Saturday, 30 October 2010

What do you call it?

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."
St Augustine

I came across this quote while I was once again musing about a conversation I had with SO. We were talking about what made couples lose their fire after a while. How do you go from 'I might just die if I don't talk/see him/her' to 'I can't remember the last time I spoke to him/her' its like you just get to this phase where you are just existing. You're not unhappy but it seems the relationship has lost its fire. Although we've been friends for just under a decade, our romantic relationship is relatively new and I do appreciate how the 'busyness' of life can get in the way.

My married friends tell me that time to reconnect with your partner is a deliberate doesn't just happen especially when you have been together for a long time and you have kids. I've noticed an increase in the divorce rates of 'empty nesters', I used to wonder why after over 2 decades of being together a couple would split up but I guess when you get used to being 'Mummy', 'Daddy' and the children leave the cracks in the relationship begin to show. I know this is true because my parents experienced and to some level are still experiencing this. You don't realise when you're growing apart..

I call it love, just that there are different seasons and phases. I think we all fall in love...we meet someone new and something about them attracts us. For some its looks, how they speak, sadly, money sometimes...but for whatever reason we are attracted to them. We exchange contact details and talk, talk you never knew you could talk for hours, your network provider smiles to the bank but you can't seem to get enough of them. I don't think this is bad. We were created with feelings for a reason I guess. I've heard this described as the honeymoon phase...I think this is the temporary madness St Augustine refers to in the quote above. This is love or is it?

Then you have an argument or disagreement.....I remember our 'amazingly amazing' suddenly became 'one of them'...'they're all the same' as I realised that he was flesh and blood, imperfect and therefore prone to mistakes. As we talked about it, I realised that I was committing to a lifetime of forgiving him, accepting him and loving him. This is love because I believe eventually we fall from that high and have to make a decision...will I love this person or not? I think I actually just got the point of that quote this minute....if we're all really being honest with each other I think that for many of us, yours truly inclusive we have ended some relationships that we should have worked on. We wanted to remain 'being in love' with the person instead of 'loving' them when it was required.

I pray for my roots to always grow underground towards you darling and that we become interconnected so that it is neither you nor me but us. That actually separating our roots causes so much pain we don't even consider it.


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