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True Love

I finished a book a couple days ago, The Paris Wife.  I may or may not do a review on it, as I wasn’t intending to read it for this blog, but it was all about love, so I might as well.  I read it because I watched Midnight in Paris and almost died, so now I am obsessed with “the Lost Generation” and want to read MORE!  Every time I fly somewhere, I go to the Powell’s (bookstore) in the airport, and pretty much always buy books.  So I was browsing the sale section and found the book, and it is about Hemingway’s first wife, or rather, her story of their relationship, but as imagined by Paula McLain.  It’s as based upon fact as she could do it, so I guess it’s historically pretty accurate.  I am supposed to be reading a psychology book right now for this blog, but I LOVE fiction or at least an interesting story, fiction or non, so I read The Paris Wife.

So if I do the review, I will tell you a little more about the plot, but if you Google “Hemingway” (or you already know), he did not marry only one woman.  So, Hadley and Hemingway got divorced.  I knew it was coming, so I was always worrying about how it would happen.  Luckily I didn’t know anything about his personal life, so when the character entered the plot that became his second wife, I had no idea, although I suspected her.  BUT…what I am writing this about is that I WAS DEVASTATED.  I sobbed my eyes out for the last half an hour or maybe more of reading it.  Supposedly Hemingway loved Hadley the most, but…he cheated on her and divorced her.  McLain tried to make it sound like they were meant for each other, even after all the years, they were the best, truest pair, and maybe she didn’t embellish anything there, maybe Hemingway did call Hadley and say the things he said in the book.

However, after thinking about it for a while (that night, the next morning, and throughout the day), I decided that I think it is BS.  If you really, truly love someone, you don’t fall for someone else.  You don’t cheat on them and leave them.  Granted, he wanted to just have 2 wives and be one big happy family, but when she made him choose, he chose girl number two.  I realize that I am new at this, and people get divorced all the time, and they say things like they still love the person, they’re just not right for each other, it just didn’t work out,…I don’t even know, whatever else they say.  Sure there are other reasons, and many divorces that end badly (I’m sure a lot, possibly most, divorces end because the people are pretty mad at each other and don’t have any kind thoughts), but I’m referring to the ones where they say that they still love the person, and they ended it on good terms.  I don’t believe this.  I mean, I’m sure they love each other.  But I think that you can love someone and that is not a person that you are truly, deeply in love with, that you would give the whole world just for them, and you would do ANYTHING to be with them and stay with them.  I’m sure there can also be situations where one person feels that way and the other doesn’t, in which case the person that feels that way doesn’t get to choose to be with that person forever.

What I’m trying to say, I think, is that I believe there are levels of love.  I have had lesser levels of love before; I dated before, and it didn’t work out.  I’m sure the vast majority of people do not plan to get divorced when they get married, but I promise I will do everything in my power to stay with my man.  I love him more than I can even begin to express, and there is NOTHING that could make me ever want to give him up.  I mean unless he turned into a monster and did some terrible things, but we’re not going there.  I know that it isn’t always easy, I know sometimes you don’t feel it and you have to work really hard.  But I know that is what I want to do, because I can’t ever lose him.  So this story where their love was supposed to be true love, and she always loved him (I believe her) and he always loved her (BS), as sad as it is, I just can’t believe that he loved her as much as he said he did.  I would probably still sob if I read it again, because they DID love each other, but I just don’t believe it was as true and selfless as a love as I believe it is possible to have.  I think the selfless vs selfish part is probably a main component there, but that’s another post for another day.

I’m calling out the stories where they don’t end up together.  If someone dies, fine, maybe it really was an epic love.  But if they end up with other people, for whatever reason, and they say “oh, but I never forgot this other person,” NO.  If you REALLY loved that person as much as you claim to, you would be with them.  You would have done everything in your power not to hurt them.  You would never have stopped trying, never let go, never let anything get in the way.  Maybe it’s still the hopeless romantic in me, but my love story is going to be one of those happily ever afters.  Not always easy, but amazing for the rest of my life.  I’m disowning the sad endings.  Unless one of the characters died.  But even so, I don’t think that was the only way to have their love remain perfect.  I will still love those movies/books though, and still sob my eyes out.

I’m still really upset for Hadley.

