A Woman’s Love

Have you watched Cinderella Man?  If you have not, you should.  It isn’t just a movie about boxing, a visceral portrayal of the Great Depression, or a man’s triumph over mitigating circumstances; it has to be one of the greatest love stories to ever grace the big screen. 

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Oftentimes, relationships can resemble fast food: they’re cheap yet filling; they give immediate satisfaction but have long-term side effects; they’re bad for you but you choose it anyway; convenience overrides any desire to go the distance to find something more worthwhile. 

So in a fast-moving world with a fast-paced lifestyle where here and now is much preferred to later, how do we know if Love is really Love? If it’s just as easy to get out of as it is to get into it, how will we know if we’ve really found this seemingly elusive concept called Love?

And then there are those individuals who desperately want to find Love, and will will themselves to believe they have found it, only to realize later it wasn’t really what they’d thought it was.  What about those individuals who, after a night of deceit and misappropriated lust, go back to their significant others as if nothing had happened?

Over the years, it seems to me that saying I love you has lost it’s meaning in so many ways: some utter these words only to find that once the relationship is over, they no longer feel this way.  What they’d believed was once true and heartfelt isn’t any longer, and they justify the change of heart with a laundry list of reasons why the relationship couldn’t work out.  Playing the blame game seems to be so much more convenient than admitting to themselves that maybe love, in this relationship, wasn’t what they had thought it could be. That maybe they had made the wrong decision of picking someone who wasn’t worthy of their heart and time. That maybe the consumption of “fast love” had left them feeling shameful and guilty. It’s always easier to blame the cause than the enabler, after all.

Cheating, divorce, desperation, petty break-ups, and lies cheapen that which is absolutely invaluable in my book: pure, unadulterated, can’t-live-without-you type of love.  Nowadays, it seems so many are willing to exchange vows, only to rescind their promises once the storm hits. Instead of fighting to keep their relationship afloat, instead of withstanding the torrent and weathering the conditions, it seems more appealing to look for sunny days elsewhere.

Love doesn’t have a 7-day forecast.  It doesn’t warn you so you can make your quiet escape to the tropical islands nor is it accommodating enough to provide an umbrella for the rain. It’s not about having to weather through these conditions; it’s really about how you handle this situation and how you’ll deal with the possibility that you may come out of it just a little damaged. How will you prepare yourself for next time?

Love isn’t always convenient or easy; Love can be angry, passionate, heated, and it can very well step on toes.  It can affirm you or leave you feeling defeated, but that’s what’s so appealing about it: it stirs our emotional gears and makes us feel ALIVE.

Unlike fast food, love should be that divine 9-course meal at that five-star restaurant everyone raves about: every course starting from the appetizer would tantalize us to savor each bite and anticipate what is to come next. Love, much like each course, should get better with time — not make us feel shameful and guilty for having experienced it.

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The two main characters of this movie, James and Mae Braddock, exemplify what I believe is true love.  

Mae represents the kind of woman I hope to be for my partner.  Through thick and thin, through sickness and in health, for better and for worse - she is her husband’s guiding light.  She is the torch that’s always kept aflame should he flounder in the darkness.  She is the motivating force behind his ideals, ideals which are realized through her unconditional love and faith in him.  She meets his defeated ego with a hug each and every time, and carries through on her vows and promises to stay and persevere no matter how hard things may get.  

Regardless of circumstance or outcome, he will always remain a champion who has won her heart, and in the end, all worldly desires melt away and blur into insignificance for nothing moves her core the way her love for him does. And no other way of loving him would be good enough for him.

A self-respecting woman will provide this kind of love for her man, and will give this valuable gift to the right kind of man. And it is this kind of woman who will be more than worthy enough to land a champion who will fight to keep her heart.

And then there was one…

Same story, different characters.

I’d warn them it would take some time to warm me, that I wasn’t their run-of-the-mill, wide-eyed sappy type who believed in fairy tale endings. Their reactions were always the same: they’d chuckle and assure me they are different

Chuckle? How dare they fleer at my sincere warning?

“Do you want recommendations from past girlfriends?” they’d ask, promising all tongues would point towards their virtuous, well-governed selves. The Realist in me would scoff at such lofty conjectures, while the Idealist hoped these assertions would be proven true.  Eventually, I’d give my heart enough allowance to pay off any lingering doubt.

