I used to think that finding the right one was about the man having a list of certain qualities. If he has them, we’d be compatible and happy. Sort of a checkmark system that was a complete failure. But I found out that a healthy relationship isn’t so much about sense of humour or intelligence or attractive. It’s about avoiding partners with harmful traits and personality types. And then it’s about being with a good person. A good person on his own, and a good person with you. Where the space between you feels uncomplicated and happy. A good relationship is where things just work. They work because, whatever the list of qualities, whatever the reason, you happen to be really, really good together.
What they say is, life goes on, and that is mostly true. The mail is delivered and the Christmas lights go up and the ladders get put away and you open yet another box of cereal. In time, the volume of my feelings would be turned down in gentle increments to a near quiet, and yet the record would still spin, always spin. There was a place for Rose so deeply within myself that it was another country, another world, with its own light and time and its own language. A lost world. Yet its foundations and edges were permanent-the ruins of Pompeii, the glorious remnants or the Forum. A world that endured, even as it retreated into the past. A world visited, imagined, ever waiting, yet asleep.
But sometimes, too, you have this little feeling of knowing, this fuzzy, gnawing sense that someone will become a major something in your life. You just know that theirs will be a life you will enter and become a part of.
It starts so young, and I’m angry about that. The garbage we’re taught. About love, about what’s “romantic.” Look at so many of the so-called romantic figures in books and movies. Do we ever stop and think how many of them would cause serious and drastic unhappiness after The End? Why are sick and dangerous personality types so often shown a passionate and tragic and something to be longed for when those are the very ones you should run for your life from? Think about it. Heathcliff. Romeo. Don Juan. Jay Gatsby. Rochester. Mr. Darcy. From the rigid control freak in The Sound of Music to all the bad boys some woman goes running to the airport to catch in the last minute of every romantic comedy. She should let him leave. Your time is so valuable, and look at these guys -depressive and moody and violent and immature and self-centred. And what about the big daddy of them all, Prince Charming? What was his secret life? We don’t know anything about him, other than he looks good and comes to the rescue.
It made me wonder how many times we forgive just because we don’t want to lose someone, even if they don’t deserve our forgiveness.
If letting go, if letting people and things work themselves out in the way that they needed to without your help was the most important thing, then it was also the hardest.
This is what I know. Don’t settle for 40, 50, or even 80 percent. A relationship - it shouldn’t be too small or too tight or even a little scratchy. It shouldn’t take up space in your closet out of guilty conscience or convenience or a moment of desire. Do you hear me? It should be perfect for you. It should be lasting. Wait. Wait for 100 percent.
Wanting things for the wrong reasons can turn anyone’s life into a marshmallow on a stick over a hot fire: impossibly messy and eventually consumed, one way or another.
We are all a volume on a shelf of a library, a story unto ourselves, never possibly described with one word or even very accurately with thousands. A person is never as quiet or unrestrained as they seem, or as bad or good, as vulnerable or as strong, as sweet or as feisty; we are thickly layered, page upon lying page, behind simple covers. And love - it is not the book itself, but the binding. It can rip us apart or hold us together.