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Reflections upon having found “The One”

I had so many good thoughts in my head before, when I didn’t have a chance to write this, and then after that I had been lacking motivation for a few days (or maybe weeks), and now I have motivation but have lost some of the thoughts.  I am hoping that while writing, it will come to me.

For my second disclaimer, I had originally started this blog with the intention of not including anything personal, but now I am going to.  I got engaged a little over a month ago, and actually chose to be “with” him not too long before that, as (long story, but…) we had been friends for a long time and I knew he wanted to marry me so me choosing to be with him was me agreeing to marry him.  We had basically been dating for a while but I was in denial.

So…my world kinda turned upside down.  Not in a bad way at all whatsoever, but I have a ton of ambition; I had a plan for my life.  And including someone in your future has an effect on that, so I want to share my interpretation of what it is to fall in love with someone and want to share forever with them.  I am not sure if my experience is a universal thing, but I feel that it needs sharing.

I wasn’t the kind of girl that thought I didn’t need men, like in the “ever” sense.  I didn’t NEED men; I am perfectly strong, capable, intelligent, and motivated by myself.  I could have been single and had an awesome life.  I am a hopeless romantic though, and I most definitely wanted my own Prince Charming.  It could have worked fine either way.  Preferred the Prince Charming of course, but I would have survived just fine until I found him.  I wasn’t ever picky, but I didn’t want to just settle for anyone.  I believe marriage is forever and you do what it takes to make it forever, so I was going to be as sure as someone could possibly be.  However, there were these things that I felt were SO important to who I was, that I would NOT give them up for ANY man, and I would not marry a man that would force me to give them up.  My list had things like living in California (I have not made it there yet, still working on it), having a good job, traveling, and as far as relationships go, would NOT be in long distance relationship.

My Prince Charming, as I mentioned before, was my friend for several years first.  He wanted to marry me when he met me (love at first sight is true, eh?), but I took a long time.  So it wasn’t this meeting and evaluating to see if he could be the man for me.  I mean it sorta was, since I knew he wanted to marry me (not from the beginning though), but I thought it wouldn’t work out all along.  So I never thought about how our future would look, because I didn’t think we had a future.  We became closer and closer friends though, and he joined the Navy and left for bootcamp and training, at which point I realized that I really couldn’t live without him.  So the “official” relationship started while he was gone, and he’s still gone, so the entire thing has been nothing but long distance.  Something I swore I would never do, but as I can’t imagine life without him, it is what I am doing.

Other things that have changed are that, since he is in the Navy, I basically have zero control over my future.  I hate not being in control.  I have always needed to be in control.  He wants to live in California, and he is trying to get us down there, but he can’t guarantee it.  We could end up somewhere else.  I also had applied for my dream job that I have wanted for most of my life, and got rejected, which I found out at some point either right before we “officially” got together or soon after.  Despite wanting it most of my life, I am perfectly fine with not getting it, because it would be somewhat impractical for being married and especially with him in the Navy.  I am perfectly content following him and supporting him, and then working my life around where his takes us.  It helps that him being in the Navy actually helps me live out my dream, while not the exact job, similar enough that I can live vicariously through him and be proud of him and support him.

This has all sounded so unromantic so far.  What I’m trying to say, is that I had A Plan for my life, that I was sure was what I wanted, and no man could take that from me, because it was what I Wanted.  But finding someone that I LOVE, that he alone makes me happy, all I need is him.  I can drop everything that I had spent years of my life dreaming about, and saying I would never sacrifice, because the only important thing to me is to be with him.  We did have a discussion about me not being able to sacrifice EVERYTHING for him, there is a limit…not to my love, of course, but some of our life does have to be for me.  But it is amazing to me that things I was 100% set on I was able to drop with minimal resistance, and no regret.

I don’t know what I am trying to say.  I know that you, the readers, will interpret this all sorts of ways, but I am not the type of girl to say that the wife should always follow her man, and his dreams are the most important.  They are for me though.  That is what I want.  But that is not what I thought I wanted.  I am also not saying that you should be willing to sacrifice your dreams for someone.  I think, that if you really love someone, you should be able to, but they also shouldn’t require it of you, and he is definitely not requiring it of me.  No matter what, he wants me to be happy.  He will do everything in his power to make me happy.  So I’m not saying my story is or should be the exact same for everyone, but I am trying to say hey, look what happened in my story.  Love is amazing.

