Monday, November 20, 2006

The love of your life

***Who or what is the love of your life?

It seems like an easy question … right?

For some, it might be their family. I certainly love my family more than I can properly describe. I would lay down my life for anyone of them in a second. Perhaps it is my British upbringing, but family is the most important bond in my life. However, love for family is a subject that seems very cut and dry for me.

Some people love their pets. For many people, their pets are their family. I definitely think that pets are the best way to teach a child to love. I know that my sense of love, in large part, comes from my childhood involvement with animals.

***Do we all have one single love of our lives or do we have many?

Some, like Romeo and Juliet might say, “Just one!” … Others have made the argument, like actor Nick Nolte, that “We have many in our lives, and therefore marriage is an unrealistic concept.”

Then again … Nick Nolte’s dates might have been checking out his mug shot (Above)

I would be foolish to say I had the answer to either of these questions. In fact, there is a good chance that the answer for both is different for different people.

I realized that this year marks the 20th year of my dating life. In those 20 years I have been “involved with dozens and dozens of women, but in that time I have only had a few “loves”.

The first, was a girl I met at Northwestern University named Ariana. She was my first love at the age of sixteen. I thought she was very beautiful, and she certainly made my heart skip a beat or two. Although she was an amazing girl, I believe the strength of our relationship was mainly based on how new everything was for both of us. However, for most of us, our first love is often doomed because it comes at a very early age.

My second “love”, was most likely the strongest love of my life to date. Her name was Tricia, and I met her at a University in Connecticut. In her, I felt that I had found a soul mate. Not only did I find her to be very beautiful, but I also thought she was one of the smartest and most engaging people I had ever met. Unfortunately, with the great highs also came great lows. Although the borders of our relationship are hard to define, we saw each other for quite a long time.

I think there were several things that defined my love for Tricia. For starters, I often had a strong feeling, or longing, to protect her. This is the same feeling I have with members of my family. This made her seem like family to me, and she is still the only person I have ever considered as a candidate for marriage. This need to protect and to care for someone or something, is without a doubt, the feeling I most often find synonymous with love. In light of the drama in our eventful relationship, perhaps some would argue that it was protection from her that I really needed.

One interesting thing to me was that she often accused me of overusing the word “love”. When I was with Tricia I often looked at her and thought to myself, “God … I love this girl”. When I felt that in my heart, I often felt the need to put it in words. I am sure I used the phrase “I love you” many times, but I have never been guilty of carelessly throwing it around at the risk of cheapening it’s meaning. Since my relationship with her, I have never used that phrase with another girlfriend. I wonder if she can truly say the same.

Since then, I have seen many girls. The lion’s share of them have been casual relationships for reasons I have blogged about in the past. However, there have been one or two who cracked the ice a bit. For example, in my late twenties I worked with a girl named Erica. There was something about her that was very special. She was one of a small handful who made me want to “give it another try”. Although I never successfully had any type of romantic relationship with her, I know that she had an impact on me.

A good example of that is this: I called her one night and asked her to have dinner with me. She gave me a fairly luke warm, “I am very busy this week”. I decided I would make lemonade with those lemons, and it was that night that I gave up cigarettes.

I am now trying to find these type of feelings again, and I am making changes in the girls that I now see. I will have to wait and see if lightning strikes twice.

Enough about me! I am anxious to hear about what experiences you all have all had in this arena. Who do you consider the “love of your life”? What run-ins have you had with this four letter word called “love”

"The entire sum of existence is the magic of being needed by just one other person."
-My fortune cookie from dinner

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting.. what you wrote about Tricia brought a little tear.. who doesn't want to have someone to take care of them? or just feeling like it...

My pets are my family... you can't consciously find a person to love or be loved by someone... I decided to go back to school, I did and got my degree... I can't choose to find someone to love.. he will come along or won't...

I have been "in need" NOT in love.. I thought it was love..but it wasn't.. it was simply the need of another person... I have not been loved by a man..but I have a good family who loves and cares for me.. many friends (mostly women) whom I love dearly and feel loved by them..they accept me just the way I am... no pressure.. just very good friendship...

But the question is... is that enough?

5:48 PM  
Blogger Rohini said...

Nice post. I guess you already know my point of view since you read in on my post. I think for most mothers, their kids become the love of their lives... I am sure sure it is that simple for men though...

1:05 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I don't think there is just one person; I think that there are many people out there that we could make a life with.

Love me, love my dog-- I've known her a lot longer :)

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a beautiful painting "Love me, Love my dog"

1:18 PM  
Blogger the fourth person said...

i'd lay down my life for my siblings or their kids.

my cat is my most enduring mammalian relationship. it would take an awful lot for me to abandon him, though he is incredibly resourceful.

as far as L*O*V*E love... i may have developmentally missed the train on that one or my wires are crossed. or missed the boat or the boat hasn't come in yet. whatever metaphor is nearest the truth, I haven't found that certain someone.

but i'd take a bullet for those mentioned above.

4:51 PM  
Blogger wonderturtle said...

What a lovely post... much nicer than blogging about crushes... :)

But also more complicated. I'll have to think about it.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

I think the “love of your life” is the one with whom you make it last – so I still need to find mine -- but my experiences with love so far have taught me a lot about how it works. Like you Peter, I’ve had immature love and toxic love. The latter taught me that simply sharing the feelings isn’t enough. They have to be applied in every word and action. I see that day-to-day effort in every successful couple I know. Love begins magically and inexplicably but it only endures when both parties give it everything they’ve got. And even then, sometimes not. . .

11:56 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I agree with your answer of "there is a good chance that the answer for both is different for different people."

I think that there are alot of right time right place loves. Some are lucky to carry those through their lifetime.

Me? I have a close group of friends and family that I love dearly. I am however still looking for that one true love...

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Becki said...

I am lucky to be married to the love of my life, and to have kids with him. I don't know what I did to deserve such a kind, caring, principled, smart and funny guy, but I'm trying to keep doing it. I wish you all this kind of love.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Shadowspun said...

I thought I was in love once, well twice if you consider "puppy love". I don't know if we would have had a future since he was taken at the time we met and after he broke up with her, we were already too far apart geographically to do anything about it.

Now, I don't have time for romantic love. I only have time for familial love - my nephew and niece, brother, grandfather, mother and the woman I'm helping to take care of, my grandmother. I do have a few good friends I care very much for, though.

Maybe at some time in the future I can afford to make time for romantic love. LOL. You're never too old, right? I hope.

7:48 PM  
Blogger The Lone Beader said...

Interesting, Peter... I will say this: exactly one year ago I left a 9-yr. relationship because of a certain someone. This person inspired me to create the beaded Irish Jack Russell Terrier named Rudy. One year later, I cannot stop thinking about him... Currently, we are just friends...only time will tell if it is really love...

I suppose the only real love I KNOW I have is for beads:)

11:18 PM  

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