lOOK BEFORE YOU LOVE

Most of the time we human beings jump into love before we look at the hole we are jumping into.

If we happen to be single most of us  hope someday to meet someone with whom we can form a unit. It is not normal to live alone. As a matter of fact one hundred years ago living alone would have been a pretty rare thing. We lived then in our families and as we aged we became part of the household in a different way.

I have a few friends now who care for their parents in their homes. The parents are a part of the household and some are able to live independently while some require more care. My friends who are doing this do not think of themselves as martyrs but think they are doing what is normal. This type of extended family home seems normal and not surprising to them. This may be due to the fact these families are second generation immigrants and come from Italian roots, yet I have read Italian families are less likely to live together  today than a generation ago. I think these families are to be envied as the household always seems happy to me. The kitchen is fragrant with the memories of past meals shared by the group and the hearth fire, real or imagined, burns brightly. If you are single and live with friends or relatives you are less likely to suffer from loneliness or abandonment and more likely to look before you leap in love. This is a  “Lucinda” statement of truth.

The current nature of “WASP” culture and aging is defined by our parents fear of being confined to a nursing home in old age or having to depend on their children. My own mother was terrified of having to live in a nursing home and was also terrified of being dependent on her children. I find this fear of dependency really interesting as it is a new fear that has arisen over the last fifty years in the aging population.As I previously mentioned,. households several generations ago were composed of different generations living under the same roof. Somehow this practice has disappeared from our lives. Now our parents head towards retirement communities if they can afford it  or just struggle to stay in their own homes with occasional help from family. We seem to be terrified of having to give up our independence as we get older. I think this fear begins in childhood in today’s world and actually hinders us from developing and maintaining good relationships in life. If we believed it was safe to rely on our family we could sustain more feelings of contentedness and safety within ourselves which would be a good thing for our society.The advent of more fear into our daily lies is not healthy or helpful for peaceful community living.

What is this piece about?It is about the process of falling in love and ways to avoid pain in the process of interviewing and selecting a romantic partner. If you are interested in finding a partner it is very important to learn the process of detachment because if you learn this you  will be able to observe  others that come into your life and to see what they are available for.The problem is that most of us want to find love and often overlook the warning signs that show themselves in the first few meetings. We are eternal optimists and when encountering a romantic possibility we still tend to view our anointed ones with rose-colored lenses which have the amazing ability to transform our romantic ideal into whatever we want them to be. Without any facts to back up our picture we create possibilities that do not exist. We create entire lives in the future that have no way of happening. We ignore words that are said in the initial stages of a relationship and prefer to hear our own words scripted for the partner. These words are rarely spoken, however, as we have overlooked a few very simple facts.

We often ignore words from a prospective partner than state very clearly what they may be looking for. We ignore the lack of desire to form a unit with another or the lack of desire to remarry or even marry for the first time. We ignore the signs and symptoms that may reveal themselves to us which show very clearly, here is a person who is not interested in a committed relationship.Sometimes we can be fooled and not see warning signs as the person we are dealing with presents themself as if they are looking for love. These types of people are even more troublesome that others as they are capable of reeling in someone based on their ability to seem capable of committed love, and, once a commitment has been made , one foot is out the door by the partner. I have experienced a few of these relationships and it is a bit like seeing the old enormous elephant in the room and having your partner say there is no elephant. I believe this type of person simply needs more adoration in their life and is basically incapable of loving another. They look for mirrors to reflect their perfect nature just as Narcissus gazed into the lake to see his own perfect reflection. It is a never-ending process.

In the beginning you can see and learn everything you care to in a stranger as people reveal more than you might think in dialogue. I have noticed when I am not interested in a man romantically I can see very clearly what he is available for and what his flaws and weaknesses are. This is a very good exercise for anyone in life as it makes your senses sharper and works on your instinctive analysis of situations. Most of us have lost touch with our instincts and constantly doubt our perceptions. There have been a lot of books out recently about the importance of relying on instinct as it will correctly guide you through most situations in life. In our love lives our instinct can be crucial as it will correctly tell us what the other is available for. The key is to listen to our instincts and operate from these notations.The problem for most of us, including me, is  we hear our  instincts and overlook the information preferring to think we can change the person into what we want.This is the behavior I am trying to change because I believe it is only by doing this  we are able to find the right person to be our partner.

In the end what it boils down to is realizing you cannot change someone else: what you see is what you will get now and forever. Here is where the Buddhist practice of detachment is really useful. Many times I have become involved in a relationship where I am not getting my needs met and have wasted a lot of time talking to my friends about this frustrating situation. I often think if I had spent all the time on a  business that I have spent on relationship issues , I would have a giant corporate success on my hands and not a bruised psyche.  I am now working on detachment, observation and not allowing anger or fear to get into the picture. If someone is not available for a truly close and loving relationship it is a good thing to learn the signs of this before constructing the dream of one. If I work from an instinctive self I am able to see who the man in front of me is . If I am detached, I don’t try to change him into something that is in my dream of romantic love. I have the power in this type of interaction as I am chosing whether or not to involve myself with someone and on what basis. If I am detached I feel no anger or hurt, I simply observe what is there. It is my constant struggle in this lifetime not to become angry or hurt by the behavior of others, but to accept what they are and what they offer. The trick in life seems to be listening to your own instinct and making decisions as to whom you partner with based on accurate observations of what another has to offer and what your own needs may be.

2 Comments on “lOOK BEFORE YOU LOVE

  1. Lucinda, thank you for sharing these thoughts. Sometimes you must meet others where they are and if you are unable to turn and walk with them, you must turn and walk away from them. I wish you sucess in listening to your instincts and basing your decisions on accurate observations.

  2. “We are eternal optimists and when encountering a romantic possibility we still tend to view our anointed ones with rose-colored lenses which have the amazing ability to transform our romantic ideal into whatever we want them to be.”

    How about Rosie-colored glasses? And you saw that elephant, too?

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