True Love! We all want it...but what is it?
Matters of the Heart - Personal Reflections
Welcome friends and followers! Glad you are here. This hub article is a bit different from most of my hubs. Instead of sharing some of my youthful adventures, humorous articles, or on the Bible and Christianity, I am going to explore a new area for me...that dealing with the strongest emotion ever...love! This is a personal experience of mine, not someone else's. It is not something really to discuss and definitely not a debatable issue; just some personal thoughts I have about something occurring in my life at this moment in time. The names are changed to protect the identity of other people, except mine, of course.
Hopefully this will help you...it isn't advice, but just something for you to think about when and if it happens to you!
LOVE - such a powerful emotion and one that is more desirable than any other. Much of our culture is based on this concept. Everywhere you look, love is usually involved. Advertising is directed to make us more attractive to the opposite sex. So many entertainment venues are geared to that wonderful concept. Even God values Love above almost anything...saying, you have nothing if you don't have love.
I don't know about you, but love is very important to anyone's health and well being. Love is such a wide range of feelings. It can create pure joy, or make you totally depressed. Love feels good, can make you cry, get angry, hate...you name it. Almost every emotion we have, love can effect it. I believe love is truly one of the best blessings God can give to a man and woman. True love is rare, but it is possible. But like anything worthwhile, it takes time to sprout, grow, and finally mature if you are fortunate.
Do I believe in true love? If you had asked me that 10 years ago, I probably would have said, not really. Today I would say, yes, and it can be achieved if both partners really want it. But, it will take time to nurture and strengthen it.
Round 1 - Love is betrayed.
Most of you know that I am single, well, actually divorced...not once, but twice. I never really dated much since I was focused on getting a career going and just put matters of the heart on the back burner. I have always wanted to have a wife, have a family, or what we call the American Dream! But until I turned 40, my chances of having that were dwindling fast!
As I was nearing my 40th birthday, even though my teaching career was doing well, there was something missing in my life...a partner, spouse, companion...whatever term you wish to use. By that age, most people have been married for years, have children, etc., but not me. I was late to have the love bug bite me. But it found me, well, I thought it had. The internet age was just starting, so most things were very limited. Love found me first in the most unlikely place I could imagine...a computer bulletin board. It was on a service called Prodigy and they had text games that you could play...online video games were still a thing of the future. I loved Star Trek and there were several groups of people that played this game by posting notes on what they would do in a given situation. Anyway, people played this game and actually began to form real life relationships.
As you know, I love to write, so this game was my cup of tea. I started out as an ensign and worked my way up to command of a starship over many months of play! My writing style was better than most, and my 'crew' loved to play this game since I kept them all involved with our missions.
Well, one girl joined our group and she was a gifted writer also...her name was Christine (not her real name). She eventually became my first wife and it all started on this game. Our characters became romantically involved..even posted some steamy scenes on the BB towards the end. Kind of like long distance role playing. Well, we played this game every night and if any of you have role played...part of your real self starts to come out. Well, it did. When our characters fell in love, Christine and I began to also. Big mistake #1.
Over the next 5 months or so, we grew closer and closer. We began calling each other on the phone...no Instant Messaging or texting back then. I had $400 phone bills...I was really in love with Christine and I never had seen her for real...just a photograph she sent me...so actually I fell in love with a photo...dumb huh? We finally met after talking and playing Star Trek for 5 months and seemed to hit it off. She lived in Washington state and I was 2000 miles away. We had a long distance relationship which was very difficult sometimes. When you are in love, you sure don't want to be away from the other person, as you know. We made mistakes, both of us, and we rushed into marriage way too quickly. We really didn't know each other...you could count the number of times we were together on your hands and feet before I moved to Washington. We started off a serious relationship, marriage, and had no foundation at all, and didn't really know each other either.
Naturally, we learned after some time that we were not compatible. In fact, we were totally different people. She was a party girl and loved to flirt with men. I was happy to just stay home after a long day at work and didn't want to party. Being married, at least in my view, should end partying like a college student. She had two children, both under 10 and I thought her behavior was terrible! We grew further apart as time went by. She continued to flirt with men right in front of me and she knew it really hurt me deeply. She didn't care...she had fun and the hell with anyone else, even her so called husband....me! She even would go somewhere with her friends for a couple days at a time and I had no clue where she was. Very immature and had no sense of what a marriage should be. I really felt bad for the 2 children.
