Aw, love, what an amazing feeling, right?! Love is transforming our actions, our souls; makes us be the best people we can be; kind, caring, selfless, courageous, open-minded, full of life.
When it is gone we feel like some dead leaves, blowing in the wind, left & right and up & down on the life`s highway, sad, disconcerting, disconnected, useless, lost.
I was there so many times in the past and in every single instance, it felt like I was broken and put back together again. I had dark days, sleepless nights, tears all over the house, and lots of “why me”s.
Meeting someone new was hard because I was sick and tired of trials; I just wanted my “The One” so I can start living my real life. The life that I was living … well, it seemed to be an endless rehearsal.
I was meeting people but they were not my type, whichever type that was …?
I decided to take the internet way and I sign up on a few dating sites; some were asking for a monthly fee, some were free. I chose one of each, just to have more options.
I lost hours writing and deleting everything about me because I was trying to paint a perfect portrait of myself and show the real me at the same time and that, my friends, was an impossible task. 😛
“Upload your pictures here”… Oh, what a mess! Which one of us has the right pictures for a dating website on their phone or computer? Mine were either too friendly or too cold; I was either overdressed or not appropriate. None of them was perfect for this task.
Taking pictures around the house was hilarious and time-consuming; curtains up for the light, lights on – I am sure my neighbors were delighted and intrigued, as they were watching a mystery unfolding; my furniture was moved around so it can fit the only place I can put my camera on; five types of outfits, dealing with make-up and hairdos (which I normally avoid 😛 ) and … smile!
Yup, smile naturally if you can while thinking about the people who are going to judge all those pictures that you are currently taking of yourself! 😀
After everything was done and dusted, I waited, like merchandise in a store window, to be weighed, measured, analyzed and dismissed or approved of. Having a public profile made me feel naked and vulnerable.
I got nice messages from some men; I even enjoyed (rarely) meaningful conversations. I had some funny chats with a few married men looking for real love in this unfair, cruel world that invented marriage. One man, my “top of the list”, tried to get some money out of me by telling me a teary story about his life. Another one fell in love with me almost instantly (he didn`t even get my name right 😀 ) and tried to convince me to marry him and bring him to my country (which was part of the EU; his wasn`t). One, that I will never forget, was exposed by his dead (died in a horrible car crash) wife who wrote to me … I guess the internet works well between both worlds. 😉
What made me delete my profile on both websites, in the end, were the nasty, uncalled for, demeaning, disgusting, harassing messages that I got from some people. I couldn`t comprehend how can anyone be so cruel without provocation, towards a person they never met, just by seeing their picture. Some of the words I then read still echo in my head today.
Does this story sounds familiar to you, in any way?
We live in a world that`s rapidly evolving around us: computers, tablets, smartphones, (so many) websites and apps – I can barely keep up to this fast-moving technology. But we are not evolving at the same pace, we are still humans, we have the same basic needs and not all of us are experts in using the new technology. Besides, having a public profile is not fit for all of us with such a high risk of being conned and the stealing of personal information today.
We still want to find love, you`ll say. How do we do that? 🙂
Let me tell you how with another story. 😉
When Covid19 madness started I enrolled with the NHS Volunteer Responder Programme, because one of the things I love is to help people in any way I can.
One day I received a Check-in and Chat alert (making a call to somebody who is living alone and self-isolating) on the GoodSAM app and I contacted the person. That`s how I met Christopher, a very nice and kind gentleman in his 70`s. He is the main reason I am writing this article today.
His wife of eighteen years died a decade ago and his quest for finding love was full of trials and errors, online and offline.
That got me thinking of a way that is easier for everyone to get talking, avoiding the weirdness and awkwardness associated with dating websites: a red & white badge (see picture) that can be worn every day by people who are looking for a partner.
Life is short but beautiful and is meant to be shared with the right person. Finding your “hand in glove” person was always a bit tricky. That will stop here and now! Put your “I am looking for love” badge on every time you go shopping, exercising, or just walking around in our lovely Exmouth, so people like you know you are looking for love.
The badges are available by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. (I tried to find a store eager to help this cause by carrying the badges, making it easier for people to get them, but I could not find one).
The profits will be donated monthly, rotated between various animal shelters in Devon because Love cares about all beings. 💝
This article was also sent to a few newspapers in my area, to make sure word gets around. 😉
I often hear the sentence “I love you unconditionally”.
As far as I know, the term “unconditional love” is a nonsense. Is there … “conditional love”? If someone thinks it is, I am sure it`s filed under a different term.
I am not writing this article to dissect the meaning of some words, I am doing it to bring a little bit of light in a very good friend`s mind (he`s not the only one in the world that feels this way) who never learned to accept the fact that he`s unique, important, valuable, just because … he exists!
I don`t know if he has the impression that he`s not worth it or it`s too much for him to accept that he`s loved “just because” …
Love, in its pure form, lives inside every one of us, but because we are afraid that we`ll be laugh at or hurt, we rarely share it, show it, declare it.
