Monday, December 6, 2010

Love Is Not For the Lazy

We go through life crushing on people and thinking that all we need is that first hot phase to make it last.  We do things for that other person that we wouldn’t do for anyone else.  We go out of our way to make them feel special.  And over time the newness kind of wears off as we get used to that other person’s presence.  The flowers stop coming.  We have sex less often.  We stop getting excited when that person calls.  The conversations go from talking about things we want to happen to things that happened that day.  We sit across each other in a Starbucks and barely look at each other.  I hear about people who were married 25 years and get divorced after their children go to college because “they fell out of love.”  Bullshit.  The truth is, they stopped working at it.  They got lazy in their marriage. 

“I love him, but…” But what?  Love doesn’t end with a “But.”  If “but” comes after “love,” the statement is an excuse.  Why can’t people be more ballsy and just say “I don’t love him anymore because …” A friend of mine told me “Love should be used as a verb more than an adjective.”  I think if we used love as a verb in our relationships, we would actually figure out how to make that 25 year old marriage a celebration and not something that was just an excuse to our own failure at relationships. 

Love needs nurturing, it isn’t something that just appears and then is expected to stay lit with passion on its own.  People in love are happy because they are excited about each other, appreciate each other as individuals, and feed each other emotional treats that keep that fire lit.  When you think about the first few months of a romantic relationship, you remember that flutter in your belly.  What gave you that flutter?  Dates.  Notes.  Phone calls.  And whatever else kept you interested.  The day one or both of you forgot to do the work was the day you failed. 

Now I’m not naïve enough to believe that every good relationship has to be filled with awe inspiring romance.  But I do believe that a good relationship requires both people to love each other and to woo each other so that they don’t forget what the feeling is like.  We get so caught up in the “catch” game that when we’ve won our prize it’s almost as if we believe we don’t need to do anything more after. 

Of course every relationship will have its challenges.  People bicker.  It’s gonna happen.  It’s normal.  I get it.  But when you look at the person you love, do you actually look at them as if you love them?  Do you look at them as if they are valuable to you?  When you argue about something, do you stop and see the frustration on their face?  When you’ve said something mean to them, do you feel how sad you’ve made them feel?  Do you treat them as if they were the most important thing in your life? 

Why does the romance stop?  And please don’t use kids as the excuse.  That’s just sad.  Kids are the one thing that too many divorces are blamed for.  How can the very bond between two people be the cause of its destruction?  No.  Kids are a challenge that test a marriage but if that marriage fails because of “no time” or “she just let herself go,” that’s such a load of crap.  Children are supposed to be an opportunity for a marriage to grow.   Sure it’s going to be hard, but isn’t it worth it?  Men, get off your ass and help your woman out.  Don’t let her get mentally and emotionally drained to the point where she forgets she’s also a woman and not just a mom.  Women, get your sexy back!  Of course having children is tiring, get a damn stroller and take them jogging with you.  Have fun being a mom, but don’t neglect your husband or yourself. 

Whether or not you have children, you both have a responsibility to your marriage.  Work at it.  Fight to stay in love with each other.  Remember what the other person is passionate about, what drives them wild.  And remember that about yourself!  So many people say they’ve lost themselves or have forgotten their dreams.  Isn’t it worth it to fight for that stuff?  Do you really want to be that woman who sits and has that sad look on her face?  Life is such a wonderful gift, why the hell would you waste it?

I don’t know about you, but I want to be in love.  I want to leave a love note on a friggin bathroom mirror so that my “other half” would find it in the morning before I woke up.  I want to stay up late talking about nothing.  I want to wake up in the middle of the night for some spontaneous love making.  I don’t want to be lazy in my relationship.  You know what I want to be lazy in?  Saturday mornings.  That’s it.  But I don’t want to find myself sleeping next to someone two feet away and wonder if he is even in love with me anymore.

Love is worth fighting for.  It’s worth working for.  Don’t you agree?  So get off your ass!  Love is not for the lazy.


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