Direct Answers – Column for the week of September 20, 2004
Let me quote something you wrote. “When you reach the boundary between like and love, you know you are entering a different country. You are beyond newness and infatuation. You know what Shakespeare meant when he called love ‘an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.'”
On one level, I agree with what you say. But I believe very few of us find what you describe. We end up settling when we reach a point at which we realize it is either that or being alone.
I, for one, have never felt what you describe and recently have come to terms that I will not. I am 50, outgoing, attractive and independent, with two children who are blessings I would never have if I did not “settle.” I know I will never make that mistake again, and I find I am alone and probably always will be.
Is love the luck of the draw? Are some of us just luckier than others? Or is it something lacking in me? I would love to know.
Linda, sixty years ago the science fiction writer René Barjavel asked what would happen if you traveled back in time and killed your grandfather before he met your grandmother. Could this happen? If it did, you would not exist, so how could you travel back in time? This dilemma is known as the grandfather paradox.
When you “settled,” how did you know the next man wouldn’t have been the perfect one for you? How did you know the children wouldn’t have been his and your children? When you are of the mindset of settling, you’re not thinking of love but of other things–marriage, a house, children. You’ve traded love for a time schedule.
When you “settle” for a house, how many more houses do you visit with your real estate agent? None. How do you know the next house wouldn’t be the one of your heart’s desire? When you are dating, married to, or pregnant by a man you settled for, how likely is it you can see or be seen by the one for you?
It would be as easy for us to say your children would have been in your future, if you’d waited. Now you want to discount this idea again, but you are closer to it now than when you settled–because now you don’t want to settle. This has more to do with patience than with luck. You don’t stop trying to balance your checkbook until things balance.
Perhaps it is your fate to come to this knowing now. Why could this not happen for you now? Why not tomorrow or next month or next year? When you are living your life fully, engaging with others, knowing what you want, why not now?
Wayne & Tamara
My relationship started off as a holiday romance and has had trouble developing into a normal relationship. We met in Spain and fell for each other immediately. We were both over the moon, but when we moved in together, things began to deteriorate.
He wasn’t sure what he wanted. I felt neglected and reacted badly by contacting an old flame. He thinks I nag. Once, in a rage, I told him I don’t want to be with him anymore. Now he’s angry and refuses to speak to me until he thinks things through. It upsets me because I know we’re both very much in love, but no matter what we do we can’t seem to make it work.
Jayne, in science competing theories are tested against each other to determine which is true. You believe you and your boyfriend are in love. That is your claim.
We have an alternative hypothesis. It was a holiday fling. On our side we point to verbal rage, nagging, confusion, and unfaithfulness. What evidence is there for your theory?
Wayne & Tamara