I could pretend like I don’t care. I could say that it wouldn’t bother me if I never found it. I could claim that I believe I would be fine without it. I could entertain the notion that monogamy is unrealistic.
Or I could be honest. And the truth of the matter is yes, I want to have a big love.
You know – the one where the sparks just fly. Where inhibitions, caution, fears, and apprehensions are dispersed into the wind of yesteryear – and I just go full force ahead into the tomorrow that now seems so clear. Where each bone and every sensation gives the indication that this person, this man, could be that someone I’ve been dreaming of. Where when he looks my way, when his eyes peer into mine, instead of just seeing facial expressions – I see something that even I couldn’t put into words. Where things, for whatever reason and measured in whatever way we both see fit – just work. Intensely, magically, profoundly, and naturally. Where passion and intrigue are magnified, but when I spent endless time with this person, I find myself shocked thinking, “Wow, this just feels right. It’s so easy.”
Lately, I’ve been thinking about this big love and deciding if getting over the idea of having a beautiful story with a dramatic plot line and incredible ending, is a huge part of this journey. We all know the love people produce movies, write novels, and compose music about are unrealistic. And if we admit to desiring such things, our independence, our intelligence, our interest in academia and the world is questioned. I mean, why should we waste brain cells or thoughts or hours of our life, thinking about the big love? When that love – where it be full of ups and downs or smooth sailing – is maybe, just an illusion? One that’s created by Hollywood and Harper Collins.
But the fiction that’s portrayed on silver screens and between pages – it’s inspired by facts. By people with real experiences. By men and women who have felt that thing, whatever it is. Maybe those who have seen it come and go, watched it while it stayed and then as it left. By those who were critics before they were stung by a buzzing person they couldn’t shoo away – regardless of how hard they tried.
I’ve yet to decide if The Love – as we all indicate worthy of capital letters – is the relationship that’s simple and easy-going, without drama and messiness, or if it’s the one that amidst all of the problems, at the end of the day, or in the final act, you’d still chose this person over any other eligibility. Maybe I’m conflicted because the strongest and most withstanding pairs I know all have varying histories. My dad had to pursue my mother for eight months before she finally agreed to go on a date with him (they were married four months later, mind you). A reader once told me she and her husband, knew in a single instance, with one silly glance, that they had just met their match. One of my closest friends, A, met her now-boyfriend in the states, but it took until they were in China at the same time, for them to come together. Other couples I know had to break up a few times, get over one another’s past, and let go of their own baggage to move forward. But when they did, it went full-force ahead into the land of happily ever-together. The stories are all different, the levels of intertwining roads and the bumps that break up the pavement vary, but the love is the same. It is intense. It is powerful. It is based on a mutual understanding of mutuality. It’s that love – the big one. The doozy.
For the majority of my life, I’ve feared not finding this relationship. Not having a man who flat-out, no questions asked, adored me. Not experiencing that impossible connection that’s uninterrupted because it’s that incredibly strong. Not having that feeling that I could, in fact, spend the rest of my life with someone and it not seem terrifying.
But if I’m honest – each relationship has increasingly been better. I’ve learned more with every choice, each mistake, and all of the romantic exchanges. I’ve mastered the difficult task of trying to make good out of bad and believe heartbreaks are more about growth than about pain. And while I haven’t had a life-altering, ground-breaking, knock me off my feet love – I’ve experienced love that’s worthy of words. Worthy of the time, spirit, and heart invested, even if the return was sometimes small.
All of these little loves may eventually add up to one big love – but what I’ve always had and always will have is something more. And that’s the relationship I have with myself. It’s always remarkably more trying and yet more sincere than any romance I’ve curated with a man. It has its ups and its downs. It’s full of trials and yet, worth each and every single off-day, for even an hour of feeling my very best. It takes me every place I need to go and when no one else can say the right words, I can find them if I look hard enough. It allows other people into the picture, just to show me how powerful the union really is and test how loyal I am to myself. It’s taken decades of pursuing and wooing, wining and dining, to get to where I am now. It’s a daily struggle with a daily reward. It’s the single most important, most intriguing, most difficult – and yet, the easiest, relationship I’ve ever been in or will ever experience.
There may be The One and I may want to find a big love to love, and I may never let go of the desire for that partnership. But at least I can be reassured that I’ve already found The Love. And no matter how much drama I encounter or admiration I give and receive, at least I know love is possible. And it is worth each and every downfall, if at the end of my story – the love I’ve found in myself remains the biggest love of all.