While it may sound endearing, it is with regret that I admit that its cadence, while rolling off the roaming ribbons of my tongue, is rather vomit-inducing. “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Not to mention, it strikes me as rather obligation-obtuse, expectation-inebriated, and straight up, stifling. Don’t get me wrong, when I hear the phrase, I experience a montage of shimmering faces, each one lapsing over the other, dissolving into the next, and my neurons take a momentary break from their perpetual tap-dance. My belly warms up as after a hot cup of cocoa, and I feel content. I feel loved. Did I mention “vomit-inducing?” Let me not forge ahead of myself.
Perhaps I should disclaim this now: I make no attempt at defining “love.” And while love may be both “patient” and “kind”, that isn’t the full story. I will attest to the existence of such a love that is both “patient” and “kind.” I call this “mature”, or rather, “comfortable” love. It just so happens that such a love isn’t particularly my chosen brand. No, I seek love in the pooling moisture of hazy eyes, hazelnut bliss and velvet lips. I want for a touch so tantalizing that, upon the very thought of tactile memory, while fluttering about my activities of the mundane, even weeks later, I experience a momentary freeze of faculties. A single whisper, or whiff, is all it takes, and time stops as I fall down a rabbit hole, splash into bottom’s pond and begin to pulse with pleasure. I yearn not to float the “dizzy dance” up to those fluffy white balls in the sky, I need to soar to Saturn in a custom capsule fueled by the surging desire of my lover and I. I long for glittering gazes magically bound, and smiles that sway until dawn.
I know what you’re thinking. “You describe lust, not love.” Perhaps you are right (but I don’t think so) and I commend you on please refraining from speaking aloud your opinion, thank you. No, lust is subtly staring at the rhythmically pulsing glutes of the cross country boys as they spartan around campus sans clothing. Lust is eagerly eying the long fingers of the lead guitar in that hipster band expertly strumming the strings of his instrument. Both experiences provide visual pleasures, to be sure, smidgens of steamy fantasies, maybe, but they ultimately fail at providing anything of consequence in regards to the realm of sheer human interest. Erotic chemistry culminating in what I like to call decadent or fantasy love as previously described simply doesn’t occur if you can’t at least conduct meaningful conversation with the person.
Now, the two loves needn’t be mutually exclusive. Sheer chemistry most always explodes into a fantasy love affair (time span? contingent.), and fantasy love could theoretically evolve into that “mature” state of love. The problem, of course, is that every boost in “comfort” (maturity) equals a double decrease in fantasy (excitement.) Not to say that relationships plateau upon achieving the “comfortable” state, I’ll happily admit that new adventures always await, but the painfully apparent dissipation of certain qualities previously experienced in the “fantasy” state cannot be denied. Since the erotic chemistry I speak of is, by nature, a rarity, I suppose that most people are lucky. Some may never actually experience the opulent oasis of fantasy love, and perhaps, these humans fall naturally and happily into comfortable love with their best friend. But for couples whose love completes the metamorphosis, or for those whose decadent dreams materialize during youth (disregarding those individuals possessing inhuman quantities of self-control), I advise caution.
Issues of scarcity aside, trouble abounds with the latter type of love. Fantasy love is fleeting. Obviously. That isn’t really the issue; I’m mostly concerned with ethics. Writing this at the ripe young age of 21, it is difficult to say, but I theorize that most people probably grow out of the stage of decadence and openly embrace the stability that comfortable love brings, at some point in their lives. Like leftover soup, such humans, I imagine, are possibly quite often surprised by the richness of flavor of a love left sit to ferment. The problem is, I’m doubting whether the sweet taste of port wine ever quite dissipates. As hearty as leftover soup may be, who is anyone to deny anyone else the occasional taste of a rare, ripe wine? Especially where love is concerned. The whole point in “comfortable” love resides in the root of the word — comfort. If a person is truly comfortable with one’s own self, and beyond that, one’s own self as one relates to one’s stable love, why should it matter what desserts fall into one’s lover’s palate during any time spent apart?
I’m not condoning infidelity. I’m only saying that “comfortable” love can only take you so far. Especially where feeling “happy” or “complete” are concerned. People are multifaceted, and no one likes obligations. Just like dieters grow to greet their blase salads with the evil eye, chewing their greens like cud, all while the pulsing image of a red velvety cake taunts their tormented mind, you’re going to resent your chosen partner of love and comforts if you feel like they’re impeding on your participating in your own discovered valleys of desire. Honestly, why should your lover’s trip to Saturn with one delightful young peach affect the memory-ingrained full intergalactic journey you shared and continue to explore with that person? Perhaps, I’m still too young and trying to justify my desire to “have all of the cake, and eat it, too.” But I think neither comforts nor fantasies are forces to be denied. Deprivation feeds resentment, and resentment has no part in love. None, whatsoever.
Note: I wrote an essay of *sorts* almost exactly a year ago, on this very same topic! Since October seems to be a natural month of memory and reflection for me, perhaps I’ll write one essay on relationships per year, during the month of October, and watch how my viewpoints on the topic do (or do not) change. If you’re interested, let me know, and I’ll consider posting it. Though, a clear warning, it’s awfully written, and that isn’t me being hyper-critical, I’m talking, it fails-at-using-complete-sentences awfully written.
Anyway, moving forward, I think this begs for Question Time:
Do you believe in “true” romantic love? If so, how would you define it? If not, why not? What do you believe in?
What is your personal methodology as far as relationships go?
What are your views on monogamy?
How radical are these modern shifts in relationships, in actuality? Infidelity has existed for … as long as human kind, and for many, many years, marriage was hardly about “romantic love”. Okay, that isn’t a question, more like, the beginning of a tangent, but please, spill your thoughts! I would love love LOVE to hear them. This topic fascinates me, and I could read/write/talk/listen to other people talk about it for days and days and days.