What’s love got to do

I really admire people who give love a 2nd chance, even a 3rd, 4th and 5th chance. I look with awe at people who I know have had some nasty heart breaks and there they are allowing themselves to feel affection and care again.

It’s almost heroic their ability to open up again. I am not one of those people. And it might have something to do with the company I keep and the experiences I’ve seen.

I see people who are willing to love, but in my eyes the arrangement isn’t something I would want to dive into head first. When I look at the relationships and marriages I’ve known it seems to be benefiting only one of the two individuals, there’s still heartache within the relationship, and the relationship itself seems to be a way of holding one person back in one way or another. When I look at the people who are in relationships that I know well, I would not want to be in their shoes.

And then there’s all the other lost souls like me who don’t want to give love another chance. The widows, divorcees, separated spouses, cheated upon girlfriends, single moms, etc. Some of them think the ship has sailed, they’re too old to try again. Others have bitter memories, while others really just don’t want to put in the effort. I fall somewhere in the latter two.

But then this weekend I saw something that made me think twice about it. Three women, all who have at least for the moment passed on dating, were talking about relationships like it’s other people’s issues. Like the way people talk about wars going on in another country.

I think everyone is deserving of companionship. I think it’s human nature to seek it out and want to feel closeness to another individual. And maybe some of these women share companionship with someone other than a partner. It could be a sibling or a parent, or a close friend.

And obviously there are people who are happily married or in a committed relationship. I don’t know these people well. So to dissect their relationship (which really isn’t any of my business anyways) is outside my reach.

But I don’t want to turn into a person who talks about how love doesn’t exist. Because I know it does.  I see it, a flicker of hope in the way my son holds my hand when he wants me to accompany him somewhere, or in the way my niece hugs and adores her brother and cousin, or in the small ways people take care of each other. I know love exists, so I have to believe love can exist within the limits of a committed relationship (not just a patriarchal suppression of monetary power and sexual expression of women). I’m not saying I’m there yet, but I’m willing to the idea of trying. One day. In the distant future.

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