Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Ordinary Days of Love
Aggravations, routine, chores, challenges--not really the stuff of great, sweeping love stories. In the movies, a couple has to overcome grand obstacles that conspire to keep them apart but for most of us, it is even more challenging to just maneuver through days of jobs, errands, tasks and managing ordinary life!
How many relationships have fizzled when the rollicking high tide recedes and life settles back into its ordinariness?
When I allowed myself to step into the challenges of "dating" in my forties, I had taken a few years to get grounded and figure out what I had to bring to the adventure. I decided if ever I was to fall, I wanted it all! Yes, I wanted the gooey excitement of falling in love, but I also wanted an ordinary earthiness and long-term compatibility. I knew that long-distance dating was NOT for me because I valued the every-day--getting to know someone slowly through ordinary situations when they are not on their best behavior. If nothing else, I knew that I needed to make my actions and choices match what I had identified that I wanted. For both Teri and I, there was a great deal of intention in our dating, but not to the point of being clinical or simply a matter of matching up checklists.
There is a great deal of trust that comes with entwining ordinary lives. Teri has to trust that I will take care of my end of things and manage my own feelings and behaviors and I have to do the same with her.We both have to trust that if we have an off day or week, that is all it is and not take it to mean that things are awry. On the other side of the coin, we have to trust ourselves to tend to things and check in to make sure they don't get too far off track.
While I know that some people look longingly at couples in the early stages of infatuated dating or long to be out-and-about playing the field, that is not something I envy. I loved the experience of discovering and falling for Teri, but what I most covet are the ordinary days of love. It may not make for the most exciting and dramatic time, but the solid depth of loving companionship suits me just fine.