Not long ago I wrote a blog titled, Do You Still Love Me? It was prompted by Mandy Len Catron who wrote To fall in love with anyone, do this. I was fascinated by the blog and subsequently the Ted Talk. But its not just me. We’re all fascinated by love. In fact we’re captivated and in awe of love and those we believe have found that blissful emotional connection with their soul mate. But is it all a bunch of bunk? Seriously, look at how messed up and dysfunctional a lot of relationship are and yet there are thousands of books written and being written about love and finding a soul mate with millions of readers … eyes glazed over as they read what is sure to be the key to finding their true soul mate.
Society places so much emphasis on getting married and finding a partner and being in love. On the one hand we have religions who guilt us into getting married because of their beliefs and on the other hand there are cultural traditions and sometimes shotgun weddings all meant to tie two people together in wedlock. And what about the industry which drives and influence the love thirsty decisions with TV shows like The Bachelor and Bachelorette where dating multiple partners and open promiscuity are the norm and are broadcast on national TV … all in the name of love. Seriously, who wouldn’t fall in love while in Bali, living in a bamboo hut designed to replicate The Ritz Hotel while sailing off into the sunset in a multi million-dollar yacht with Santana strumming some romantic music for you personally. Talk about setting up an effed up expectation.
The pendulum always swings in the opposite direction. Here is the other side of the pendulum. Some statistics (drum roll please)
There are 60 million married couples in the US. The marriage rate is declining as more millennials decide not to tie the knot.
Over 40% of singles use some online dating site – that’s over 40,000,000
51% of online daters are already in some form of relationship. Doesn’t that just give you the warm and fuzzies. I wonder how many of the 60 million couples noted above are part of the 51%.
Which then takes us to the divorce rates:
50% percent of first marriages
67% of second marriages
73% of third marriages
You can start to see how the pieces of this puzzle start to come together.
We have been led to believe that we should all be looking for our soul mates and yet millions are searching and wondering why we have been eluded by our unseen soul mate. People are in what ‘seem’ to be perfect relationships regardless of whether they are married or not and yet I hear how they wonder if things would be better or different with someone else or alone perhaps.
Have we been conditioned to such an extent that we are always looking to trade what we have for a better model? (no pun intended with model)
Dating sites do not give singles a fair chance. You go out with someone and you think there might be a connection worth exploring and as soon as you go home … BAM! … you have an email presenting you with five new option all of which seem better than what you just felt was a good connection. That’s why its become a 2-billion-dollar industry. Do they really want you to find someone and stop paying your monthly or annual premiums? No way!
Look, I did it. I too was always wondering if someone more interesting, prettier, younger looking, more fascinating was out there … lo and behold I always found myself single. When do we grow up and decide that we need to make a choice and actually decide to be in a relationship forgoing others and find a way to make it work? I use the word “be” instead of ‘stay’ in a relationship. “Be” is part of be-ing. Active, present. Aware. Or as Webster defines it: Conscious Existence.
Wayne Dyer once told me in an interview when asked about soul mates, he said that a soul mate is someone who will push your buttons. Wow! You mean its not all bliss, topped with mind blowing-orgasmic sex, followed by fantastical vacations globetrotting around the world to the most exotic locations? Seriously! If we do not get our buttons pushed how will we ever grow? What is there to learn if everything is perfect and nothing ever goes wrong and we always agree and never have a difference of opinion? What would be interesting? Sounds boring actually.
We all want the forever dream to come true. Reality check; there is no guarantee. Its what we do with what we have and where we are. Today. Right here. Right now. That’s what counts.
I could go on and on about all these different topics, and I will, but to sum this up for now in a nutshell, love just like anything else needs to be nurtured. We need to find ways to stay interested. Be interesting. Open and honest. Think back to what brought you together in the first place. If it was a shotgun wedding, well, your days may be numbered, but otherwise look back to when you dated and were falling in love. That spark is still there. It just needs to be tended to. That’s what we need to focus our attention on. There will always be plenty of reasons to make things fall apart. All you need is one nugget to nurture, cultivate and focus on to help keep things together.
Its not all doom and gloom. Love really is all around us. I have enough personal experiences to know that being in a relationship is fulfilling and being with the one person who understands me and wants to grow together is where I want to be.
Ah l’amour. Yes, I love love. More to come …