In Sweden, back in the day when I was still a chicken, kids would run up to each other and ask if they could “have a chance” on one another. I came to think about it when I heard Abba’s Take A Chance On Me playing in the market the other day (and for the record: Abba might be cheesy, but there is no better music to freak out to on the dance floor (living room)…if you are Swedish…of course…and a total goofball like me…).
What hit me was how true the statement is – starting to date someone is really “taking a chance” and asking someone to “take a chance” on you. When you think about it like that it’s a rather humbling experience. I mean if you are, after some time, truly dating someone, not just having some fun….which can also be fun…but that’s another blog post… If you are serious you are actually asking someone to get so close to you they become like your second skin – you will know each others’ bodies, minds, hearts, souls…inside out. You will rely on each other on everything from having fun to having children. Now that’s impressive.
The interesting thing is that on your own you probably know what you would like to do for fun and how you would like to raise your children. You know how you want to be made love to and what your perfect afternoon looks like. When there is another person involved though, there is a chemical reaction. You love their energy and you had a powerful reaction when you first met, that’s why you got together, but you have to learn to have the best reactions at all times. I mean I’m basically asking someone to learn to deal with a dizzy blonde…I might very well end up burning down the house whilst cooking…and people get mad about toilet seats!!… 😉 Seriously speaking though, love is about accepting a person for who they are and allowing and supporting them to constantly grow.
I believe people are like flowers – the more you water them, the more strength they get. And the more sunshine you supply them with, the greater their urge to grow towards the sun. Basically, if you see them for their full potential (sun) and feed them love (water)…they blossom. That is, on the other hand, maybe not your first reaction when they have burnt down the house, right? You yell, you scream, the person feels like shit and is likely to do it all over again because they feel like shit and want to punish themselves. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m not saying you should encourage burning down the house…one has to learn to check the oven, right (I should make a note), my point is just that how we react to each other sometimes is just not beneficial and if it is to one of their habits you are reacting…well either you tell them to change it or you will leave, or you fully accept it and you stay. To moan, or get upset, just doesn’t do it. You get enough negative energy on the tube, or from fellow drivers on the highway – you don’t need it at home too.
In The Mastery Of Love Ruiz talks about people dating cats when they want dogs and then trying to turn the cat into a dog, or spending their whole life secretly longing for a dog, constantly, in their mind, blaming their partner for being a cat. Now I will never turn into a dog, that’s for certain, and it would be terrible dating someone who only liked parts of me. Sometimes I feel bad after a date. I’m going to my best friend: “I turned so shy, I forgot to be me. I said all the right things, did all the right things, I just didn’t do it with the passionate side of me.” And she always says: “If he doesn’t like you like that, he won’t like you anyway, because that part is you also.” And I walk away muttering about being Thérèse Raquin – fire trapped in a body of ice. Maybe I would like to change that, but that is still me….so she’s right – if he doesn’t like all of me he might as well fuck off instead of fucking me. Besides he was very cute when he knocked over the wine glass, but I was just a fool when I dropped the food in my lap… After all, if a guy can’t accept that I get so mesmerized by him that I walk into a lamppost, what’s the point anyway???
Ruiz also talks about how we all have a skin disease on this planet – as soon as anyone touches us we scream in pain from all our wounds. However, if you love yourself and are happy with your life, if you are feeding your own flower and stretching towards your own sun, you have healed. It no longer hurts to love someone else because you won’t starve to death if they leave. You are just left without dessert… So, basically, you are just left a sugar craved maniac suffering withdrawal symptoms that will, eventually, disappear (a few Ben & Jerry’s later…).
What’s more, if you have your own water and sun, you will not want to be with someone who offers you poorer quality than you already have. Why date a cloud when you can bathe in the sunshine on your own? We seek that which we are used to and if we want to change we have to start with ourselves. Don’t expect someone else to buy you flowers if you aren’t buying them for yourself in the first place, so to speak.
Once you have found love you think that’s it, right? You love the person. But what about the relationship? What does that person need to feel loved? You might date the most amazing person – everything you have ever dreamed of. It’s just he or she doesn’t make you feel fulfilled, because they don’t do the things that matter to you. After reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman I started to believe in relationships again, no joke. I suddenly understood what made me happy in a relationship and how I could make someone else happy. You can buy me twenty diamonds, I won’t really care (I might sell them and buy a sports car – it’s much more useful). To me diamonds are stones. On the other hand if someone was to spend time with me, play in the sunshine with me…now that’s love to me.
Chapman says there’s five love languages: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts Of Service, Words Of Affirmation and Gifts. We all use different words when we speak, it would make sense we use different words when we make love too.
I don’t know if I’ll ever find love easy (I’ll let you know next time I’m dating a guy), but as everything else in life one has to embrace the moment and learn to live within it, whatever that moment is. You gotta have fun with what’s there. Play with the toys you own, not the ones you dream of owning. I don’t think it’s comfortable to contemplate that a man might turn my perfect little world of equilibrium upside down, but the only way to learn is to end up in situations that teach you. That’s when you are rewarded with a new toy (boy). I know that for me, in love as in life, my dreams are strong enough to propel me out of my equilibrium so that I at least have a chance of achieving what I would like. For me the most important thing is to know where I’m heading. So long as you know where you are heading, so long as you know what you would like your reactions to life to be like…well even if you are challenged beyond your capabilities to deal with it, you know you just have to love yourself, learn and get better. And play, play, play!!!!!!!!!
Love is taking a chance, the chemical reactions might throw you into unknown and sometimes disastrous territory, but it is also through the meeting of two energies that miracles can happen, because on your own…well, there is no reaction. Kinda dull, don’t you think???