“Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave” – David Bowie, Labyrinth. This quote is my all time favorite quote. At different points in my adult life it has meant different things to me and the people I am in relationships with. Personally I have been in love twice, and in lust twice. I only was able to recognize the lust in hindsight and the love was never love at first sight. It was a gradual occurrence where feelings naturally grew and developed. The funny thing is that none of these four experiences have anything in common. I would argue that I am fairly perceptive, but I cannot make a list or even explain why these feelings grew.
I was in love for at least a solid half of my 8 year relationship with my ex. Which statistically they say is really good. I think the average is 45% of the time you have to love the one you’re with. I wonder how much these stats would increase if people took more accountability for making themselves happy? At any rate, it took a long time but I can now recognize a lot of great times that were shared during my time with him. But I failed by forgetting to make myself joyful first, and this contributed greatly towards the less than 50% ratio of joy.
Now I am in a relationship that is so much different. The feeling of love is present, but there are so few similarities between why I am happy. It really makes me want to reconsider these many cliches about what love really is and what it means. Is the English language just too small and ill suited for expressing the word love in the type of society we live in? I do not commonly hear people say, “oh man am I ever in lust with so and so”. But shouldn’t it be more commonplace to hear? There is a natural sugar coating in our society towards these situations. For example, how often has someone you know said, “oh the ex wants to hang out, should I?” We translate in our minds that this is a booty call, then try and analyze the mental capacity of both parties, then give our reply. But why can’t the conversation just be more open from the start with both parties expressing what they want? And more to the point, by being able to say yes or no to the propositions.
I fear it is the same with love. It is all to easy to mix up love with lust or vice versa, and I personally have had my little feelings trounced on when I mistook lust for love. It is painful and all too common. We fear the unknown, love the attention, and lust over the possibilities. And then we add sex into the equation, where it is the physical act for men, and the emotional connection for women. So what is the poor heart to make of all this? Honesty people! Honesty is the only solution. If your feelings change, develop, lessen, whatever happens, just communicate. We have the ability to talk and express ourselves even if the language is not always well suited to making this easy.
I enjoy being in love. It’s a great feeling and of course I want it to continue for a long time. Nothing is perfect but happiness is what life is all about. Chase your dreams and enjoy the people that you take on your journey to reach your potential, whether for the here and now, lust, or the longer term love.