April 26th, 2004

Pingouin a Paris

late valentines

I stole this quote from a post in prester_scott's journal about his seventh wedding anniversary. I didn't just link to the post because there is stuff in it that I don't wholeheartedly agree with, but I do wholeheartedly agree with this part:

There is this notion that a relationship between a man and a woman has to be about Romance. I capitalize it as though it is a proper noun, for it is an idol that many people worship...Men and women approach it differently with their differing needs and expectations, but the common belief is that "love" is something always rapturous, exciting, and blissful to body, mind and spirit. Such love is blind and doomed to die, because it is unrealistic...

Our relationship isn't like that. We are happy together, but our primary purpose is not to make ourselves happy, or even really to make each other happy. We are friends and partners. We have common values and a shared vision. We magnify each other's strengths, support each other in our weaknesses, and bear with each other's faults. No, we don't like absolutely everything about one another...Even so, we are not going to abandon our commitment...merely to chase rainbows.


And just to clarify, the above doesn't mean that when you're with someone it's NEVER romantic. Sometimes it is. Very. But there is a whole helluva lot of cleaning up puke and poop and catboxen and dealing with various annoying garbajj. It's been that way with every single person I've ever loved that persisted beyond a few months, which to me is the only Real Love there is. Because I'm a Longterm sort of person, and most of my commitments (not just in love, in everything) have been Longterm, and if it doesn't last at least a year, it wasn't Real Love, to me. it was just a big fat wrong turn.

Most people who go on and on about romance, in my experience, do not have a history of good long-term relationships and don't seem to understand what goes into building one. They're too into Excitement with a capital E all the time. Your dear ones are not there to excite you or entertain you or make your life thrilling or meet all your needs. They're just people and a lot of the time they just want to be able to freaking relax with somebody, talk to somebody trustworthy, get a hug or sex or whatever they like without it having to be a giant deal. I also sometimes think people cite a lack of romance as an excuse not to get tied down with anyone (or with a particular someone), because they feel it's more socially acceptable to say, "The people I've dated just don't have that spark!" than face up to the fact that they themselves are not ready to settle down with anybody, especially if they're past the age of 30 and everybody else is getting committed (ha).

I don't like to post many details about my personal life, because love is important to me and private, and in some cases complex, and I've found that if you talk to the wrong person they're highly likely to dump all over you or stab you in the back. But I don't think the above is rocket science. It's common, general knowledge. People who have been happy with somebody a long time know this.