In the last two months I’ve had the chance to hang out with a few women almost 10 years younger than me, and inevitably when you have two or more women together the most discussed topics have (surprisingly!) been relationships, dating and love. I’ve realized that in talking with them I was feeling a bit… I don’t wanna say “wiser”, but of course, necessarily, more experienced. All the times I’ve been there, and lived that before them, have shaped me into the woman I am today, and have changed the way I approach the relationships world. And yet, faced with their drama loaded dating tales, with their strong, black-and-white view of what is right and what is wrong, or sometimes with their candour in not understanding what’s hidden between a guy’s lines, I got reminded of myself at their age, and what I have learnt along the way.
Mind you, I approached the LSD world very late, in my early 20s, as I was determined to spare myself for The One, only to discover, three years later, that he was NOT the One. Months filled with tears, silent and not, a change of country, a change of job, new people in my life, another big love where I have surely accepted and compromised too much, just to see it finish again after 5 years.
Since then, 3 years of being single in a city like London, with all its complications, endless opportunities, craziness.
What have I learnt about LSD? Oh, a few things for sure… Let’s start with Love, and let me share with you an anecdote from my childhood.
When I was 4 years old, and unable to fall asleep, my mum suggested me: “Think of little pretty things. Think of Love.” I ruminated about this advice, just to ask her, ten minutes later: “Mum, what is love? Is it a dog?”
I love this story. For a four year old girl, Love is a Labrador, a soft hairy lively sweet dog, that is always ready to play with you, and so happy to see you every morning. More than 30 years later, I know that yes, Labradors are all that, and they also bring you soft toilet paper rolls when you are in the toilet, where you’ve probably locked yourself crying your heart out for another guy that walked out of your life. All true, such lovely dogs, but they can also sometimes piss on your carpet and generally stare at you when you are eating your food.
…What else have I learnt?
I’ve learnt that yes, you’ll never forget your first love, but it won’t necessarily be your strongest one.
That some sentences echo in your heart for so long, and can even be the first thing you hear in your mind when you wake up. They might even be the reason why you mess up your next relationship. Some words just plant seeds of uncertainty and self doubt.
That relationships don’t necessarily finish for lack of love. They can finish for wanting different things, for weakness, for feeling the need to comply to a culture, a religion or a community that demand of you a specific behaviour.
I’ve learnt not to be fooled by what I see. The recent Christmas and the more recent Valentine’s day showed me once more how I would say half of the people in a relationship are not happy. You just never know what lies beneath.
Similarly, only the two people in the relationship know exactly how things stand, and how they feel, and if it’s worth continuing. It’s true that outsiders will probably see some things more clearly, but only those inside know if they still have the motivation to fight for their relationship. They will probably get to see what we outsiders have seen for ages, but they have to get there with their own time.
I’ve learnt that we are all damaged goods, but that nobody dies of a broken heart.
I’ve learnt that you should never love your partner more than you love yourself.
And that there will always be one person, in the couple, who loves more than the other.
I’ve learnt that some loves can be very short but so powerful and intense that they’ll colour your soul for a long time.
I’ve also learnt that those who love deeply, for real, will not get offended (ok, this is a quotation for Dostoyevski’s “White nights”, but I so agree!)
I’ve learnt for sure a few other things, but this post is getting way deeper than I intended. I’ll definitely be more light hearted and playful in sharing what I’ve learnt about Sex and Dating, but with Love, I leave my sarcasm and irony aside. Love is too serious, I don’t joke with that.
…And you, what have you learnt in your journey of Love? Enlighten me, please.