A Year in Review: A Series of Reposts

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To Love… or Not to Love

So, all my friends keep getting engaged. And married. No babies on the way that I know of… yet. While I am genuinely happy and excited for them, I can’t help but be slightly overwhelmed by the whole idea. Marriage, last time I checked, was a life-long commitment and thus a fairly LARGE decision that promises to change your life forever, for better or for worse. There are aspects of it that sound appealing, but to be perfectly honest, it scares the living day-lights out of me.

 I don’t know if it stems from a fear of commitment or a fear of being hurt. Perhaps a combination of the two. But it’s the latter that really gets my panties in a wad.

 You know the saying “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”? I don’t know that I agree with that. I am fully aware that this makes me sound a bit bitter and cynical, but I am truly trying to come from strictly “romantical” sense of the phrase. (I am also fully aware that romantical is not a word… I don’t care.)

Is it better to have loved someone so whole-heartedly and lose them, than to remain fully intact? Have you ever seen or spoken to someone after a break-up? They are devastated. They render themselves ruined. They lose appetites. They lose interest. They lose focus. They lose themselves.

They are wounded, defensive, and often times embittered. They become hard. They become calloused. Or, they become desperate. And they run to anything and anyone for attention and the shallow illusion of love.

I understand that, to a certain degree, this is a stereotype. So, let’s say that the previously described, hypothetical person does not exist. Let’s assume there is another person having experienced the same loss.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity and misery, they look at each relationship as a “learning experience.” They take from each person lessons that they learned and were able to grow from. Each person with whom they shared themselves and conversely took from, they used as an opportunity for development, knowledge, and understanding.

Does that sound romantic? It is a more tolerable and less emotionally taxing way to deal with the losses, to be sure. But, how long will that last? How long can one say to themselves “Our time spent together was productive in that I now am/can/have ______.”

How long can you share such experiences, such moments in your life with so many people before you realize… you would have preferred the consistency, comradery, fellowship and faithfulness of just one?

Do you not leave a part of yourself behind with each person? Do you not have less uncharted territory of your soul to offer? Is there less of you that has not been seen and shared with someone than not? Is it crazy of me to want to reserve, hide, and protect places of my heart and crevices of my soul for only one person? Because when push comes to shove and someone up and walks away, taking the intangible pieces of your heart with them… what do you do? How to respond?

Do those elements of your being that you so freely gave away grow back? Or is it that they never left but are simply bruised, losing the radiance of their former untapped glory?

On a highly personal note, I don’t think that I, Meredith, have the gumption for such transitions because of my innate and unrelenting attachment that subconsciously and viciously develops over a short period of time. I am someone who, through no understanding of my own, has the ability to grow emotionally and sentimentally attached to strangers, much more my friends or a man that I may be interested in.

And this is something that is very hard to deal with. Something that complicates, for me internally, the whole idea of relationships is my seemingly uncontrollable attachment. It is one thing to be unaware of your weakness until after the fact, but it is entirely different to be SO aware of it, knowing that it is inevitable. This foreknowledge creates fear and trepidation.

I know that, in an earlier post, I committed to ignoring such fears and taking the dive because it would be worth it. Turns out, that’s easier said than done.

I’d love some opinions on the matter. I would love to be proved wrong.

To be honest… today, August 1, 2010… I have yet to answer the question or be proved wrong.

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About mndunn26

I recently realized that my life is somewhat of a beautiful mess. A "pollack-type-picture" if you will, of colors, experiences, and people that, despite the seeming disarray, is captivating & confusing; patterened & yet unpredictable. But most of all, it is mysteriously designed, purposed, and appointed. For what? I don't know yet... but I'm learning as I go.

One response »

  1. Okay, Meredith, you know I can’t leave this topic alone!

    Romantic love, marriage, broken relationships–there is plenty to be scared of, if that’s where you want to focus. I have lived in a very unhappy marriage. I have given too much of myself–even abandoned myself–to too many people, outside of marriage. I have been “devastated,” angry, deeply hurt…and lived not only to tell about it, but to love one man deeply, fully, gratefully, happily, joyfully…please don’t gag!

    Both of us are in our second marriage, and this wonderful, mutually more-than-satisfying marriage did not get to be this good all at once. It took commitment and a willingness by both of us to work through the rough spots without losing faith and hope with each other. And when the rough spots were foisted on us, and not between us, it took going through them together, as a team, as partners, and never casting blame on the other.

    The fact that we say good, affirming, loving things to each other helps in a big way. We say “please” and “thank you,” we do little things for each other gladly–or, at times, with a sigh, but willingly. We don’t play the blame game, and we don’t call each other bad names–like “stupid,” “idiot,” “jerk,” or any of the other terms of non-endearment that so many couples use. And at night, when we are cuddled up, we say the words of love and devotion that we have said so often. If one of us were to die tonight, there would be no regret over things said or unsaid.

    I am a very different kind of wife, in this marriage, than in my first. I’m not sure how much it would have helped, if I had become who I am before too much water had flowed under that bridge, but it wouldn’t have hurt. But yes, I learned much from each mistake and from each bad choice I made, and they all added to the person I have become. Yep, I do wish I hadn’t made some of those choices, but I did, and I’m not there, anymore. I found that there was still much of me left to pour out in love on the husband I am with now, and will be with until we are parted by death.

    If I had managed to keep myself from the attachments I formed with people who, it usually turned out, did not have my best interests in mind, I think I would have been less able to give myself fully to my soul mate, when we fell in love. And yeah, we “fell in love,” but our love has grown so much, and so much deeper, that I’m grateful not to have missed it. We’ve learned how to do it right.

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