This Thing Called Love….

Love.

noun

On our recent trip to Bali, we happened to come across no less than 3 wedding shoots on one day, in the same location. Beautiful brides, handsome grooms. Love was definitely in the air, as they posed for the photographers. This got me to thinking….do they really know what love is? Seems even Google doesn’t understand it….it cites one meaning as sexual passion or desire. Well, that is just plain simple Lust!

I want to discuss the love between partners. And yes, one can definitely feel lust for one you love. But love is more than just sexual passion or lust. It is an opening of the heart, an accomodation of another, in all their strengths and weaknesses. It is the ability to forgive. To try again. And again. And again.

So this is what I have learned along the way….. that love doesn’t start in “once upon a time……” and end in “and they lived happily ever after“. Love is hard work. You can easily fall “in love” but you can also just as easily fall “out of love“. Love is a contract between two people, who grow up and old alongside one another, allowing for all the changes that time brings, a few grey hairs, wobbly thighs and dimples in all the wrong places. It’s two people working together, always keeping in mind that the “issues” are less important than the “relationship” itself.

Love is also spiritual. It is holding the bond or union as sacred. It is constantly working on reducing the “ego”, the “I” and replacing it with “we” and “us“. It is two people agreeing to disagree, respecting that each one is an individual, co-existing within a union of two. It is finding harmony and peace together, when the whole world is raging and on fire (literally and figuratively).

So what would I have liked to impart to those intrepid brides and grooms? I would have loved to sit down with them before the Big Day, and asked them to not declare undying love for one another, but rather declare their undying friendship with one another. Fall in Friendship, don’t just Fall in Love. Friendship is so much more of a promise to forgive, to uphold and to remain friends forever. Would you use the same tone of voice to a friend that you sometimes use with your partner? No. We are kinder to our friends. We speak nice. We drink cups of tea together and focus on what our friend is saying. We listen. We don’t want to lose a friend. So we offer them more courtesy, more leeway. We treat them well. Like a friend.

Friend.

noun

Our partners, well, we live with them, so we can become all to familiar, and you know that saying…”familiarity breeds contempt“, and sadly that is true. We can resort to belittling our partner. We stop listening. We drink tea side by side, each focussed on our own screens. We find fault with one another. We snap at each other all too easily. That’s because the fairytale “falling in love” is a fragile existence. Maybe it really is just a fairytale!

So, in summing up, I’d have like to share with those intrepid wedding couples, is to; “Fall into Friendship with your Loved One.” Friends care. Friends share. Friends forgive. True friends are there for you through thick and thin. Always.

Lucky me. I fell in Friendship with my partner, 33 years ago. May we always remain friends, who love each other.

(A special mention goes to the lovely bride and groom who were oblivious to me photographing their momentous occasion.)
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