Our first examples of love come from our parents. Before we see & understand actions that equate to love, we feel it. Through touch, through the soothing vibrations of our mother and father’s voice. We feel comfort. Safety. Familiarity. Before we know the meaning of these words there’s something recognizable, utterly subconscious that binds us to the two people responsible for bringing us into the world. And from there on, after about a decade on the earth, we are set out on a quest to obtain this “love” for ourselves. An innate instinct it seems. For centuries other cultures around the globe have established marriage and children as early as the teenage years. It is instinctual, natural to our species, so it seems.
I for one know that my concept of love was shaped and enhanced between the day of my birth, up to the present day, by a number of images and sensations of the world. From half heartedly watching glimpses of overly dramatic soap operas with men and women interacting strangely and mashing each other’s faces together. To movies with perfectly placed instrumentals that tentalated emotional currents and made eyes well up with tears. Songs, millions of them, all about the same thing – love! Hurt in love, longing for love, trying to get your love, wanting to make love. Sung with deep passion! There’s nothing like some beautiful vocals to make you feel the words to a song in a way nothing else can compare to. All of these pieces like puzzles forming an image of what love is. With of course your example at home being the most influential image & example.
So what do we end up learning love is? The music focuses on the feeling of love. So with that, it’s not hard to see why as a teenager I was certain I had fallen in love with my first crush & was hell bent on confirming that we were soul mates & were headed to the altar. And what 6th grade boy would ever be thinking that?!? But I had observed all of these tidbits of what love is supposed to be, hadn’t everyone else had the same experience?
It’s not until your twenties I think that you begin to have your first serious adult relationships and you find that people come with their own perspectives and realities, and they rarely sync up with yours. You find out about baggage, emotional scars, and fatherless sons. And as you go through enough relationships, you come to see that all men, without exception, are all still little boys in grown up bodies. Underneath their profession, their grown up appearance, their paycheck, their belongings, their friends, they are all just little boys trying to find their way and looking for the same comforts they had as little boys.
What I’ve come to realize about women is that we are no different. For years I’ve heard about the theories that women are groomed to be gentle flowers. We are doused in pink from the moment we exit the womb, coddled and cuddles, treated as delicate as glass. Read stories about princesses and Prince Charming that would come rescue us. We are groomed to be pursued & swept off our feet by the “feeling” of love. Those romantic movies, that are made just for us. But let’s examine those movies. What is it that makes those chiseled, dreamy eyed leading men “so romantic” and ideal? It’s because they anticipate the needs & desires of their leading lady. They do the unexpected. They plan an intimate dinner. They wisk her away on extravagant trips. They do things that blow her mind and make her smile. They anticipate. They’re one step ahead. And isn’t that what our parents did for us?
If we were out, they had a stroller to cart us around because they knew we’d get tired & drift into a peaceful slumber. When it was cold they always made sure we were properly bundled. When we were hungry they had food. When we were upset they were there to prevent or fix it. Their whole job when we are little and defenseless is to anticipate our needs and fulfill them. I think as grown ups, this is what we truly seek at a fundamental level.
We want the guy to know that we want red roses and a hot bath waiting for us when we have a hard day at work. We don’t care or consider that his experience and perception of expressing love may be to shower you with affection. Or even better, maybe in his household his father kept to himself & was the provider and that was how you showed your love; by providing for a good life for the woman you love. We want the guy to magically understand why we are being soap opera irrational & over the top, and instead of getting angry we want him to grab us by our feet and pull us back down to the ground by talking us through our whole psychosis and letting us know he truly understands and “gets” us. That’s what they do in the movies… We are seriously nuts for having these far fetched expectations!! It’s a struggle getting men to “anticipate” that we’ll be using the toilet after them, let alone understanding our constantly working, complicated, minds!
Anticipation. That’s what’s sexy to us. That’s what we call romantic. Being one step ahead of us. Surprise. It sparks that bouncing ball of jubilee in your stomach that feels like popcorn bursting inside. It’s that feeling that makes your eyes widen and sparkle. Drives a wide and deep smile across your face, when those kinds of smiles become more rare as you venture deeper into “adulthood” there is nothing more than an endless impetuous landscape of seriousness, struggles, blandness, and restriction. This anticipation reminds you of safety, comfort, and familiarity. It feels like home.
So I’ve resolved we are all truly little boys and girls in search of the same comforts of home in our grown up worlds. And this becomes a fierce, fierce challenge because as the evolution of this world has spiraled on over the years, there is less and less that is “uniformly known”. When there was generally one style of fashion, the same songs were popular to everyone at the same time, everyone learned the same thing, came from similar homes, grew up with similar goals they pursued; today there are 100 options for each of these. There is no norm, except that we are all human.
So how does anyone find love truly? And remain in love? With such odds stacked against us! Well, I can’t say I’ve got the magic answer on that. But knowing all of the facts is half the battle! So perhaps if we acknowledge the little boy or girl inside of us, and truly understand those fundamental needs we are desiring that our significant other anticipate for us, just maybe we can be that much closer to identifying a person who does this naturally, versus someone you’re constantly frustrated with for not anticipating these needs.
Peace & Love