Friday, July 23, 2010

Love and All That Mushy Stuff

Recently there have been some interesting and thought-provoking posts out there on a number of the blogs that I read. [Note, they're almost always interesting, but these particular posts really got me thinking] They're about relationships and love. What kind of love do you have with your partner? What kind of relationship do you have? And it really made me sit and consider these questions, among others.

Sara, over at First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage wrote this really great piece on kinds of love. And it got me thinking - what kind of love do Matt and I have? We certainly don't have the obsessive, uber-passionate Twilight love of Bella and Edward. Not that I've read the books, mind you, but I have watched the movies, and their relationship kind of scares me. I do not understand the millions of women out there who watch those movies or read those books and wish that this is what their relationships looked like. Bella and Edward are so enmeshed with each other, it seems a bit dangerous to me. And maybe that's part of the attraction? Their love is so fierce that they would die without each other? I don't know. But I wouldn't want a relationship like that. I want to be able to breathe in my relationship - to have my own life - and to know that, if anything happened, I'd survive. I have friends outside of our relationship, and that's important to me. Matt spends weekends with the guys, and that's important to him. But we always know that we're going to come home to each other, and that's enough for us. Sure, we have our passionate moments, and emotions can run high at times, but we also have plenty of laid-back evenings spent lounging in our backyard, sharing a bottle of wine and talking about nothing in particular. And, to be honest, those are my favorite moments.

Sara compared her relationship to Up, and I think that's adorable. But that's not necessarily us, either. Matt and I are more...Monica and Chandler. We support each other when times get tough. We know each other's history and, though sometime's we've struggled with that knowledge, we work through it and move forward. We laugh with each other (a lot) but can cry together, too. We know each other's hopes for the future, and agree to support each other in achieving those hopes...whatever it takes. We have solid friends around us to help us support each other. We're superclose, but we're not each other's best friends - we leave that role to other people, outside our relationship. And, just like Monica and Chandler, it took patience and understanding and time to get to where we are now. And, just like Monica and Chandler, we are absolutely certain that this is it - the true love we've waited for our entire lives.

Which brings me to another post, from Weddingbee: having your significant other be your best friend. As I just mentioned, Matt and I are superclose, but I wouldn't necessarily call him my best friend. I can (and do) talk to him about just about anything. But sometimes a girl just needs to bounce something off of someone other than the person she's sharing a bed with, ya know? Not to mention the fact that sometimes, you really just need to bitch about your SO, and, um, well doing it with him/her is kind of awkward! And that's what I have Justin for. And the girls in my wedding party. That's 7 extra people, and even among them I turn to each of them for very different reasons. I guess I just think it's better to have a widely varied sounding board. (c:

Anywhoser, I don't necessarily want Matt to be my best friend - I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket, so to speak. While I love Matt and know that he'll always be there for me, I don't want to rely solely on him. I think when you get into a situation where your signifant other is your best friend, you're getting into murky territory. I've seen friends in these relationships before, and when they've ended, they haven't ended well. Because while they're in the relationship and making their SO their best friend, they're also distancing themselves from the friends they'd previously counted on. And those friends? They're only going to hang around so long before they get tired of being shut out and move on. And then the relationship ends, and they have no one to turn to, because they've alienated everyone. And that's a dangerous place to be - sad, lonely, scared, and alone (and yes, I do think there's a difference between lonely and alone). I feel much more confident in my relationship with Matt knowing that should anything happen, we'll both have people around us to help us put the pieces back together.

But I think that each relationship works the way it works. What feels right for Matt and I may feel cold and distant to someone else. And what feels passionate and fun to someone else may feel psychotic and obsessive to me and Matt. And that's ok. Because it's love - all kinds of love - that makes the world go round.

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