Maybe what I am trying to say is that before I knew TRUE love, I thought I had it all figured out, and I thought I had my life planned out, and I thought that I would refuse to change that.  And then I found Love, and nothing mattered.  I believe I have loved before, but it has never been like this.  The most important thing to each of us is the other person’s happiness.  And I think that is part of how you know that it’s true love.  I’m just a beginner at this, of course.  But it has been so powerful and surprising to me, that I wanted to share my beginner’s view on things.  Love can turn your world upside down.

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Flowers

I have also previously touched on this subject in a previous post, but I feel like it needs to be re-addressed, after a discussion with some friends.  I know that there are guys out there that buy flowers for girls.  But in my experiences, only one guy ever has, and he knows how to treat ladies because he was raised by a bunch of them. 🙂  Also, after a conversation with friends the other day, I discovered that my experiences were not unusual.  One of my friends has NEVER been given flowers by a guy.  The guys I know that do get flowers for girls are shocked by this, but from my conversations with girls, it seems they are in the minority.  This needs to change.

Flowers are not difficult to buy.  They are also pretty inexpensive, unless you are trying to buy roses for Valentine’s Day.  You can get a pretty great bunch of flowers for $10.  If you go up to $15, you can get a really nice bouquet.  Not expensive.  Also, there are these people that arrange flowers professionally, called florists, so it’s not like you even have to make it look good yourself.  Also, if you want something specific, you can tell the florist what you want, and then they can make a custom bouquet for you that contains what you want and looks great.  So, it’s easy and cheap.  Most girls like flowers, and some (like me) happen to be completely in love with them.  Some girls don’t like them, but I don’t think it’s very common, and I’m pretty sure even if they don’t like flowers and you don’t know they don’t like flowers, they’re not going to hate you if you get them flowers.  Unless maybe you know them well enough that they think you SHOULD know that they don’t like flowers.  But anyways, my point is that it’s a pretty safe bet, and there’s a far greater chance that you’re going to make the girl incredibly pleased than not.

So this brings me to: Why in the world do guys NOT buy flowers for girls?  We don’t really comprehend what’s so difficult about it.  It’s incredibly easy.  And pretty cheap.  And makes us really happy.  So where in there is a reason not to do it?  It just doesn’t make any sense at all.  I could say something accusatory like “Chivalry is dead”, but then guys just say that they would behave like gentlemen if women would behave like ladies…which is just complete crap, but I’m not going into that.  So I will leave this as a separate issue…but in that case it’s still just completely mind boggling.

So the moral of this story is… BUY FLOWERS!!

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Apologies

I have touched on this subject in a post a while ago, but I am now dedicating an entire post to it.  Now, I’m no professional apologizer; I hate admitting that I’m wrong, but I will do it.  I’m sure I don’t always do it when I should, but from the opposite side, as one that wants to be apologized to, I can give a good perspective. 🙂

I think most people like to be apologized to.  If you do it excessively, for things that you don’t need to apologize for, then it’s probably more like the boy who cried wolf.  However, if your apologies actually mean something, people appreciate them.  It seems that women need apologies more than men; that’s a common stereotype, whether it’s true or not.  However, this probably couldn’t hurt to use with men also.  Heck, it’s probably helpful in any type of relationship, including friends and family.  So here’s my advice:

Apologize.

No, but seriously, just do it.  I know in the case of men upsetting women, a lot of times men don’t think they’ve done anything wrong, and they don’t think the woman should be upset.  However, if you’ve upset anyone and you don’t understand why and you don’t think they should be upset, this is still good advice.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you think they should legitimately be upset.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you did anything wrong.  If you care about them, I’m sure there’s something you’re sorry about.  If the ONLY thing you’re sorry about is that they’re upset, then apologize for that.  It goes something like this, “I’m sorry I upset you, that was not my intention.”  And to go even further, add a “How can I fix it?”  With that in mind, I’m sure you can find SOMETHING that you’re sorry about in any situation.  If you’re not even sorry you upset the person, don’t apologize, because you’re not ready, but of course nothing is going to get better, because you’re a mean-spirited person.  But seriously, think about anything in the situation that you ARE sorry for/about, and apologize for that, but don’t put the emphasis on the other person.  “I’m sorry this makes you angry” isn’t going to go over quite as well.  Take credit for whatever it is you’re apologizing for.  And obviously a sarcastic tone of voice won’t do you any good either.  Or demeaning.  Ok, there are a ton of don’ts.  But they should be pretty obvious for the most part.  Find something you can apologize for, and do it sincerely.  The end.  Pretty easy.

