Take one look at Tumblr and you will immediately understand how unrealistic many of our views of love are. We want a lot. We want the goosebumps, the champagne, the super charged doing it, the I-can't-stand-it-one-more-second-without-you passion. And we want it Every. Day. All ups, no downs.
Look at Sex and The City. Those grown women were all shades of total batshit crazy. Big was a complete dickhole to Carrie, then to his wife and then to Carrie again. But he was so confusing and passionate that we all ate it right up, bought the box set AND saw all three movies...even though the last one was pretty culturally insensitive and the campiest movie made since Glitter. I swear, if I'm in my 40s and still making the same dumb mistakes I'm making now, I'm getting a sex change and calling it a day. Being a guy wouldn't make everything magically better, but, at least, I would be making slightly different mistakes.
I could probably write an entire post about how Carrie is the worst female heroine. In the last season, she has to go to Big's office for financial advice, because she is losing her apartment...because she doesn't know how to balance a checkbook or has never even tried to save any money...or something horrifying like that. She might be "making it on her own" in terms of being unmarried, but she is far from being independent.
And I know this. I recognize that wanting the sort of love that makes you lose your breath, smile when you catch yourself thinking of the other person, feel like you're the only people in a crowded room, etc, is a somewhat immature way of viewing things. I get that. Truly. But...
I WANT TO FEEL ALL THE THINGS!
I go through stages of believing that romantic love is a real thing and thinking it's total crap. I think that's because I'm still trying to understand what love means. Most examples that I've seen have gotten it really wrong. I don't want to be part of that group. I want that extra piece. That extraordinary love. That real love. Ya know...if there is such a thing.
I read this fantastic piece by Lisa Jo Baker this morning. She describes her love as an "ordinary" type of love, which is an idea I found totally compelling. Love is boring in that you find it in mundane places. She wrote that she found love in her husband's willingness to be there for her. Straight and simple.
This ordinary love that wakes up with bad breath and crease marks on its cheeks and is the daily bread that sustains across time zones and countries and cultures and the exhaustion of trying to figure out how to be a parent and a grown up and somebody’s forever. - Lisa Jo Baker, When You Think Your Love Story Is Boring
THAT is all of the things.
Even if love is boring, love is still a beautiful, beautiful thing. Love is the ability to just "be" in a moment together. It's relying on and being relied on. It's trusting and being trusted. Love is the novel. Passion is the episode. It's that person who believes you are so valuable that they want to spend the rest of their life with you. And you are a reflection of that worth.
Love is finding that mutual weirdness and going with it. Releasing yourself to the "ordinary" may just make you extraordinary.