I imagine a lot of you will recognise that graphic above, I certainly do, I’ve been through the love cycle a few times – at least until I stopped serial dating a few years ago but I’m wondering just how many folk have managed to avoid this cycle, particularly in modern days. It’s not an easy cycle to avoid unless you are into arranged marriages and even then..
Part of me wonders that, even if I knew who I was going to end up with right from day one then would I be happy with that? Maybe I would be BUT I’ve found that each time I change career I grow hugely as a person so I wonder just how each of our past dating experiences changes us, transforms us and helps us to grow into the totally amazing person we all are today.. Someone once said to me “thank you for keeping me safe for all those years and helping transform me into the confident outgoing young woman I have become” – to which I responded “thank you for turning me into the bleeding nervous wreak I have become!” – ok ok only joking about the last bit but I do wonder about that, did I help change her or would she have blossomed even without my unwitting help.. I suspect life, (and to a large degree love), is like standing on a tightrope; you can’t stay standing in the middle of the wire for too long, you either have to move forward or move backwards (and sometimes the choice is not up to yourself..)
One of my favourite movies is (sadly) Armageddon and my favourite quote from it goes as follows;
President “- the human thirst for excellence, knowledge; every step up the ladder of science; every adventurous reach into space; all of our combined modern technologies and imaginations; even the wars that we’ve fought have provided us the tools to wage this terrible battle. Through all of the chaos that is our history; through all of the wrongs and the discord; through all of the pain and suffering; through all of our times, there is one thing that has nourished our souls, and elevated our species above its origins, and that is our courage..
‘even the wars we have fought’, I like that like, it has a certain resonance, all the suffering, all the arguing, all the heartache, it’s all made me stronger and given me balls of steel and like they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, which of course is bugger all help when you are actually in the middle of fighting those ‘wars’.
My youngest brother Gerald met someone when very young and they dated (exclusively) (it’s VERY strange to think these days that folk don’t date exclusively, at least not at the start but juggle three or four partners all at the same time) but Gerald met his partner when young and they got married and have remained married ever since. The atheists amongst you will balk at this but there is an old spiritualist theory that says some young souls come down here and team up with life partners quickly so they have that support system in place to help them through their first few lives on this plane where-as some very old souls are able to cope with life without a partner and they just get on with the task in hand, if there’s any truth in that theory then most of us must be very old souls indeed considering the high divorce rate these days..
I’ve asked a few folk whom have been married a long time about the secret of a long marriage and they all give different answers, patience, partnership, sharing, honestly (warts and all), compromise, two televisions, putting the family first all the time, recognising that benefiting the whole family also benefits you but one chap confided in me this;
People used to ask me why her indoors and I never argued and it all dates back to our first holiday together. We visited the Grand Canyon and took a trip down to the bottom of the canyon by pack mule. We hadn’t gone too far when my mule stumbled.
I quietly said “That’s once.”
We proceeded a little farther when the mule stumbled again.
Once more I said quietly, “That’s twice.”
We hadn’t gone a half-mile when the mule stumbled a third time. I took a pistol from my pocket and shot him dead.
She started to protest over the treatment of the mule when I looked at her and quietly said: “That’s once.”
And another colleague told me this;
The secret to getting my wife to be less inhibited had more to do with me than her. It wasn’t until I started listening to what she wanted from me outside the bedroom that changes happened inside the bedroom. I needed to show that I loved her by talking to her and treating her as my equal in all aspects of life. Once she became secure and felt deeply loved by me, all her inhibitions disappeared. Damn, I wish I had figured that out sooner.
Danny G, age 58, husband for 24 years.
Personally, whilst I agree with a lot of the above, I think the one big factor to a long and happy relationship – is to remain completely and utterly irresistible all the time ;)