Monday, February 21, 2005

Love in the real world

Love in the real world

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Monday, February 21, 2005 12:30 AM

When it concerns relationships, we never cease to be surprised. Just when we are totally convinced that we are deeply in love, something happens to prove to us that it isn’t so. Just as a couple believes that their love is unbreakable, the relationship is shaken.

When we fall in love, we know that stress, tension and conflict are inevitable, but somehow there is something in our love that we believe makes us immune to the problems that besiege other couples. It’s strange but true that every couple that falls in love thinks that their relationship is unique and that somehow it will escape the usual problems that everyone in love encounters sooner or later.

Perhaps it is because when we fall in love, we feel so good that it is inconceivable that things won’t work out.

It just does not seem possible even that our love will weaken, much less collapse. If we thought it would, we would surely hesitate a lot longer before rushing to the altar.

Love is like a narcotic. Not only is it addictive; it also has a quality of the unreal. It has a way of leading us out of the real world and into the realm of fantasy where everything is possible.

Clark Moustakas, in his book Creativity and Conformity, writes: “No matter how genuine a relationship may be, there will always be stresses and storms, to bring unexpected words, to make one impotent and afraid, to make one feel the terribleness of not being able to count on the other person, to create the despairing feeling that breaks in love can never be repaired.”

He’s right. Every couple, no matter how solid their love, will have their moments. Times when doubts of some kind will seep into their relationship. Moments of anger, of disappointment and of hurt. Times when love seems to be thrown into reverse. Instances when even regret makes its presence known.

This is the real world of love. This is how relationships work. Yes, “work.”

Somehow, despite it all, if the relationship is built on solid ground, it will not only survive, but it will thrive and even soar to great heights.

Moustakas again: “But one lives and loves, and suffers and forgets and lives again. . . perhaps even thinking that this time, this new time, is to be permanent. But man is not permanent and man is not predictable.”

Even if we do go on in spite of it all, love never ceases to be an adventure where surprises continue to lie in wait just around the corner. Love is unpredictable because, as Moustakas says, “man is unpredictable.” But it is this element of unpredictability that makes life at once so exciting and so unpredictable. It is what keeps men and women playing at the game of love even after losing.


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