« Memories of Qingdao | Main | Colorblind »

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Properly or Improperly in Love

By Judith Cooper Eton who blogs at SilverFoxyBlog

For every day of my life, beginning as a 17-year-old falling in love for the first time, I have been in love. The first object of my affection, a college student home for Christmas vacation.

I can still remember how it felt when he went back to college in North Carolina, three months seemed like three years. He returned for spring break and then again for the summer, just in time to take me to my senior prom.

After an idyllic summer, I was off to college and he, back to North Carolina. As could be predicted we broke up, made up and in between dated others.

I met a great guy at school, fell in love, got pinned. Happy ending? Not quite. First love returns, back and forth, just could not make up my mind. Love, not sure!

Enter Mr. Right, a blind date, instant love. Whirlwind summer romance before leaving for his last year at Wharton Business School, he pops the question, a beautiful May wedding! True love!

Not so fast, seven years and two wonderful children later. Divorce, heart-broken.

By now you must realize meeting men and falling in love is not hard for me. So it came as no surprise to anyone that candidate four was waiting in the wings.

This one, however, was not so easy. I was back and forth, never quite able to get over him but since he did not want to marry, I tried to fall for a suitable mate.

On some level I guess I was hoping my ex-husband would grow up, but since that has not happened to this day, I guess I made a good decision.

One more almost-the-right-one and then I met and fell in love with my present husband of 35 years. We married and added one more child and lived happily ever after. All three children, now fully grown and launched.

Happily ever after is clearly a relative term. For any of you in long-term marriages, you know how many times you question your decision. However, I never doubted that I loved him. I had once seen a great quote, which eloquently sums up my marriage: "You are the tenant of my heart, often late with the rent, but impossible to evict."

Enter Piers Morgan. No, no, no, never met him, don't know him, don't want to know him. It is his stupid question, "How many times have you been properly in love" that has made me question my whole life.

Have I ever been properly in love? Can I have been properly in love five or six times? What is properly in love? Have I missed something? This question has made me question my whole life.

If I am no longer in love with my husband, it would be the first time in 50 years that I am not in love with anyone. Would that mean I would have to be in love with me? That is an almost unbearable thought.

Can I possibly learn to get through a day or a week or a year without the anchor of another persons love or will I just float away? I now have come to doubt my feelings throughout the years all because of a silly question posed by an almost as silly talk show host.

Do we ever know where these flashes of self-knowledge will come from and what can we do with them when they arrive?


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Wow! What a question! I think most of us love the thrill of what we think is love- with all that adrenalin rushing!True love is different even though we might lose that exciting spark. We become a part of each other, hopefully without losing our own identity. It is comforting.

As a young person, I was in love more times that I could count. Friends worried I would not know true love should it happen. At age 70 and still married after 46 years, I guess something clicked true.

You are correct when you say that there probably are times when both parties might have and perhaps still do question their decision.

Someone once told me that love is like a fire. It burns hot and hard at first, but for the duration of time, it burns solidly, providing warmth where there would be none else. I know that the fire can burn out for some people. And as for being properly in love? Give me a break. When the heck is that supposed to happen any way? Love is just love even if it wears many different types of clothing or none at all.

To add one important thing, I think the longest of marriages often endure because they don't worry about whether they are still in love or not. My 96 year old father says that you stay together of out companionship, and given his age, he might know a thing or two. My parents marriage endured 60 years, and nobody ever thought to ask them if they were still in love.

My hubby and I have been together almost 20 years. I haven't killed him yet, a fact that puts it as close to love as you can get! Carry on. Good discussion and now I've put in my two cents worth.

I enjoyed several relationships as I journeyed towards true love. I think each of them contributed something to my journey. Since I arrived I've fallen in love several different times. Fortunately, each time was with the same person.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment