Go ahead, tell me that it’ll never work. Tell me that I’m crazy. Roll your eyes when I tell you that we met through Instagram. What are you going to do, quit your job, sell your house, move across the country for a girl with kids? She’s going to pick up everything and move there to live with you? Have you thought this through? Make sure you know what you’re doing! Make sure you’re not playing with fire! Do you know how much work kids are? What if her family doesn’t like you? What if your family doesn’t like her? OMG she has tattoos?! Have you tried Match.com or Eharmony yet? Maybe Christian Mingle? Take things slow. How can you already be in love?! When’s he moving? When’s she moving?
Stop it. All of it. Why do we have to go through this when two souls find each other and want to be in love? Why does it have to be a problem when it doesn’t fit into everyone’s idea of what a relationship should look like? Why does it have to evolve in a way that makes everyone else comfortable?
You can’t explain love. You can’t fit it into a box. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t happen when you want it to, or when the timing is perfect. Love isn’t a straight line. It doesn’t have smooth edges and brilliantly polished surfaces. You can’t choose who you fall in love with. You can try, but it can lead to a very frustrating and limited existence.
After my divorce, the idea of dating was horrifying to me. I dipped my toes into the cesspool of dating apps and that did little to assuage my fears. Endlessly shopping for potential love matches seemed so contrary to how I felt about the process of falling in love again. Dating apps have taken all of the spontaneity and unexpectedness out of love. If there’s one thing that you don’t like about the person you go out with, you know that there are thousands of more options to choose from. You don’t have to try anymore. Everything is temporary. Sex is always implied. Chivalry is officially dead. Infidelity seems to almost be an eventuality. How is it ok that love and commitment has deteriorated so much over the years? For those of us who long for that traditional romance that can last a lifetime, the state of things these days can be very disheartening. Why are we always looking for the better option, rather than appreciating what we’ve been given and working to evolve and grow the connection that we have?
It took a long time for me to accept being divorced. I fought through two separations that I didn’t want. I put up with emotional infidelity and forgave more bad behavior than I want to admit, but I did it because I took the vows of marriage to heart. My parents have stayed together through all of their struggles, only growing closer and stronger through the years. Both of my grandmothers unfortunately lost their husbands to health issues, but those men remain the loves of their lives. My aunts and uncles have all stayed married to their first loves. Divorce had never been a part of my life, until it happened to me. I was so embarrassed by the fact that it was happening that I had to hit rock bottom before I could admit that it was over, even though it had been for several years. I just couldn’t let it go.
So here I am, in love with a woman who lives 1,000 miles away from me and trying to navigate in a world where organic and spontaneous love belongs more in a science lab than in your dreams. Guys aren’t opening doors for women anymore, or pulling out their chairs for them. They’re too busy swiping and hoping that the next one in their feed will be “perfect”. They’ve lost the ability to see past the aesthetics of everything. God forbid that a man be vulnerable and sensitive. GROSS! Everyone is selling themselves now, curating an online persona that is more marketing strategy than life story. Women have become so hardened by how men have devolved that they are instantly suspicious when a sensitive, caring man comes along. It’s like when you see a story about some guy who disappeared from society and went to live off the grid, only to be pulled out and thrust back into society.
Look, don’t get it twisted. I absolutely understand that those who love us need to know that we are going to be safe and taken care of. I know that questions have to be asked and I know how important it is to have the support and confidence from those who are closest to us. My problem is the built-in stigma around what we think of as non-traditional relationship scenarios. People are still falling in love every day, but true love seems so much harder for people to accept when it doesn’t “look right”, because everything is such a mess now.
I wasn’t trying to fall in love, but I did. It happened before I even knew it. The planets aligned, the stars collided, my karma account was full, God’s plan for me was revealed, I got lucky, things happen for a reason, etc, etc, etc. What I do understand is that no matter what you believe is controlling this life and pulling the strings for you, if you don’t recognize it and grab on with both hands when it’s presented, you may very well run out of chances. So what if it’s not ideal. So what if you meet online. So what if you have to change your life to make it work. Love is the reason why all of us are here. At the end of our lives, we will only be able to live on in the hearts of those we loved and those who loved us. Everything else is only temporary.
So I’m going to be the man who I know I am and I’m going to love the way that I believe I should love. The road forwards may be crooked and bumpy at times, but it’s the road I’m choosing and I’m going to follow it. So ask your questions and tell me what you think, but also take solace in the fact that great love stories can still happen, and that there are still men and women out there who are willing to take the leap and trust the process.
Song of the Day 9/20/2018