A last note – apologizing doesn’t make you weak.  Not apologizing doesn’t make you strong.  Apologizing makes you a mature adult, and fixes problems.  For reals.  The end.

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Games

I hate “games”.  I can’t stand them, in fact.  I would like to just be myself.  But myself gets super excited about things, and can be pretty intense.  Which of course can be misunderstood and overwhelming to men, hence the need to try to behave calmly, remain more aloof, and “play hard to get.”  Because if I find something good, I want to do everything in my power to keep it, but there are many books and things (I think mainly that other people have read and told me about) and other people’s experiences that say that men should pursue, because they like it, and they get bored if they don’t have to pursue.  But then a lot of men don’t pursue.  I know some men are scared of being rejected, because maybe they have less confidence than other men, and they hate it when women play hard to get.  However, there are also men who don’t pursue because they don’t have to, because women throw themselves at them.  I have also been told by my dad that women should play hard to get a little, and let the guy pursue, but at the same time, give hints that they are into him, because my dad said he was shy when he was younger.  So then how much not pursuing do I do and how much hinting do I do?  It’s so ridiculous.  And men often want to know how much pursuing they should do, and buying flowers writing poems singing songs etc, or maybe just things like telling a girl she’s beautiful (just a note though, buying flowers is always recommended. It’s really not that crazy.  It’s quite simple, can be pretty cheap, and the vast majority of girls like flowers.  Please, men, buy more flowers.  Stop whatever this crazy stubbornness is).  The answer to that, though, depends on if the girl is into him or not.  Which, if he’s asking, he probably doesn’t know if she is.  But most romantic things are only romantic if the girl likes the guy, and if she doesn’t, they’re creepy.  So I don’t have a good suggestion there…

Basically, my analysis is that everyone is different, and everyone has preferences, and there’s no way to know what the person you’re into is into, when you’re in this stage of meeting, figuring out how you feel about each other, etc.  So this is why we try to figure out what is the most safe option, and we end up having to “play games”.  I don’t see a way around it.  As much as I hate it.  So, y’all can decide what you think is most likely to succeed.  But men, I will still say buying flowers is a great option.  Unless she doesn’t like you…(but hey, if you know she likes you, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE).  If anyone has any better ideas…..?

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Settling

I have mentioned this before in a few posts.  I believe other people have mentioned it in their interviews also.  I guess it’s something that’s always on our minds, although definitely more so those of us that are single.  I don’t have any answers, at least not right now, but I have discussion, and musings.

What I have basically gathered through the years is that, on the one hand, no one is perfect and no one is perfect for you, but on the other hand, you shouldn’t settle and be unhappy.  Some people will swing more toward one side than the other.  Some will say you can have anyone you want, don’t settle for someone that isn’t that great!  And some will say that it doesn’t really matter who you end up with, you just have to make it work.  Usually the ones that have a more idealist view are the ones that leave their spouses for someone more exciting.  Then you can get into all sorts of philosophical discussions on the first person that they married vs the second person, or maybe the third, and on and on.

As far as my thoughts on the matter, I am probably more on the idealistic side, but I believe that once you find someone, then you make it work.  My difficulty now, however, has been coming down off the 100% idealistic view that I grew up with, learned from fairy tales and Disney movies and the like, where there is only one person that is perfect for you.  So I still don’t believe in “settling”; I think that you deserve someone awesome and you can get someone awesome.  I think I deserve a guy that treats me amazingly, but at the same time, I want to be attracted to him.  I used to feel like that was shallow and bad, but then I realized that he probably wants me to want to do naughty things to him (no matter your views; at the very least, during marriage), and therefore it is perfectly acceptable to want a guy that I am attracted to.  I would also like a guy that is intelligent, funny, etc, so that I can enjoy his company.  There are other things on my “list” that I would also like, but are less important, and some can be sacrificed.  So I know what I want, and what I feel I should not have to sacrifice, and I don’t feel bad about wanting those things.

