Or is it simply a moment of insanity?
Heaven help me.
I just read an entry from an old journal. From when I was in my 20s (YIKES). Even as I read it, I feel like this HAS GOT TO BE FAKE. I couldn’t have written these canned, sappy words. But I did. It’s verbatim, I’m embarrassed to admit. Only the name of the guy has been changed to protect the innocent. And I’m keeping the timetable broad (“my 20s”) so you can assume I was in my early 20s not my late 20s. Please assume I was in my early 20s. Please, for the love of God, assume, I was in my early 20s.
“I love him. I haven’t said it yet. But I do. JOE* told me he was falling in love with me, and I told him, “me too.” I am just so happy. I want to be beautiful for him. I want to be smart for him. Funny for him. But also, I want to be me for him. Like I want him to love me because I am 100% myself. I am so happy right now. Incredibly happy. In love happy. It’s been so long. So so so long. Since I’ve felt this way. It’s great. It’s just so great. I feel elated. I feel invincible. You know that feeling? Like I have someone on my side. Like I can count on someone. Like I want to be there for them. I love him. I love him. I love him. I am so happy. I just feel so lucky. We went driving in the Hollywood Hills and I went into full blown fantasy mode, imagining getting married, buying a house, having kids together.”
“Well, I’m breaking up with JOE tonight. It sucks and will be hard, but it’s the right thing to do.”
Hmmm..that didn’t last long. Like 2 months!!!
Ahh, the high of falling in love. Or thinking you are falling in love.
There are glimmers of the woman I will become, but mostly I was clearly an idiot back then. Or insane.
If I allowed you to keep reading, you’d confirm my status as full-blown idiot, at the very least.
But the high of what ‘could be’ is like a drug. And there are some actual drugs coursing through your brain – oxytocin from physical touch – that’s a real thing.
But otherwise, let’s be straight up here. On my part, it was mostly just hope as a tactic. I wanted to fall in love. It feels amazing to fall in love.
I’ve been hearing from some women that the Royal Wedding left them feeling depressed vs. hopeful (I was floored and queried for more information immediately!). Seeing this lovely young woman get her prince (literally!) is making women take stock of their relationships. The way Harry & Meghan looked at each other with admiration and adoration. The fact that Meghan is relatively normal – or at least accessible (divorced, 36, American, not UBER famous) – only made it more demoralizing. And that they met in a relatively normal way (intro through friends)… it’s leaving women wondering, “where’s my prince?” “if it can happen to her…why didn’t it happen for me, then?”
This is married women, I’m talking about. Not the single gals. (Your prince -or princess – is on the way, I promise)
Well – WHY NOT YOU, THEN? It sure as shit isn’t too late!
The way I see it is like this:
Ladies: get busy living or get busy dying (Thank you Shawshank Redemption for that quote).
We weren’t born in our parents or grandparents generation where marriage was the most practical, fastest, best path to financial security for a woman.
We don’t need to get married, and frankly, it’s a hell of a lot of work, so the partner better be worth that work.
If you’re looking across the table thinking he ain’t your prince charming, it’s worth doing some self-exploration.
Is your brain playing out alternative scenarios because that’s how we process feelings and stories, to then reflect on our own experience (the rightness, the wrongness / compare & contrast)… or is there a bigger problem in your relationship? Can you fall in love with your current prince charming; the one who slurps his cereal milk? Can you dance with the one that brung ya?
What qualities does your prince charming need to have? What do you need from your partner that you aren’t getting right now? Are there other areas in your life that aren’t gratifying, but it’s easier to blame your partner, than own up to how YOU can create a more expansive life? It’s always easier to place the onus on someone else to make you happy, but that means you’ve also given them the control to make you unhappy. And that sounds, well, like a recipe for unhappiness.
If you do some soul searching, and he ain’t “the one”… GO OUT AND FIND THE ONE WHO IS.
Maybe you’ll have several “ones” – all different partners for the different phases and needs of your life. Or maybe you’ll have one that stands the test of time and winds of change.
But life is far too short (and we women have gotten too many degrees and too many promotions) for settling.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve.
AND YOU DESERVE LOVE.
WE ALL DO.
But that HIGH of falling in love, that was reflected beautifully in the Royal Wedding recently? THAT part ebbs and flows. Even if Harry and Meghan aren’t “settling”, they are going to settle in. Like all relationships do. That wedding is a moment in time. And it’s not built to last, even if it looked dreamy on social media.
Your heart, however, is built to last. So don’t hide it away. Don’t waste it on What If’s and Should’s. Give it to someone. Let them love you. Use it. Bruise it. Break it. Put it back together again. You are strong enough and worthy enough.