I’ve been having these real love and real world conversations with myself lately. My notions of both are being tested, not so much in the sense of being in school with someone quizzing you on how well you remember what you’ve been told and taught, but that I Peter 1:7 testing:
7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
This”be[ing] tried,” in my Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible’s Lexical Aids to the New Testament, is the word Dokimion, which is “the means of proving, a criterion, test by which anything is proved or tried,; for example, as faith is tested by afflictions.
What I’m trying to say is that my notions of what real love and the real world is are not being tested to see if I have picked up on the key terms or whether or not I can apply these abstract ideals to “real life situations.” It is being implemented, practiced and being put to the test.
In my own mind, according to my own criteria, my boyfriend is the first real boyfriend I’ve ever had. I am sure there are a few brothers that would disagree, but too bad, so sad. In my mind, when I think of boyfriend or relationship, they never fit (on the principle that if you do not pass the test by which anything is proved, you are disproved). As a boyfriend, my boyfriend measures up to all of my important criteria at present. I like to think I measure up to his, given our talks. My only real question is what about the real love element.
Here’s the issue I’m having with my real love notion. The difference between need and want. I am not of the belief that people fall in love, haven’t been for a very long time. I ascribe to the notion that people fall into feelings they associate with love–whether that feeling be lust, gratitude, appreciation, hero-worship, and even perfect match syndrome (which I will get back to). I believe that actual love is a choice, one that is made more than once. I believe I choose to love you is a much more meaningful statement than I’ve fallen in love with you. What happens when someone has “lost that loving feeling?” (Don’t you love my pertinent musical references)? Don’t get me wrong; I believe you should be attracted to this person that you have chosen to love. There should be something in them that calls to something in you. Love is not a bloodless affair of the head by any means. I’m just always cognizant of the fact that it is always a choice, motivated by different things for different people, but it is a choice. Feel free to disagree.
What does this have to do with need and want? If love is a choice, it’s also a want. I want to spend time with you. I want to get to know you. I want to see you do that annoying thing that I thought was cute even though I don’t think it’s cute anymore. Is it silly of me to be suspicious of need? Someone very analytically told me that this person they were seeing was everything that they needed. They go to church here, we feel the same about this, my family likes this person, we both have higher education, etc. All I could think was, But is this person what you want? I could be a perfect match for you on paper all day, but do you want me? Would you choose me?
Sometimes when people can’t see themselves as married to someone, they think they have a problem with commitment, and this is a possibility. Maybe they haven’t committed to choosing to love one person when there are so many other options out there. But maybe the problem isn’t commitment itself. If you’re wondering why this person who is perfect for you isn’t inspiring the urge to marry within you, maybe it’s because they have what you think you need and not what you really want.
In my own notions of real love, I like safety. I never fall asleep in moving vehicles or planes. I hate waking up somewhere other than where I fell asleep, and I feel like by being awake I can prevent a crash. I know it’s silly, as I am not driving or piloting, but I do. So if I fall asleep around you, it’s a good indication I feel safe with you. The best, in fact. I like it when I can annoy you and you don’t disconnect. I would like for you to want me and to choose me, not because I’m what you should want, but what you actually do want. I want to know what you want.
Yesterday, my minister outlined 4 pairings that are involved in loving God which I think apply to all loving relationships.
Loving God involves commitment and loyalty; trust and respect; giving and surrendering; knowing and sharing. Commitment is such tiny part of choosing to love anyone or anything. Do you feel loyal to me? Do you trust me? Respect me? Are you giving yourself to me? Do you want to know about me, and are you sharing yourself with me?
My perception of real love has expanded so much. Most of the notions I had before were formed out of non-romantic relationships and failed attempts at forging a romantic bond. Some of them, I admit, are wrong. Just as they fire gold to get the impurities, my notions of love have been tried by fire to burn the incorrect information away.
I meant to talk about the real world as well, but this is getting wordy. I will start another entry on that one!