What is Love? What is Romance? Two questions that defy a simple answer for every single person has their own concept of them. How I define them would be entirely different to how you do, because they are subjective things. So, with that in mind, I can only really try to explain what they mean to me.
Is this Love?
Somewhere near the beginning of a new relationship I think we all ask ourselves this question, is this love? Song writers have certainly been able to forge a living off that uncertainty anyway. When I met Mr H I was actually determined ‘not’ to fall in love. Having divorced my first husband following his infidelity, I was not looking for anything that could break my heart again. Apparently, the universe had other ideas.
When I look back now at my first relationship, I realise it wasn’t love. Not the kind that lasts a lifetime. He was more in love with the idea of love. and I was in need of someone to take me away from the home I didn’t feel safe in. I needed to be rescued. When this young man (more like a boy really when I look back) came along with his red roses, and flattery I was swept off my feet. He bought me jewelry and cards, but he did not love me. No, he wanted to be a grown up, and he believed that the way to be a grown up was to find a girl, get married and have a baby. Unfortunately the reality of supporting that family was more than he imagined, as was the concept of fidelity.
When I met Mr H I was young and naive. I will own that. Our relationship began and I told him ‘I am just using you for sex,’ and I meant it. Unfortunately, I was lying myself. We spent hours talking, and he fascinated me with his ideas. His voice, I could listen to him speak for hours, I still can, although more often these days we sit silently together. We have no need to speak. Silence isn’t uncomfortable, not when he is here.
He came into my life and brought a calm confidence. Mr H does not buy me flowers, or shower me in gifts, he is not a movie romantic, but he romances me with his looks and his touch. He cherishes me and I feel safe in is presence and that is more important to me than any colourful prose could ever be.
He made me whole again. More than that, he made me more than I ever dreamed I could be.
What love is.
In my opinion, love is selfless. It gives without need or desire for reciprocity and it is unwavering. That said, it has its limits, its breaking point if you will, and that too is individual. Mr H and I are not perfect by any means, but we are perfect together. I am me, and I am flawed. Mr H is equally so. We are who we are. But, his crazy suits my crazy. He is mine and I am his. I know with him I can do anything, well almost – I still haven’t worked out how to fly.
How will I know?
Remember that song? Some of you may not. But, Whitney Huston asked that question in one of her songs. How will I know if he really loves me? I always thought you would just ‘know’ but, now, I don’t think that is true. Love has stages and changes with time, if you let it. The early passion and lust changes to a steady heartbeat of friendship and companionship, where the passion is more contained. It isn’t easy to stay in one relationship for your whole life and you have to make the effort and choose to do so. We make that effort, we choose to be together each day and I plan to keep making that choice and effort, because to me it is worth it.
Is romance dead?
We tell our children fairy tales, well watered down Disney ones anyway, because those brothers Grimm really were, well grim. I loved the original Cinderella, where the ugly stepsisters chopped off toes in order to shove their feet into the glass slipper. But, I digress. There have been a few newer tales where the women do not desire to ‘fall in love’ to be happy, but I believe that is to satisfy a cultural need. That isn’t to say I believe women need love to be happy, but I think we as a species are drawn to be in partnerships, in whatever form that means for you, be that with one person or with many, we mostly prefer company. Pack animals.
Romance and D/s.
D/s has allowed more romantic nuances into our relationship. Partly because I removed my tight grip on control, mostly because I relaxed and allowed myself to be vulnerable. I allowed Mr H to take control and in doing so I became something more, a better version of myself. We started to take time to go out together, alone, something that hadn’t been possible before as when we met S1 was a toddler. That hasn’t been possible in a while because of the back thing, but we do sometimes put on a movie and snuggle. I now know there is more love, and romance in a hug, in a touch than there could ever be in any bouquet of flowers.
Romeo can fuck off.
What I have learned in my lifetime is that I would rather have a man like Mr H who shows me how he loves me, rather than showering me with trinkets and flowers. I don’t want a flashy person who feels the need to show me and everyone else how much he cares. That’s what my first husband did, all the gifts, all the flowers, they were displays to demonstrate to other people how much of a nice guy he was, how romantic, and how much he cared, because he bought me all these gifts. A better demonstration would have been for him to not screw around. You know?
This is love.
What I have with and feel for Mr H, that is love; there is nothing, absolutely nothing, I wouldn’t do for him, and I know he feels the same. Ok I lied, a threesome, a bit like meatloaf, I won’t do that, but you know, I would lay down my life for him, so that’s a small thing, in comparison. At the moment he is taking care of me, the limitations on my mobility mean he helps me wash and dress, because, as he says, he is in it for the long haul. For better for worse, he says. When I feel I am a burden, he says I am not, and I believe him. He makes me believe him, with every look, touch, kiss and breath he makes me believe. I think I have found the pince of the fairytales, whose kiss woke me up, and made me invincible.
I thank the universe daily that it had a better plan for me when I walked into the classroom back in 1995.