Where You Get Love

I actually wrote this back in 2005, but hey, it’s Valentines Day. Rather than come up with something new, why not steal from myself? And begin lazy Valentines Post in 5…4…3…2…

So…it’s St. Valentine’s Day. It’s the romantic holiday for lovers. And it’s the bane of many desperate singles’ existence. I could go the bitter route and whine about how it’s a commercial holiday created by Hallmark. And sure, to an extent it is. And it’s rather silly to set aside this one day to remind us how we should treat a significant other the entire year. If you need a holiday to remind you that your wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend is a significant part of your life, you have issues.

Romeo and Juliet
Antony and Cleopatra
Adam and Eve
Would have been much better off
If you had left them all alone
-Voice of the Beehive

But to become twisted and bitter at the holiday seems ridiculous. “I don’t have someone, therefore I must hate it!” That seems like a tragic waste of a day.

Was I meant to be yours?
The Will of Christ above?
Do you believe true love is blind
Cause I don’t know
-The Choir

I remember in my late teens and early twenties how badly I tried to find “the one”. You know…that girl who God or fate had lined up special for me that would make life better. The girl I would be unable to deny as my destiny and the road to family. I know many people who wait on this one person. It’s the person you know was specially created just for you and nobody else but you.

And hey, let’s face it, our culture has fed this mentality a long time. From books, to songs to movies and TV, it is slipped into our sub conscious. Think about it, our pop music from before the birth of rock to the present has praised this magical unending love…mostly sung by people who have been married multiple times, had numerous short term relationships…and yet they keep trying. Movies have told the tales of blissful love with character declaring their undying love for each other after 24 hours together. Love is a lot of hard work. You’d never know it from the movies.

When I see her on the street
You know she makes my life complete
-The Ramones

And it reflects in a culture where when the times get tough, and the sweet feelings don’t last, we assume that means the love is dead and it’s time to leave. How can so many soul mates sour? And yet, the Soul Mate theory continues on.

For Christians, it’s funny that this takes such a hold in our community (and, not too shockingly, our divorce rate rivals those outside of the Church body…apparently the Soul Mate theory is not so effective here either). It is interesting how persistent The One is with so many Christians (though admittedly, it is primarily younger Christians). I mean, when you read Paul’s writings…he never seems to think this way. Heck, his idea of a good reason to get married is to avoid sex out of marriage. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust doesn’t really sound like a guy who believes in “The One”.

As I have grown older, I have shed the concept of the one. I get the magical appeal, but I also grew to realize that there is more than just one out there. Chandler on Friends brought up the grand dilemma of “The One”. He asked, “What if I already met the one and dumped her because she pronounced it ‘supposebly’ instead of ‘supposedly’?” I can think of a couple women I could probably have had a great marriage with. Sure, they ended up with other guys, but hey, the point is? There is not just one.

Aching like I do
For a love to last forever
Baby, please come home
-The Gravity Show

Even though I left that behind, the desperation of having someone…the fear that I could grow old alone was still present. I know I was not alone in those fears. I have friends who are so scared of “alone”, they will settle for a person who is less than they deserve. They convince themselves the warning signs aren’t a big deal. You overlook a multitude of dangers when you fear being alone. As if being single for a season (or even a lifetime) were “bad”. It’s heartbreaking to me that fear of alone will make us accept counterfeits of love. I hate to see people that I care about choose cut rate relationships. It’s a fear I get, and it’s one that cuts very deeply to the heart of many.

So often, people fear the concept of being alone because they think marriage will provide things that it doesn’t. Marriage doesn’t provide support, security, love and so on. The people involved. A selfish alcoholic, for instance, is not magically transformed into a loving, supportive significant other merely because they are in a committed relationship. Marriage only provides what two people bring to it. Just like it’s a bad reason to have a baby just so you can have something that will love you unconditionally, it’s a bad reason to date or marry a person just because you think having a relationship will provide love and support.

