As a Relationship Educator I am blessed to encounter many amazing conversations about love, life and the pursuit of happiness. Today I am honored to share one man's (Maybe many men) perspective on his love lessons learned, extraordinary and extraordinary loss.
"Unless it is mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love should not be one of them.”--1996 film, Dreams of an Insomniac.
For years I believed this--and yet never had the opportunity to experience it. I heard about it in songs, read about it in books, saw it in movies, but never felt it, never lived it. Of course I had loved before, even felt in love before, but never felt the true power of "mad, passionate, extraordinary love"-----until this past year.
The circumstances under which this relationship began were far from ideal, but as cliche and corny as it may sound, it truly was a magnetic connection that "circumstances" ultimately could not contend with.
It just happened.
I didn't fall for this girl because of her looks, although I had never found somebody so beautiful. I didn't fall for this girl because she was funny, or smart, or kind, although, check, check and check.
I fell for her because…her. It didn't need a "because", it just was…. I just felt it. When she'd walk in a room, when I would see her from afar, or look into her eyes up close, when she would smile, when we would kiss, I could feel it, and I could tell she did as well.
It was amazing. It was like nothing I had experienced in my entire life--and that description doesn't do it justice.
Sparing you most of the details, I will simply pull a Seinfeld and say---yada yada yada....we're not together anymore.
So I'm writing this (this is the first time I've written a blog in over a year!), as a means of sharing the feelings, mistakes and personal lessons of a “normal”, 30 year old guy (these are usually written by women right?) moving on and learning from this type of love.
Don’t let fear win. Be yourself.
Have you seen Good Will Hunting? Now my upbringing was nothing like Wills, but the idea of pushing something amazing away before you can get hurt is certainly something I can unfortunately relate to.
I would have momentary lapses where I would pull away---not disappear, but where I wouldn't be myself. There were times where I almost—despite being in love, despite wanting her more than anything in the world—even ended the relationship.
In other words, there were times where I hurt her-deeply.
Upon a lot of reflection I've realized this was driven by a fear of getting hurt, of losing her----which I ultimately did anyway.
Speaking of Matt Damon, in the poker movie "Rounders"-his character says "You can't lose what you don't put in the middle----but you can't win much either".
You only live once---and it's incredibly short, put your chips in, take a chance. To paraphrase William Shedd, of course ships are safe in the harbor---but that’s not what ships are for!
And playing it safe is certainly not what love is for.
If you're in love with somebody, tell them every day. If you're on the fence about asking somebody out, do it. Like C.S. Lewis said--"To love is to be vulnerable". Love and allow yourself to be loved without fear--- “Go see about a girl”.
I wish I had.
DO Live everyday like it's your last with that person.
I know, huge cliché---, but here's the thing, you truly never know what could happen.
Every day, Love like you mean it, kiss like you mean it, make love like you mean it, enjoy each call, each text, hell each passionate argument even, because you never know when it could all end.
Write love notes, say babe, love, hun, beautiful, compliment often, give that massage or back scratch, give that cute gift for no reason, cook that meal together, shower together, mess around in different places----love like you should live---with passion.
Most of all---wake up and go to bed each night letting them know you're happy they're there, because one day they inevitably won't be, and you'll wish they were--believe me, I know(That one could apply to family and friends obviously too).
By The Way---Speaking of making love, DO find somebody you can talk intellectually…. and dirty to.
Can you talk to your partner about the merits of common core, as well as of different sexual positions? Comfortable talking about American History and bedroom acrobatics? Yep, do your best to hold onto that one,
Don't let external crap get in the way
Distance? Crazy ex? Stressful job? Sometimes you can't control circumstances, but you can control your attitude towards them---
like Maya Angelou said, "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude"- If she/the love is worth it, figure it out. (If it’s important enough –you find a way, if it’s not, you make an excuse).
Here's the thing though - - it's on you, through action, to show her, to prove to her, that circumstances can be overcome. This is where I failed.
A pretty good band once said ---"Love is all you need"---approach your circumstances with that in mind.
Don't treat love like a math or logical reasoning problem.
The more you analyze it, the less you're enjoying it, the less you’re living it. Remember--“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows not.”. Calculate bills, logically address a problem at work, think when you're doing a crossword puzzle.... feel love.
DO Chase, chase, chase...and chase more.
Never stop chasing the person you're in love with. Even after you're married---for 40 years, keep chasing.
I've always believed this---always marveled at older couples who continue to act like they're on their first date. Always wanted someone I could forever chase, always envisioned myself being 1/2 of that older couple.
But in moments of insecurity, of self-doubt, I stopped chasing. (See lesson 1!). Never stop trying to impress!
If it ends, reflect, don't regret.
When this relationship ended--I did not deal with it well.
I regretted every mistake I had made, it literally made me sick to my stomach., I called, I texted ("Ok, I won’t text today. Ugh, Yep, just texted. (When your mind says give up, your heart whispers---one more try) I felt alone, I felt beyond sad, beyond lost.
I wanted to feel angry---I wanted to blame her, I wanted to regret that the whole relationship ever happened. But I couldn't be angry—and I certainly couldn't regret the relationship.
I had to to accept and understand her feelings, how must it of felt when I’d pull away and not be myself? The doubt, the insecurity, the uncertainty, the pain? She had every right to expect and want more.
She deserved more.
It was my fault.
No matter what happened, this relationship opened my heart and eyes in ways they had never been.
"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another. We should all be forever thankful for those people who have lighted the flame within us"
I had never played a particular song on my guitar---and felt another in my heart as I played.
I've never painted with someone—or had someone paint me a picture, never ran in the rain with someone, never shared a kiss, or bed with such passion.
Never needed because I loved, only loved because I needed.
Never had a mad, passionate, extraordinary love.
Why regret that? I don’t regret making myself vulnerable, don’t regret loving.
If anything, I regret not making myself more vulnerable, not loving more.
Eventually, move on from who you want, but never from the love you want.
When struggling with lost love, friends and family will always say something to the effect of “there’s a lot of fish in the sea!”—and “You don’t know who’s out there”.
The truth is, I know this much about every single other fish in the sea---none of them are her. (By the way--ironically, and appropriately, that's what she painted me, a fish and it was the best gift I've ever gotten #oneofakind)
And yet, as much as that hurts, I understand that’s ok. I needed to accept that. I can’t look for her, but rather look for how she and us made me feel. I can’t and shouldn't forget it----because it is what I want.
Don’t become cynical, don’t doubt or fear what your heart wants. Don't think a love like that is impossible .
And always remember, absence diminishes mediocre passions, and increases great ones---as the wind extinguishes candles, and fans fires.
In other words, if I could shamelessly steal one more quote from a great mind - - - "Nothing is impossible - - the word itself says I'm possible" - Audrey Hepburn
There are too many mediocre things in life.Don’t allow love to be one of them.I know I never will again.
For My WW
THANK YOU "S" for sharing your story with our "Intimate Discussions" readers. I hope that something was said that helps a couple find their way or at the very least help women to understand how men LOVE!
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Yanni Brown, a ChiCity born, Certified Relationship & Intimacy Educator and if you asked "What's Love Got to Do With It" she would answer without hesitation "Absolutely Everything."
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