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Hopeless Romantic

I am finally admitting that I am a true Gemini. On one side, I am a hopeless romantic that loves listening to soulful love songs that pour out heartfelt lyrics. I love to watch romantic comedies and love stories that make me cry. My favorite movie of all time is The Notebook and I swear I’ve watched it a thousand times. I cry at the end when they die in each other’s arms every damn time. Then there is the other side of me that’s a cynical bitch that doesn’t believe a word that comes out of a man’s mouth. I always think they are full of shit and I look at their actions, which always speak louder than words. I’m a complete contradiction of myself. I guess I’m a skeptic that believes that love does exist. I don’t believe in fairy tales, but I do believe that everyone will meet the person that matches their heart and their soul.

It takes work to build a relationship, but when you meet that special someone you never doubt that they are perfect for you. You are drawn to them with a pull that is stronger than any force on earth. That is love.

I think people can find the one love of their life, but you can also grow out of that relationship and find the love that is meant for you later in life.  People grow and change throughout their lives. I am not the same person I was when I got married at 20 years old. Not at all. As I got older, I grew into a stronger more independent woman and my ex was used to taking care of me and calling the shots. That caused us to butt heads and we started to grow apart. Certainly, there were other issues, but had we been able to grow together and support each other in our journeys perhaps the outcome would have been different.

Navigating that balance is the crossroad to strengthening your bond or drifting apart. Being monogamous to one person, your entire life can be near impossible, but I have seen the unicorns that make that happen. I was just talking to a woman that calls her husband “her boyfriend”. When I asked why, she said, “Because that’s my guy” with a big smile on her face. She proceeded to tell me that they have been together thirty-seven years and she can honestly say that she loves him more now than ever.

Again, the hopeless romantic in me thought that was the sweetest thing in the world and told her she gave me hope to find a love like that. While the cynic in me wondered if that was all bullshit. I’m torn. I want to believe that it’s possible, but what do you have to sacrifice for yourself to be in one relationship your entire life? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but most married couples go through times of shear misery and come out the other end stronger. Therefore, I ask, what is the real story?

Most people that profess their love like that (especially on social media) are the ones that are just plain phony or delusional that there is something missing in their marriage. Thou protest too much. If you are so in love with your spouse, you don’t need to try to convince others of how amazing they are. You know what I mean? Am I being cynical again? Probably, but I prefer to call it being a realist. I would bet you that those friends you see on Facebook that post ‘lovey dovey’ pictures and tell the world how wonderful their spouse is are the same ones having an affair. The people I know that have really strong relationships, barely even acknowledge their spouse on social media. They just know they love each other and they don’t have to try to convince others or themselves. Not to say that when a relationship is new, that is the case. Hell, when I find the love of my life, expect to see a daily post of our nauseating love for each other. I’m going to make all of you sick to death of my profession of love. (Just kidding…well maybe).

The moral of my story is, despite my conflict with being a split personality Gemini, I do think there has to be a healthy balance. You have to have the belief that lasting romantic love is possible for every person on this planet, but be aware that it can’t be seen through rosy-colored glasses. You can’t ignore the parts of you that need your own autonomy and equity in the relationship. If you do the lion’s share of the work in the relationship while your partner does whatever the hell they want, then you’re fooling yourself. The balance has to be there in order for it to be real. Otherwise, you’re lying to yourself and everyone else.

Some of my closest friends have great relationships—ones that I not only envy but that I want to emulate. The best part is that they’re not phony about their marriage. They complain about the things that drive them crazy and are realistic about the fact that no one is perfect, but they found a bond with that person that is strong enough to withstand the storms. We will all face storms. Some stronger than others. If the foundation is strong and you don’t break the bond with infidelity or lies then you will withstand any storm that comes your way. If you just check out and live your own lives without true intimacy then that is when trouble is on the horizon. That’s when the cracks in the foundation start to crumble and you look outside your marriage for something more.

This time around, I will approach my relationship so much differently. I won’t take it for granted because being alone all these years…searching, makes me realize just how precious love is. This time around I will love harder and be more vulnerable because without that…it’s just shallow and living at the surface. Those are the relationships that only look good from the outside. On the inside, there is one person in the relationship that is making all the sacrifices and placating to the other person’s ego. They’re not getting their needs met, because they’re too busy playing the role of the perfect wife (or the perfect husband). This time around, I want to find the balance. The balance where both of us openly communicate what we need and we do everything we can to meet those needs. Not just temporarily to appease the person, but in the long term because you love them that much.

Love isn’t selfish nor is it sacrifice. It’s partnership. It’s a union of consideration and compromise. That’s what I’m looking for this time around. Once I weed through the horrors of this superficial world of online dating where we often wander through the black hole of hopeful prospects that turn into yet another phantom relationship—I will find that kind of love. I will wait as long as it takes. My patience is unwavering because I refuse to live in shallow waters where it’s safe but lonely. I would rather be completely alone than feel alone in a relationship again. It’s far more painful.

That is the balance I have found. I am equally a hopeless romantic that knows the love that I deserve, as I am the skeptic that doesn’t fall for smoke and mirrors. That is my hope for all of you that are searching for love or those of you that are waking up from the facade of your marriage. Just don’t be delusional that the search is that easy and it’s just going to fall in your lap. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. If you haven’t done the work, then you’ll just end up back in another facade. I had to grow and evolve in order to attract the kind of love I desire. You can’t just go through the motions and fake it. You have to dig deep and do the work. Realize that the work never ends either. Relationships come into your life to test you. To challenge your strength and resilience. Relationships are there as mirrors to show you who you really are and how far you’ve come. Triggers will be pulled to see if you have truly learned from your past mistakes or healed those old wounds that can be easily torn open. Take a deeper look and listen to your intuition. Don’t be fooled by the exterior and all the sweet talk. That will soon fade and what will you have left? Believe in love but don’t be blinded by it. Channel the inner Gemini that shows you both sides and be sure they are in balance.

With Faith, Hope and Love,

~Teresa

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