“I have to admit it was never fireworks, more like roadworks”
My dad talking about his relationship and subsequent marriage to my stepmum. I was shocked at the time, being young and full of hope. They’re still married by the way, with two lovely children to boot. What’s more, they’ll be married forever. For EVER. Perfect, no?
It just works. It works that way because there’s no other way to meet their requirements (raising children/living comfortably/avoidance of insanity/loneliness) other than - business-like.
The very best of luck to them. Keeps them out of trouble and their priorities and interests necessitate this sort of relationship.
My interest when it comes to these matters is, ‘the other love’.
On passionate love that goes the full distance, my dad there, surmised it was as
“rare as rocking horse poo”.
At the time, I entirely dismissed the statement as rubbish or, something that he’d never had and therefore ‘didn’t understand’.
Ten years later though, I’ll admit the old fart’s profundities, though lacking subtlety, aren’t that shabby. Familiarity breeds contempt. Isn’t that why the octogenarian Diamond Anniversary Couple of the Week in your local rag advise every single time –
“you have to work at it”
“never go to sleep on an argument”
“be each other’s best friend”
The first one kills me - if we have to work at it, it means I can’t fucking stand you. If we’re routinely able to sort out arguments before we sleep, one of us is a doormat. And the reason my friends are my friends is precisely because we’ve never been in the love charabanc to Hades (and back on wheel rims when the tyres melted). But nevertheless it does work.
It’s not for me.
My sought after love is passion. A frequent and willing exchange of a baton of power. A paradox. Mind massage. Sustenance for my ever inquiring soul.
I don’t want to know all about someone – I want their unknown to unnerve, inspire and excite me.
I don’t want to talk about it – I want to SHOUT about it.
I don’t want to be fed when I’m hungry – I want to be starved to the point of each and every tiny morsel being the grandest banquet I’ve ever devoured.
I don’t want to try to force something so illogical, unpredictable and mutable, into structure – I want to be a slave to my own heathen chemistry.
I want to measure an association by depth – not by distance.
I want to break things before the intricacies of their form don’t invite my minds eye any more - so I can keep them encapsulated, bouyant and thrilling.
All these things, I think, require a full stop, an end, a death that may seem premature.
What do these two types of relationships have to do with each other at all? The common link being: that people don’t realise that it’s a case of one or the other. True love with all it’s dizzy highs and devastating lows That? Forever? Pfff. Listen, if you’re still feeling the buzz (and I’m describing a tremendous buzz here don’t forget) in three years (six max, if one of you is in the Forces or summat) I’ll eat the next thing that comes out of my pet cat’s behind - on national TV.
IF you rock upon rocking each other’s world, savour every little chemical inducing moment. Because you’ve given life to something that lives fast and hard, and dies spectacularly. It’s you that kills it, you endorphin driven nutcase.
One day you might go for the other kind of love, like my old dad back there. Maybe that’s what happens to us all. But don’t constantly look in earnest to the horizon with your hands clasped to your Pandora’s box of a heart. Your ‘forever’ won’t come charging in hoofs ablaze and blow your mind to smithereens (not in any irrepairable way anyhow), true love wouldn’t let them do that! They’ll be gentle, kind and unassuming and they’ll take care of your sanity and maybe they’ll ameliorate (if only partly) what’s been done to your soul in the past.
And that, you passion weary traveller, will be that.
So you’re in a state, it’s all gone wrong, it huuuurts, you were supposed to be together. No you fucking weren’t, you just got off on each other, monstrously, you sucked it up. You can have these experiences again and again and again if you get off on it. Or you can just give up passionate love, and go for the other love. The different love.
Me - I’m sticking around here for a little bit longer, I haven’t had nearly enough wrecking to want, or need, to resort to option two.