if I ever truly believed in “romance” in it’s stereotypical fashion; love and relationships never looked like that for me. But, my views on love received a major overhaul about five to six years ago, which started with my current relationship, and it continues to be in flux and flow.
From a young age, we are inundated with examples of “love stories” in films that are made for very young children (I’m looking at you, Disney), planting seeds of expectation of what we could one day receive as love. Nearly every story I’ve ever consumed has some kind of romantic subplot. It’s gets you to thinking about the romantic subplot you will one day have, even at a very young age, because, of course, everyone gets a romantic subplot, right?…
But then we grow older and learn love is not all sunshine and rainbows, it can be kinda awkward and piecemeal. Sometimes nothing happens for very long years. Sometimes a friend likes you and you don’t like them back. Sometimes you freak out and break up with someone over the phone. Sometimes you break up with someone to be with someone else. Sometimes you feel ugly and alone. Sometimes you make mistakes you can’t take back. Sometimes you receive calls in the night from someone confessing their love. Sometimes you learn people say things just to get in your pants. Sometimes you make a fool out of yourself. Sometimes someone lies to you. Sometimes people stop talking to you. And you never get that so-very-Disney fairy tale.
You learn fairy tales exist in all sorts of forms. You learn love is not about the flashiness, and the how-can-I-Instagram-this? You learn that love is the quiet dedication of coming home to the same person each night. That love is someone knowing your favorite foods and weird moods. That love is someone supporting your strange endeavors and whimsy. That love is someone rubbing your feet when they really don’t like feet. That love is someone always doing the dishes. That love is a re-commitment each day, of time and listening. That love is committing energy to another person, to being together.
The thing about love is there is no one size fits all. Love looks different for, and to, everyone. Love may not exist in a romantic form for you at all. Maybe that Disney model works for you. In the end, you have to listen to yourself, and listen to your partner, and chose what’s right for you. Love is a work in progress. Every day.
How have your views on love changed over the years? How are they still changing? Let me know in the comments. This post was inspired by the above cards from the Slow Holler Tarot and Oracle of Oddities.