True Love and Other Myths
Yeah, I know, it’s pretty curmudgeonly to publish a blog post with that title on “the most romantic day of the year”. But then, I’m kinda curmudgeonly in general, so maybe it fits.
I’ve never been a “Hallmark Holiday” girl. I think the sheer amount of build-up and marketing that goes into February 14th is a crock of shit, and in my not-at-all-humble opinion, it causes more problems than it solves. People who feel pressured to prove their love through red and pink trinkets or worse, expensive crap are not going to be feeling the bliss that the media assures us is there. It’s a waste of money, but worse, it’s a waste of a perfectly good day.
(I do think that the counter-day of “Steak and Blowjob Day” on March 14th is hilarious, I’ll admit it.)
For me, I would much rather The Scientist see that I love him on a day when it isn’t “required”. Things like making his favorite meal when I know he’s had a rotten day at work, baking his favorite treat just because I thought he’d like them, making sure that he never runs out of his shower stuff, making homemade sugar free hot cocoa mix for him — it’s the minor stuff the flows through the regular days that last. Not the contrived “oh shit, next week is Valentine’s Day!”
Our relationship has been all over the place since we met in 1989. We’ve always held that honesty is the way to go, so yes, our kids knew when our marriage hit the rocks. They knew that we were separating. They knew when we started therapy. They knew that the “D” word had hit the table. They know that we are in an open marriage, and they’ve met the people we’ve dated. They know that shit happens, and they know we’re not making any guarantees. But at the end of the day? They also that, if we did decide to split, there would never be any of that, “Oh. So. Your father is coming for Thanksgiving? Well, then. I guess I’ll see you at Christmas.” At the end of the day, we are a family, and no matter what happens between the Scientist and myself as a couple, without him, I don’t have them.
People hold “love” up as some kind of end goal; a prize to be sought, elusive and exclusive. It’s none of that. Love is a fluid, dynamic, magical thing, but we don’t need to look for it. It’s everywhere.
The concept of “one true love” is restrictive and filled with pressure. It makes us afraid of conflict and communication because of the potential jeopardy that looms ahead. What if we fight and that’s it? What if we can’t overcome this? So we hide our feelings, we gloss over problems, we bury the honesty. If we can step back and understand that different people can be in our lives to love and be loved, maybe we can stop the landslide of broken families.
We need to stop holding up Valentine’s Day as some sort of competition that fosters the stereotypes of the greedy, materialistic woman and the hangdog, whipped man just trying to make her happy. Enough. Embrace love, not expectations.
Love every day. Love well. Love without restrictions or strings. Love without fear. Just love.