Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Moment by special, defining moment

Although I've dated some over the past few years, I haven't been in a committed relationship in 15.

And do you know what I miss the most about that? Going to the grocery store with my lady.

That may sound silly to some, but if you've been in a relationship for a long time, especially a marriage, you'll understand what I'm talking about.

I was inspired to write this by a post on Facebook that was complaining that people, especially men, of a Facebook friend’s generation don’t make commitments, especially when it comes to romance. They even seem to fear it.

But I think I understand that — what with their parents’ extremely high divorce rate and focus on the emotional life they don’t see that marriage is so much more than falling and remaining “in love.” Of course in our culture it’s how we choose partners, but after a while the “limerance” wears off and we often end up feeling stuck. What happens then?

That’s where the “special moments” that lead to memories come in, and I’ve been privileged to have a few of those even though I’ve never been married. When you can sit and just be with someone and not have to talk — mere presence sufficing — that’s when you really have something. A committed relationship should be simply steady, with a quiet assurance that the partner will be there. There’s a reason why people should be friends first and add the passion later.

And even in those cases where passion reigned supreme at first, eventually the real person will show up. Folks need to be ready for that.

Four years ago I found myself almost uncontrollably attracted to a woman at a local church's singles ministry. The very night that I intended to approach her I discovered — as a pleasant surprise — that she had already had her eye on me.

A few weeks later I took her out on a date, and halfway through it she had an emotional meltdown. Was I put off? Not at all — in fact, she allowed me to cuddle her, as she laid her head on my shoulder. It turned into one of those endearing moments where she trusted me enough to show her real self (although we haven’t been out together since).

What some people may have seen as an embarrassment turned into a privilege because I saw a real person no longer trying to make an impression. That’s a gift, and may we learn to understand where true intimacy begins.

No comments: