Does anyone else remember when it was easy to fall in love? It wasn’t complicated. It just sort of happened without any real effort or planning. Maybe I’m looking at something that wasn’t really there. Maybe it always took more energy than I remember, but it was at one time at least fun.
You’re sitting on the beach. The clouds are fluffy and white. The sand is hot and the water is cool. There is a nice breeze and you are talking with a cute guy. You both are laughing and enjoying the beauty of the day. At some point he brushes up against you or you both reach for the same seashell and your hands touch. In that moment you both know that you want to touch again and more and you don’t just want it. You need it. It’s perfectly mutual. No one has to ask permission. There are no consequences. There aren’t even any expectations. It’s perfectly balanced and there is no pressure.
Some would argue that what I have described isn’t love at all. It is “chemistry” or infatuation. But I find it so much more pure than the stuff that is attached to “relationships”. You know the stuff. Its the keeping score and bargaining and “tonight I have a headache” and faking orgasms.
It’s feeling rejected and jealous. It’s demanding loyalty. It’s not pleasant. It’s not nurturing. It’s not any fun at all. Why can’t we just enjoy each other and when we don’t, just move on?
I get the thing about the value of keeping the family together and the importance of raising children with (at least) two parents. I think there is a time in life where being part of a family as a parent and role model is really very fun and kind of seductive in it’s own way. But if we’re not having babies, why do we have to play house? It seems to me that this is where relationships get unfun and restrictive. This is where expectations enter and feelings get hurt. Conditions are assigned and lines get drawn in the sand. I've seen the most ridiculous actions and comments considered betrayal. At the end of the day if you aren’t happy, why do you stay? Most relationships eventually fall into a really strange place where no one is even trying to make it pleasant anymore. (maybe not most, but many)
I am still, through all of this cynicism, a true believer in unconditional love. I’ve felt it. I’ve lived it. I’ve given and received it. But for me it’s always been fleeting. Once you make a commitment you have established a condition. Of course now you’ve laid the groundwork for more conditions and this opens the door for betrayal and accusations and all that blah blah blah. Is that a place where something as pure as love can grow?
When I was very young I had a boyfriend who I knew loved me. I never expected anything of him. I just knew he loved me. I never demanded he be faithful to me. He wasn’t. It didn’t matter. I loved him and he loved me and we both knew it and when we were together it was about us at that moment, not who we were with yesterday or last night. At some point I learned to expect something different. I laid down conditions justified by self respect or moral standards. That was the end of unconditional love for me.