Love is Complicated   8 comments

Do you believe in true love?

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Yeah, asking a writer who specializes in apocalyptic fiction if she believes in “true love” is going to garner a complex answer. There’s a reason I have never successfully written a romance novel. The hearts and flowers version of love doesn’t live in my house, never did and never will.

Brad and I have only ever been married to each other (33 years this month), but our parents had eight marriages between them. That might account for why I have a jaundiced view of “true love”. It makes it sound like you’re destined to be together and it’s going to be wonderful. And that’s a crock of nonsense. It’s why I can’t write romance, because I think love is work. When you meet a couple who have been married for 30+ years, it’s because they CHOSE to stay together, not because they felt romantic and happy with one another.

Which is not to say I don’t believe in love. The love of God created mankind, stepped down from a perfect heaven into our messy existence (diapers) and went to the Cross for us, so I absolutely believe in His love. I think human beings, made in the spiritual image of God, can experience and give faded facsimiles of God’s love. In our bent state, we can imitate God, imperfectly. I just don’t think it’s something we feel in our warm gushy parts – except occasionally, when we’re curled up in bed with our backs melting together or when we’re holding our babies in our arms. A lot of what we call love today is infatuation, sexual lust or just plain manipulation of a significant other. Yeah, sometimes we feel like we’re “in love”, but the high divorce rate in Western society suggests we have no idea what love really is.

For me, love is something we do regardless of whether we feel it – hence why I am still married to Brad (an admittedly challenging guy) after 33 years. Many has been the time when I could have tossed all three of my family members out into the cold Alaska winter with nary a qualm, but I made dinner for them instead. That is love in action. Love is a verb in my vocabulary, only rarely a noun. It’s sometimes a feeling, but more often it’s an obligation. I have learned that when I love those around me, I gain benefits after the fact, but only if I pay the investment of love first.

Love can be hard. It’s hard to speak the truth to those you want to love you, knowing that they might just dump rage in your lap instead. You can only really do that if you view love as a verb – something you give to someone else without expecting something in return. A lot of us go through life never feeling loved and so we think love isn’t real, but it is. We experience it every time we give it, but so few of us do that these days. Sacrificial love – caring about another human being without expecting anything in return – is really not in fashion in the 21st century. We too often substitute sex for love and then when the warm romantic feelings are not reciprocated, we think there’s no love there. And that is entirely possible, because we confuse lust (a primal urge) with love (an action we do for others).

So do I believe in “true love”? If true love is hearts and flowers that lead you to happily-ever-after – no. Any time you get two human beings together, there will be conflict and that doesn’t meet up with the hearts-and-flowers concept of “true love”. I do believe in real love, which is something Jesus empowers me to give to others and occasionally it is returned to me. Sometimes that’s in my marriage or from one of my children, sometimes it’s from a random stranger. And those expressions of love toward one another have gotten Brad and I through 33 years of ups, downs, sideways and upside-downs. Is that “true love”? I don’t know. It’s real and like most things that are real, it’s messy.

Posted December 17, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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8 responses to “Love is Complicated

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  1. Love is commitment. Nicely said.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, love can be hard work sometimes, as I’ve found out too. But like you, I’ve only been married once and we’re still together after nearly 40 years. Many times I could have run out the door and kept running, but I didn’t. Love is not taking the easy option.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Stevie Turner and commented:
    I so agree with Aurorawatcherak’s view of love. Sometimes it’s just hard work! I’ve never been one for taking the easy option, and perhaps that’s why Sam and I took time to work out all our problems instead of running away. We are still together after 39 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on aurorawatcherak and commented:

    This article didn’t seem to go out on my network, so I’m reblogging it.

    Like

  5. Nice article. Love is hard work, and we must learn to not only work at it but evolve with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does change as you get older, certainly. To be monogamous with another human being for a lifetime means you will not always love the same person at the end as you did at the beginning. The physical body changes and while elements of the personality within will remain, that person changes as well

      Like

  6. I understand and agree. My childhood was wrecked my multiple marriages. When I married, I was young but very serious about what I was going into.

    Like

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