As a semi- side note, I feel like girls settle way too much.  I don’t know about guys, but it just seems that there are so many girls that are in relationships that are no good.  The most common issue is just that the guy doesn’t treat the girl right.  There might be a deeper, more fundamental problem here, and maybe guys don’t treat girls right because they know they don’t have to, because girls will still be with them even if they’re jerks.  And yes, I’m sure there are opposite situations, and if that is the case, guys, get out of there too.  But I’m pretty sure that it’s more common for girls to be in abusive situations.  This could be an entire post, although it’s a lot more psychology.  I do have a psychology book in line, so maybe I can address this more later.  But to simplify; Girls, you deserve better.  Don’t settle.

Back to the issue at hand…this brings me to my dilemma.  So, don’t settle, but no one is perfect, so obviously I do have to settle for less than perfection.  So at what point DO we settle?  This is one thing I don’t have answers on yet.  Maybe when you find the right person, you know, so maybe it’s a moot point.  But right now it seems like a serious issue.  If no one is perfect, how do you know what is “good enough”?

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Differences

Ok, first of all, I’m sorry… I was doing so well on this blog and then I wasn’t.  I do that with most things.  I really do want to continue this, but life gets busy.  It’s art season though so you can check out what I’ve been spending my time on (although not so much the blog part of it, I need to do that one too) here.

*Disclaimer before I start – I know nothing about the dynamics of homosexual relationships, so I am not trying to address them, sorry.  Maybe this applies, but I will refer to heterosexual relationships for the sake of ease and because that is what I know.  Please don’t take offense…*

So.  I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about, and then something came to me. 🙂  I was discussing this with someone… There’s a stereotype that women need to be told “I love you” and that they’re beautiful by their man, and men don’t like to say it all the time.  And my experience with guys is that although they feel those things, and possibly know the woman wants to say it, they won’t do it.  They do it on their terms.  My thought was, “Why can’t men just say it, because they do mean it and it makes the woman happy?”  So I was asking a male friend that I respect why it’s so hard for men to do that.  His response was that it’s ridiculous if a woman needs that and he wouldn’t want to be with a woman that was that needy.  I thought “good luck”, and figured I should write a post about it.  Then I thought about the disclaimers that I would need, since people get mad at me for generalizations… But as I thought about it more, I realized that there are guys that like that kind of thing too.  And I realized that actually, it’s not a man vs woman thing, it’s a personality thing.

A company I worked for did this behavioral analytics thing, because we were trying to understand how our customers worked a little better, so we could figure out how to assist them better.  There were six different ones, and I’m not going to explain them all, because I don’t need them all for my purposes.  The most common ones and the ones that deal with this issue here are Thoughts and Emotions.  Now, as you might guess, the majority of Thoughts people are men, and the majority of Emotions people are women.  This is not a generalization, this is fact.  There are, of course, Thoughts based women and Emotions based women.  I am Opinions based (go figure haha), which is close to Thoughts as far as the logical aspect, but I phase Emotions.  They are basically as they sound, with a bit more depth…but Thoughts is the logical kind, and they need recognition for what they do.  Emotions is the relationship (with people in general) kind, and they need recognition for who they are.

Since men tend to be more Thoughts and women tend to be more Emotions, stereotypes form based around their needs.  And for the most part, women need to be told that they are beautiful and loved, and men think that’s silly and irrational, and they already know they are loved, so why do they need to be told repeatedly?  However, as I have said, men can be Emotions and women can be Thoughts, so it could be the reverse.  To further complicate things, there are the Five Love Languages, which I have not read yet but is on my list and I know a tiny bit about; saying that there are 5 different ways people express love and want love to be expressed to them, and words of affirmation is only one of those.

So then what is the point of this?  I think basically that YOU all are aware of the differences.  Girls are not stupid or needy or ridiculous for needing to be told that their man loves them.  Men don’t not love their women because they’re not saying it.  Everyone needs encouragement in some form, and it would help ALL of us to figure out what the other person needs and DO IT.  It goes both ways.  Don’t do it because you feel pressured though, because you’ll be resentful.  Do it because YOU love them and you want to make them happy.

I’m undecided if it’s best for, say, Thoughts men to be with Thoughts women and Emotions men to be with Emotions women.  I don’t think there are enough Thoughts women and Emotions men to go around, first of all.  Second of all, while it may be easier, I think there’s something to be said for balancing each other out.  Obviously, it’s up to you.  But no matter who you’re with, find out what they need, don’t judge them for being different than you and just decide they shouldn’t need that, and do what makes them happy.  Don’t you want them to do the same for you?