My love was ripped to shreds by that point. What was once wonderful, now had me completely miserable. We grew apart more and more each day, but one day I was totally betrayed in the worst possible way...she cheated on me and I caught her red handed. Everything died at that point. Unless you have experienced this, you have no idea how destructive and horrible it is. Of course I was upset, mad, angry and felt like trash. I wanted to ring both of their necks, but was just too stunned to even say a word. I walked out and never saw her again in person.
Love? Not this time. I gave up so much and got nothing but a betrayal and severe pain. I gave up a good job, moved halfway across the country and gave my heart to a liar and cheat. Who is to blame...myself for not being wise and ignoring many warning signs.
All in the name of love. So, my first experience with 'true' love was a total disaster.
Marriage #1 - Epic Failure
Round 2 - Love is abusive
After Christine, I tried to put my life back together. It was difficult since I had no spouse to help me. I was depressed, angry and withdrawn. Luckily my job pulled me out of it and things were better...until I met future wife #2. It was the new Millennium...a new century that provided new hope and change and in 2000, I met Melissa ( again, not her real name.) It had been almost 8 years since Christine and I went our separate ways....8 years to mend a broken, trampled heart....8 years to even think about dating a woman again. After Christine practically destroyed me in every way, Melissa somehow broke through the barriers I had built up for almost a decade! Melissa was now in my life! How in the world did she do it?
Well, this blasted computer got me into another mess. well, not the computer, but my stupidity. This time I met Ms. Wonderful on a dating service. She did live in the same town, so that was much better than Christine that lived over 2000 miles away. We talked on an Instant Messenger service and things were okay. Slowly my defenses crumbled under her 'magic' touch. We began dating and then...BAM, I got into another mess. You would think I would have learned my lesson with Christine, but when cupid starts using your butt as target practice, all common sense seems to disappear. We jumped into marriage again, way too soon and things started to go wrong. Man, I needed my head examined then.
Melissa was MUCH nicer than Christine, granted, but it wasn't good enough. After time, this sweet lady turned into the Hag from Hades. I was criticized for every little thing I did, and I was never a top priority. Verbal abuse was an understatement of what I put up with. She also had a huge spending problem...addicted to shopping would be an understatement! Spouses are supposed to support each other, not tear them down. Things continued to deteriorate and we separated. I needed time to think and be alone. I hated doing this, but she was driving me nuts! Her abuse continued, her spending totally out of control, she began using sexual intimacy as a weapon...using it to control me to get what she wanted! If I didn't do what she wanted, then nothing in the intimacy department...It was pure torture! If I hadn't separated and got away from this tremendous strain, I would have lost my mind! Even when separated, the abuse continued...intensified now because I wasn't there for her to attack on a daily basis. How did she do this? She used email! Since she could not give me a tongue lashing in person, she used her computer! She was out of control on eBay by this time...just glad she didn't ruin all my credit with her insane spending . She divorced me through the mail so that was that. I again ignored many warning signs prior to marriage, and foolishly had to learn another harsh lesson. So....
Marriage #2 - Epic Failure!
Round 3? Hopefully NOT Strike 3, you are out!
It is now the present, the year 2010, about 8 years since my last divorce. I haven't really dated at all in nearly 10 years. Oh, the occasional date once in a while, but nothing more. I will tell you some were unbelievable and totally bizarre! Another hub perhaps! But that started to change...the itch to find lasting love returned! Drat...that darn love bug is after my tush again! Or is it that little dwarf with a bow and arrow using my butt as target practice? Someone needs to clip his wings! I never would have dreamed I would even consider dating again after the two disasters from the past! If any future relationship ends in disaster this time, it will be STRIKE 3, I am out!!!
