I don't often know what I'm going to blog about until I actually open the 'new post' window. Then I sit for a second and something from the last day or so pops into my head, asking very clearly to be written about.
Today's topic: what happens to love when the harsh light of reality shines down on it?
This is probably a good time to clearly state that this question is not one that I am personally struggling with. I am quite warm and happy in my little cocoon of love thank you very much so, please, nobody panic!
The love/reality question came up during a wonderful dinner last night with a really good friend. One of those dinners where the wine and conversation flow and the things that were talked about are still reverberating in my head the next day.
So, back to love and reality.
First there is love. That connection that happens with another person that sets them apart from everyone else. It's physical, it's emotional, it's visceral.
You just want to be with the other person. All the time. No matter what. Consequences be damned!
Then...reality comes marching in.
What if they live in another city? Another country?
What if they live with another person? Are married to someone else? Are someone of a different colour, age, gender or religion than society expects you to be with? Make tons more money than you? Make way less than you? Want kids but you don't?
I could go on.
Many of these challenges are really only little stepping stones that you can both hop along together. Negotiating them helps make the relationship stronger as you learn to communicate and negotiate.
Other challenges are....well, they're challenges. Overcoming these challenges will be life-changing for everyone involved. It will take time and effort and the end results are not guaranteed.
What do you do? Do you wait for the other person? If so, for how long? Do you defy society and proclaim your love despite the reactions that may cause? Do you move to be with them? Give up your dream of having children?
With every decision, compromise and change - will the love you share grow stronger or will it begin to crumble?
I find topics like this fascinating to discuss...unless I'm actually living them. Then it's agonizing because there are no answers. Loving someone means taking a risk. Opening yourself up means taking a risk. Waiting for someone, moving in with someone, having children with someone are all risks. The rewards might be wonderful but there is no guarantee.
When it works - it's beautiful.
When it doesn't - it's heartbreaking.
And that, my friends, is love.