Of course, sometimes people change, but most of the time it’s the opposite. Unless a person knows their relationship killing flaws (addictions, jealousy, anger, etc) and is seeking to remedy them, the future is bleak. They will only be able to con you so long before the true colors come out. Me? I’ll take singleness over someone who might eventually come around to making a change for the better.

Love is not easy to define. But I know it isn’t the giddy butterflies. Love is all about what you can offer, not what you can get. Love will look at the other person’s needs and perform accordingly. If the person tells you that they need space and you truly love them? You will step back. If you truly love them, you will be willing to let them go, no matter how much it hurts. You want to know if someone loves you? See how they behave when the times are tough and the relationship is strained. If they freak out, don’t trust you and try and smother you? Love isn’t the right word. Possession might be…but that is not anything resembling a pure and true love. Love sacrifices, it doesn’t coerce and manipulate. And love isn’t always easy…just because you aren’t feeling romantic towards the person at this time doesn’t mean the love has died. It’s often in transition and when you get farther down the road, you will find yourself amazed that you ever doubted.

Am I in love with being a failure?
Or just a Failure at being a lover?
Sometimes I Just wonder
-Luxury

After the last person I fell for, I suddenly realized that singleness was okay. I am not sure that it was anything specific to her. But singleness wasn’t a curse, a little unpleasant at times, maybe. Certainly, there are times that can seem extra lonely. But then, the irony is that there are many people in relationships that are just as lonely, because they settled for a substitute for love. Not having a significant other isn’t a failure. And it’s not a reason to be bitter at life. Sure, we can take that route if we want. But I would rather find the hope available to me now. The joy in my friendships. The joy in being with my family.

I don’t want the Hollywood picture of love. I want the love that endures. The love that grows beyond the butterflies. Love. Marriage. Friendship. Joy. To those with a loved one? Celebrate them.

Romeo and Juliet
Louis and Miss Antoinette
Napoleon and Josephine
Mickey and the Rodent Queen
Antony and Cleopatra
Nicholas and Alexandra
Ken and Barbie, Dick and Jane
Superman and Lois Lane
Impressed
I am not impressed
I love you the best
I am not impressed
It’s a bunch of losers
A lot of fools
A list of victims
Not all that cool
And we’ve got nothing in this world
To live up to
I’ll never kill you this I swear
Then kill myself just to be fair
I’ll never need another queen
We’ll never face the guillotine
Because love is gentle
Love is kind
Doesn’t poison baby’s wine
Isn’t jealous or provoked
Doesn’t quit or give up hope

I am not impressed
Forget all the rest

It’s just a bunch of losers
A lot of fools
A long list of victims
Not all that cool
And it’s got nothing to do with me and you
-Tonio K

Lyrics from Shooting Cupid, © 1991 Virgin Music (PUBS) (music by Tracey Belland & Melissa Belland/lyrics by Tracey Belland)
Lyrics from About Love, © 1990 Never Say Never Songs/Word Music/ASCAP (music by Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong/lyrics by Steve Hindalong)
Lyrics from She’s the One, © 1978 WB Music Corp (ASCAP), Taco Tunes Inc. (ASCAP), Bleu Disque Music Co. Inc. (ASCAP) (Jeffrey Hyman / John Cummings / Douglas Colvin / Thomas Erdelyi)
Lyrics from Aching, © 2002 Honeyblushing Songs (ASCAP) & Northern Records Music Publishing (BMI) (music and lyrics by Rev Emrae)
Lyrics from Not So Grand, © 1997 Spinning Audio Vortex Music (BMI) (music and lyrics by Luxury)
Lyrics from Impressed, © 1986 N.Y.M. ASCAP/Bibo Music ASCAP/Enchanted Dance ASCAP (music by Bob Wilson and Tonio K./lyrics by Tonio K.)

Posted in: Life, Pop Culture

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