It is amazing how something you swore you would never do again, you wind up doing again!! Never say never!...think that was James Bond. Wanting love and not being alone are very strong forces that can get you into trouble quickly. I went on the internet dating services--you would think I would have learned by now wouldn't you?---again and began 'shopping'. But like I said in my other hub about online dating, that wasn't my soul purpose to find a wonderful lady. Dating online kind of reminds me of buying meat at the butcher shop. All these nice Grade A, prime women are there in the window for you to see and then you just pick one or two and begin talking to them. No offense ladies! It did remind me of 'window shopping' LOL
Will the next time be the gold at the end of the rainbow? I have no clue, but I do have hope that the next time, if there is a next time, I will find that special gal I have been searching for so long! It is another risk..YES, but I have to take the risk...the reward is totally worth it...having a genuine relationship with a woman that truly cares and wants to be with me overrides the risk.
Now don't get me wrong. I am not against internet dating. Some people find love and have great relationships and marriage. I think it is rare, but it does happen. My parents had it and guess that is why I desire it so much! I saw what real love was and it wasn't easy sometimes....my mom and dad had some awful times, but their love sustained them and my brother and I also! I know there is true love though I have denied it...I saw it, experienced it with my parents my whole life. If I didn't think true love was possible, I would not have tried it or be trying it again.
I have met a few gals on these websites off an on for a few years now...I go on these sites for a little while and if nothing happens, just stay off for months or more...then I return at a later time and try again. It is frustrating to do this intermittent searching, but I won't stop until I find 'THE ONE'. I am hopeful, a little scared, and sure don't want to be heartbroken again, but the past has taught me many things. Hopefully, I did finally learn the lessons those past relationships taught me. Take my time and not rush! Yep, those lessons got through my thick skull finally! About time, huh? :)
I am doing it right this time.. I should say, my potential lady and I are going to do this right, when and if it happens. This time any future relationship is going to have a firm foundation. Solid ground on which to build a relationship that will have , and hopefully, God willing, TRUE love like my parents had will be the result. Stuff it, Cupid...I am not going to be taken in by your lousy arrows this time! When you want something so badly, it is just so difficult not to abandon all reason and take a huge gamble, but my past is halting my impulsiveness this time, plus some insight.
Here is the 'bottom line'...I don't want to grow older without a mate. I don't want to die alone and not experience a true, earthly love. My parents were married over 43 years until my dad passed away..and I want that too. I know I won't have 40 years, but want that lady to grow old with. Will this happen? I really want it to, but there is no guarantee. I am hoping the next time it will be TRUE love and not some phony imitation. As the Bible says...Love is patient, love is kind, love is forgiving. It does not say, "Jump in with both feet with your eyes closed and hope for the best.
Love...it can be beautiful or ugly, warm and comforting or cold and painful. Love can bring two souls together or destroy them beyond recognition. Extremes yes!...risky yes!, since you have to totally let your defenses down and give your heart and soul, so to speak, to each other. The problem lies with what that other person does with your heart...will he/she treasure and keep it safe and secure, or will they abuse and use it to further some selfish motives? It is a gamble and many times the innocent get severely hurt. I know...I have been in that place many times over the years, but you know....love still is the most desirable thing to me! Even with all the pain and heartache, if I do find love, all the bad things I have endured over my lifetime will be worth it. That is, as the song goes, "The POWER of LOVE!"
So, is there such a thing as...True love? Yes, it is possible and there is such a thing. True love...so wonderful and priceless...definitely worth going after.
If you are in love, respect it and keep it alive. Ignore it and it will fade. If you have love, you have one of God's best gifts you could ever have! Do NOT take it for granted...it is priceless and no value can be placed on it! But, you have to work together and give love attention every day. If you can, love will be the most awesome thing you will ever know!!! My parents showed me it takes effort...they always showed each other love and it just made what they had stronger and stronger. I had good teachers but until my relationships failed, I didn't learn the lessons. I know I am willing to do whatever is necessary to experience true love...I haven't yet, but I am still hopeful. Loneliness is fine for some, but not for me. Been there....done that ....no more. God never meant for man to be alone...He created Eve for that very purpose...to provide Adam an earthly companion and a mate to comfort, encourage, and face life together. True love....yes, it is worth working for but like anything else, it isn't free and takes dedication and determination to achieve. True, everlasting love is what I want...don't you?
Your first love may not be your true love.
You may lose your first love, but you will never lose your TRUE love.
Even when your true love goes away, don’t lose hope, because your true love will always come back to you!