And in such like allusions and amorous conceits, we would become suddenly smit with the same hasty and inconsiderate passion for each other, which they had conceived for me. Here was a prodigious birth of desire, affections settling where prior considerations would induce me chiefly to abandon.

However, with the test of time, one by one they’d fall. And alongside them, so would the shattered remnants of my idealism.

Then,

he arrived, the moon of past nights sick and pale in comparison to the lustre of the sun. Given my penchant for bedding poor judgment, I gave him harsh denials at first; I needed to be standoffish and affect a coyness or indifference, that he may not think I were to be won so easily. 

But there wasn’t any room in my case for such denials or puttings off, or any of the customary acts of delay and protracted courtship. There was something different about him; he wasn’t like anyone I had ever met before.

So with an honest frankness, which the novelty of such a situation excused, I confirmed the truth. I alerted he should not impute my easy yielding to levity or an unworthy mind. I went on to say I had not been abed the past few nights, that some distemper of novel affection had kept me awake against my will. And though I had revealed more words than my mouth could hold, though I had exposed more feelings than what my heart could account for, I solemnly vowed to myself that I would prove to him more true than many whose prudence may have been dissembling, and modesty, artificially cunning. He took to my honesty quite nicely, and assured me he didn’t expect any less.

Thirty in age, sixteen at heart. Just when I had thought cynicism had barnacled my stance on Love, he happened to my life and made me believe in the concept of fairy tale endings.

I received a surprise email from my BF Wednesday morning.
I had told him weeks ago that I’ve never been to a spa before, and guess what he gifted me randomly? He told me he researched on the internet and found out Argyle Spa was the best place for me to pamper myself. I looked online and wow this place is nice!
He somehow always remembers the little things I tell him, and finds a way to surprise me… even from all the way in London! I really couldn’t have found a more wonderful man who really pays attention to the little things. I love you, Handsome!  High-res

I received a surprise email from my BF Wednesday morning.

I had told him weeks ago that I’ve never been to a spa before, and guess what he gifted me randomly? He told me he researched on the internet and found out Argyle Spa was the best place for me to pamper myself. I looked online and wow this place is nice!

He somehow always remembers the little things I tell him, and finds a way to surprise me… even from all the way in London! I really couldn’t have found a more wonderful man who really pays attention to the little things. I love you, Handsome! 

Neediness

You know, I think it really comes down to this: when I am in a relationship and I feel the person isn’t *really* there, I may question whether they’re in it for the long haul or not. This questioning, this curiosity has gotten me into some trouble because the guy thinks it’s me not being able to handle this … distance. It’s not so much that I need them to spend all of their time with me but they think it’s exactly that. In my current relationship, I lean way more on the non-needy side than anything else. Sure I will miss my BF and want to see him and talk to him but if I can’t or I don’t, it’s OKAY. While he’s in London, if I don’t hear from him, it’s FINE. I don’t need to claw my way into his schedule nor do I need to be a part of his activities all of the time. I try to give him a lot of space because I, too, like my space. I encourage him to go out with his friends because I, too, like to go out with my friends. I don’t like to invite myself along to his events nor do I expect every spare moment of his to be mine. I think it’s just about being two individuals, together. But girlfriends will often encourage me to be more needy. To want more. They say it’s okay for me to want his time, and that I deserve it. Well, silly, of course I know that. But I don’t think I have to be needy to have a good relationship with my BF. He knows I want him in my life - I don’t have to crowd his space to prove that. D definitely let’s me know and shows me that he is in it for the long haul. I have that assurance with him that I’ve never had with anyone else. He (as well as our relationship dynamic) gives me enough confidence to know in my bones we’re in the right place, and all of that neediness isn’t necessarily. I think people who are too needy just aren’t very comfortable with where they are in their relationship. I try my best to show D that I am fully here for him so he won’t have to feel that way either. So I disagree that I need to be needy in my relationship with D. Sure I can learn to be a bit dependent from time to time so I can assure my BF of his manliness and physical prowess ;) but other than that, I’m fine with giving him his space. I think my friends need to worry about their own relationships. :p