I've said it before and I'll say it again: Love is not easy.
So why do all of us females of the world, from tween to ninety-three, walk around proclaiming how much we want it? How much we gotta have it? How much we can't live without it?
Well, that's simple. I'm not sure even three-quarters of us know exactly what it is that we're asking for. Think about it. When you think about being in love, what pops into your head?
Allow me to take a few guesses. When we think about love, we think about having a Valentine to send us flowers and buy a huge box of chocolates. About having a date to snuggle with at the new Katherine Heigl movie. About changing that pesky 'single' on our Facebook page into a happy "in a relationship with..." (with the little red heart to boot!).
But is that really what love is about? All those perfect nights where you're kissing in the rain and your make-up is always flawless and all anyone talks about is how cute your kids are going to be?
'Fraid not, old chap.
Coming from someone who's ridden the rough road of love, love is oftentimes about surviving stupid arguments, drumming up the energy to keep your moodiness out of the equation and finding a way to distinguish between loving someone because they're right for you and loving someone because you don't want to be alone.
But wait a minute! How can this be the same love that we all aspire to? The love that inspires poetry and plays a part in almost every song on the Top 40 charts right now.
I detect an impostor.
Do you really want to know why love doesn't work out most of the time?
It's because billions of people around the world aren't actually looking for love. They're looking for that emotion they see portrayed in romantic comedies, Cosmopolitan's Red Hot Reads section and in the thousands of Hallmark cards sold every Valentine's day.
Now it would be a huge lie if I said that's not the kind of love I've been proclaiming my undying servitude to in many of my former blog posts. But recently it just sort of hit me: The sooner you wipe away every single expectation you've ever had, the sooner you have the potential to really make something of that stubborn heart of yours.
What I'm asking for here is a clean slate. A chance for love to have the chance to come when it's ready to come without the burden of a thousand Barbie and Ken, bubblegum-pink perfect scenarios to compete with in every girl's mind.
So what I'm proposing here is a belief in a new kind of love. A kind of love that doesn't have movie plots singing its praises or ten novels being published about it every day.
The kind of love I grew-up seeing when my parents would get into ten minute arguments about how dare my dad cut the monkey pictures off my mom's address labels but never forget to kiss each other goodbye when my dad left for a business trip.
The kind of love that says "You drive me crazy and I wouldn't have it any other way."
Because if someone really loves you, they're offering a piece of themselves that is so much more than perfect make-up and cute hearts on your Facebook page. A piece of themselves that not just anybody gets access to.
So the next time you're on the verge of something that you think could be great, take a moment to think about all the exciting luxuries of love that could be lying ahead- and then push them to the back of your mind.
Because right now what's important is learning how to survive the bread and butter of what love really is: the burnt meatloaf, the over-involved in-laws and the arguments about monkey stickers.
Are you ready for that? Are you ready to give up delusions of fairy tales that you've been storing up since Prince Charming chose Cinderella all those many years ago?
If so, then maybe we're getting somewhere.
Thought of the day...from a place that causes me to admit I always enjoy reading my horoscope for a laugh:
"Slow down; time is on your side. Serious thought will bring extraordinary results." [Zen]
Peace, love and polka-dots,