*Warning: much needed strong language ahead!
I’m not going to lie—I am jaded, or at least it feels like I am.
For one reason or another, whether my fault or not (or maybe only because of me), love always seems to come to me like one of those 3,000-piece puzzles that takes forever to put together, and after putting all of this time and effort into it you find out three fucking pieces are missing.
I mean, it’s still a puzzle; you can still make out what the theme is, but it isn’t, nor will it ever be complete. That is how love seems to go for me.
So, I tell myself that I am over it, over trying to make sense of it, and at the edge of giving up the hope that “it will come my way some day.” I see love gone bad often—people who made promises in the dark after giving themselves to each other and truly thought they could never live without one another, now insulting and hurting each other as rivals or vicious enemies and without regard to the outcome or consequence. They leave deep scars. Honestly, the whole thing never stops making me deeply sad.
But one day, I met this couple. Not that couple who seems so perfect and put together that it just looks fake, but a couple who proved to me that it—the kind of love I’m looking for—is actually possible.
I was right there witnessing it. They were so in synch that they put all of the theories and conclusions that had taken me years to build in jeopardy. Doubt had led to my insistence that love and marriage are practically impossible concepts with so many variables and circumstances that they are simply a fantasy, impossible to achieve. A mix of unreasonable expectations with unlimited possible outcomes—most of them devastating.
So, I watched them in the beginning often thinking: “I caught them on a good day.” But I was certain that if I stuck around long enough, their ugliness and their humanity and that stupidity and forgetfulness that sooner or later consumes all of us would come to the surface and it would only ratify my negative and hopeless theories.
I watched and observed for 10 years and none of it ever came. It didn’t even knock at the door. I kept watching until one day I said to myself:
“Something special is up with these two…”
It starts every morning (without fail) when he brings her tea in bed, a beautiful gesture he wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. A gesture she never takes for granted and is always thankful for. “Thank you, baby,” she says gently.
And so the dance begins.
Once she finishes her morning treat, she is well aware that she will have many opportunities to reciprocate his care in kind, but she also knows that she won’t be required nor obligated to do so; she won’t even have to plan it out or consciously think of it—it will just present itself, or it won’t, yet no score will ever be kept.
The critics and skeptics, like myself, would call this kind of seemingly impossible behavior: thoughtfulness.
If you were one of the lucky people who gets to witness their amazing, easy, worthy relationship, you would quickly notice there is always calm in the air: peaceful comments, gentle inquiries. Things flow easily, even when confronted with the daily issues of life, their own idiosyncrasies, or even something bigger and more important, because they are a team. Not a mechanical team, per say, bothered with plans and charts and premeditated outcomes or obligations. Instead, they are like a dance team of impeccable skill, each knowing their craft innately, feeling each other’s strengths (and weaknesses), and making up for it so it all becomes balanced, flawless, beautiful—seemingly effortless.
Even those of us who seem to consider ourselves jaded and bitter would be compelled to label this a perfect partnership.
Their tone is always gentle yet clear, like a willow swaying back and forth saying, “I love you” on one sway and, “I am listening” on the other. And it fluctuates and flows organically and seamlessly no matter who is talking or who is listening—no matter where the wind blows.
Psychiatrists and therapists would have a hard time calling this anything other than: appreciation.
The day progresses and off they go into a world of pandemics and wars and social struggle and the certainty of horrible Venezuelan-style socialism (or whatever), but they seem impervious to it all; they feel each other from afar, as if they are within each other. They are a fortress, as long as they are together.
Some people would jealously call this a freakish connection of some sort.
Their home is filled with the memories of life—or better yet, of being alive. Let’s just say that none of this stuff has ever seen the inside of a Pier 1. They are memories of a life lived together, with each other, humbly and respectfully and without much pomp or circumstance. The reminders of their countless trips around the world, where they explored and learned and enjoyed wonderful things, together, smile at you from every crevice—proof of a home they have built together with care and patience and perseverance and pure joy.
Some people would call this: responsibility. (You know, giving a shit.)
Who are these people? Are they some perfect compound? An anomaly? An exception to the fricking rule? Not really—they have no magic formula, no rule book. They don’t lecture each other about the rights and the wrongs, they simply are two people who quickly figured out that “they” are important to each other, deserving of each other. They are able to give and receive fully, and unable to insult or hurt or scar each other. They don’t demand or change one another; they are adults, and they know what they mean to each other, enough to never put their union at risk.
Their relationship is truly void of bullshit.
They are funny and exciting. They are kind to strangers and amazing hosts. They are generous and thoughtful and tolerant. They are passionate—even a little dirty at times. They still look at each other with lust and deep appreciation and trust; they know they are timeless, and they know that together they can survive anything.
You see, it all comes from deep within each of them. They don’t “need” each other—they…Oh, forget it! I am tired of trying to figure it out.
Call all of this craziness, this madness, this illogical behavior what you may. And good luck defining it.
I will risk it all and just call it what it undeniably is: pure and unspoiled love made of thoughtfulness, appreciation, and responsibility (plus a few other nonnegotiable values all good relationships need).
So, before you continue your shitty, toxic, and disruptive relationship full of drama and demands and complaints and disrespect and selfishness and ego, consider that there is a better way—and take it from me as someone who’s been witness to its beauty and endless possibilities.
What if we all changed our mindset and simply “chose” to be better? Chose to be happy? Chose to make our partner happy? Chose to be with the one who shows they love us, and not just the one who says they do?
Our world would be so much better.