[I don`t know who and when reached the verdict “guilty” in the case of “The People vs. Love”, Love being the worthless creature that must be kept in a dark dungeon for some unknown reasons, but I chose to wear IT with as much pride as our ancestors, The Dacian people, carried their flag into battles. This way I can daintily yield IT to the people around me. Not once I`ve been seen as an odd creature for being “so loving”, their first impulse being flight or dodge. As soon as they got to know me, they`ve become “hungry” for my words and gestures, and they`d come looking for them, in case I had a … meditative day.]
There is a small number of people that`s able to love with the love of a creator; the rest of us offer love after we test, probe, experiment, live.
Dear friend, as I stand before you, as a humble mortal being, I confess to you that I did not love you from the start “just because”, but, after you showed me, with such grace and trust, the dept of your soul, your beautiful mind, the things you are capable of doing and feeling, I chose to love you, and, no matter what you chose to do from now on, my love for you will always stay intact, because my soul it`s honored to have yours by its side for the rest of our mortal lives, and, why not, even beyond …
One more thing: “I love you” is not only reserved for lovers and couples; it`s here to be used by anyone, anytime (hopefully, tax free, for a very long time 🙂 ).
For a while now, I feel the need to write articles about couples. Maybe because of the two divorces I`ve found out recently (I felt they were coming, but the partners, amazingly enough, didn`t see it).
A marriage has to be a celebration of two people going on a holiday, not a punishment. I am saying this because, not once, I have heard the phrase: “Are you insane? How can I go out with you for a ……, I am a married man/married woman?!”
So what?! What does it mean? That your life is over? Then I have to see the “holy matrimony” as a death of the individual?
I know it should be the communion of two people forming a whole, but that doesn`t mean that both of their individuality and identity will melt into one being.
Being single or someone`s “better half”, the person needs freedom, has the right to have its own secrets, hobbies, going for a coffee/tea with friends/girlfriends, has the right to socialize with other people, no matter their sex, nationality, religion, ethnicity, color; has, also, the right to have fun anywhere (yes, even in a streap club), to dream, to be alone for a moment/an hour/a day/a while, to escape (inside or outside of itself), to enjoy the silence.
The way more and more people talk to me about their marriage, it looks like this: after you say “I do” some of your essential rights disappear, and not only that, but they also get replaced by duties! There has to be a balance in anything, but on this matter, you go in with a handicap, getting to the point of having more duties than rights! You’d be safer marrying …The Constitution 🙂 , since it`s “THE ONE” guaranteeing all your rights.
If I remember well, The Church was the one “manufacturing” the institution of marriage, saying, in its defence, that was keeping people from fooling around while assuring the paternity of children born as a result of those communions. I believe this concoct brought the unhappiness of as much children and adults as the plague, cholera and the wars, all together.
A marriage should be the adventure of two free souls, who are playing and experiencing life together, exchanging ideas, helping each other grow, push each other to evolve, support each other while fulfilling their wildest wishes and dreams!
If someone decided to walk along you on this path, you should feel honored, because a lifetime is a veeerrrryy long time… You have to see that person as a hero 🙂 ; think about it this way: your parents – they gave you life, raised you and love you very much, but they don`t live with you anymore. That person – your partner – is right there with you, every single day! Don`t punish him for that 🙂 !
Love him, respect him, take good care of him, make him lots of surprises, do exactly what you want to be done to you, behave around him the way you want to be treated by him. Maybe he doesn`t do that yet, but he will, by example! We learn from each other every single day.
Don`t try to change him! People don`t change, they just evolve in better versions of themselves. Don`t ask him to guess your thoughts; many times we are unable to guess our own thoughts, and they are in OUR heads 😉 . Don`t take things/words/actions personally: in every discussion present company is always excluded.
Don`t you ever insult him! Break the damn lamp if you have to (it’s out of fashion anyway 😛 ), rip off the curtain (there is a nice one in the store, near you 😉 ), count until 20, but DON`T open your mouth to say something so awful that you`ll regret it for the rest of your life!
People are perfect in their own way. A very dear friend of mine once said that the partner doesn`t have to be perfect (in general) but he has to be perfect … FOR YOU! We are some Lego bricks – we need someone that fits US perfectly, not our family, our relatives, our lineage or even our society!
In the unfortunate case in which you feel, in your heart, that he`s not THE ONE and you cannot be happy being in that relationship, do not torment him just because “I swore in front of The Almighty God to be with you for better and for worse, until death do us part”. Those vows, any vows, are equal to nothing if they are not supported by love, and, as it happens, I know for a fact that God didn`t create Perfection to see it tormenting others or being tormented because of some society rules or a big “Ego” (what would our neighbors/ parents/ godparents/ grandparents/ kids/ colleagues/ Facebook/ Twitter say if I get divorced??).
If you treasure anyone`s opinion more than your own, you most likely live a lie, an illusion, and, the worst thing is that you live it to please the ones around you, not yourself!
I once read about our ancestor`s traditions – The Dacian people (in my opinion – one of the wisest tribes that ever lived on this earth) – who were crying at births and laughing at funerals.
I didn`t find anything said about the traditions regarding the weddings and I would really like to know any little thing about those.
All I hope, in the back of my mind, is that, in their infinite wisdom, they would beat the hell out of the couple getting married, in front of all the guests and family (instead of following the today`s boring ritual) following the idea “if you want two people to join forces, give them a common enemy”. Even if their love wasn`t strong enough, they would`ve become the best comrades :).