I have a friend who loves to say, “Whatever you do, marry someone who loves you more. My mom always taught me that, and it’s what I did.” My friend is a no-muss, no-fuss, never admit emotion kind of gal. She met her husband in high school, dated him for a little while in college, did her own thing for a few years after, and ultimately married him just prior to turning to thirty. According to all accounts, he chased her the whole time while she went on her merry way, until one day, she thought about it and realized that he was her best friend.
Although the friend and I knew each other in college, it wasn’t until she was married that I really got to know her and her husband. Their marriage has at times been a fireworks display, full of drama, fights, and evenings when you were embarrassed for both of them, but over time, it has settled into something solid, and one thing I would never argue against, their relationship is passionate in every way.
This weekend, I was having dinner with her. Her husband had been out of town for most of the week and when we went back to her house and found him there, she ran to his arms, and started to cry (never seen that before!), quietly sniffling, “I missed you.”
Standing there, I started to cry too, because there’s so very few people I know who love each other as much as they do.
My brother and sister-in-law are a similar scenario. It starts with her attending a Super Bowl party thrown by my brother and his roommate. So enthralled with my brother was my SIL that she promptly dropped the pie that she baked for the event. She was also dating the best friend of the roommate at the time. The story goes that after a brief tempestuous courtship they parted ways, until five years later my brother realized that she was his best friend. Two years after that, they married. The real story, which has been whispered in my ear in parts over the years by my brother, my SIL, and their friends, reveals the growth of a relationship that is much more akin to the art of making sausage. All that being said, today my brother and SIL are so in love and such a united front that I sometimes feel compelled to gag. And as the officiant said in the opening part of their wedding, “This is a relationship with a lot of passion.”
A year or so ago, my closest friend from high school emailed me asking for advice. She was in the middle of a divorce and met a guy atop a rooftop party in NYC. She knew. She was instantly smitten. And when they later went out on a date, he revealed that he had a girlfriend in Europe to whom he was engaged, and so they could never be together. “What do I do?” she asked.
“No offense,” I responded, “but this dude sounds like a sleaze. Run. Run!!!”
She wrote back and said, “You have given me thoughtful advice, but I feel like in the past, I’ve let go of love too easily. And with all due respect, I’m going to go for it.”
And a year later, after dating on the sly, or non-dating on the sly, the fiance moving here, and dealing with that and everything else, the European was eventually put back on a plane, and now my friend is with the guy she met that night.
Then there was a friend who for years described a situation which caused me to bite my tongue and keep from saying, “No offense, but I’m not sure this even qualifies as a relationship.”
Yeah, turns out that in the past year they both realized that they can’t live without the other.
We like to think that when we finally meet the one for us, things just work. Things flow smoothly and the other person treats you like a king/queen from day one. You don’t feel insecure; you never fear losing them. Any arguments are quickly resolved, and when it’s right, YOU JUST KNOW, IT JUST WORKS. Conflict and struggle with the ultimate high-pitched resolve? Well, that’s just the crap that happens in the movies. But the more I look around, the more I see that the relationships that I consider to be the strongest are the ones that weren’t always “pretty.”
It’s not that I think you can’t have a happy, long-lasting relationship without intense controversy. It’s just when I’ve viewed those types of relationships within my social circle, they seem to appear more like a well-run business with a good marketing campaign rather than a passionate relationship.
I had something once that I felt passionate about, but ultimately came to the decision that I wanted to be around someone equally passionate, equally able to believe that things will work out, even when bleak is the only way to describe the situation. Since then my relationship(s) have been ones of caution and box-checking, and a few years ago, I narrowly escaped a non-passionate, but caring situation on the verge of engagement. But as just noted, narrowly escaped, meaning I apparently still don’t want anything less than crazy passion – both the good and the bad.
So my question is, what’s your story? If you have a significant other with whom you can simultaneously want to poke their eyes out and get naked with, was it a long haul? Conversely, has anyone had a mostly perfect relationship with a marriage that’s lasted longer than ten years? And how did you meet? That last question was supposed to be my original theme for the post, but I got sidetracked by my thoughts.
Many years ago, long before my brother had even met his love, I was fretting over something with a guy, and he said this, “It doesn’t matter. If it’s meant to be, it will happen regardless of what you say/do.”
“What?” I asked.
“When you find the one, it doesn’t matter what you do. You can throw up all over him on your first date. You can run into him while you’re not wearing makeup. You don’t need to be on your best behavior. You can hate each other on sight. You can be the most horrible person to him. He can be the most horrible person to you. But in the end, they’re the person for you, it’s meant to be, and there’s nothing either of you can do to change it.”
What do you think?