Some of the most difficult questions from my children are the questions about love and relationship. Mainly because we all feel so different about it. Loving is different for all of us. The one thing we all have is that it’s a strong feeling. A feeling that can make you incredibly happy and light but also so deeply sad and heavy. So how do you explain the complexity of a feeling like this to your children. They know what love is. They love their parents, their siblings (even if sometimes it doesn’t seem like it). But they have not experienced the love to an “outsider” just yet.
When the question then moves on to finding reasons why some people find together, stay together and find themselves almost inseparable I find it hard to come up with an answer that feels enough. Because I have no answer. I simply don’t know why some relationships work and some don’t work.
I’d like to re-share a post form a couple of months ago that touches on the subject and I would love to hear what you guys think…
Recently I had a conversation with my son about love and relationship. I tried to explain to him why some relationships work and why others don’t. But while doing so, I realized that I have no clue. No clue at all. What does it take for a relationship to last? What is the one ingredient that some relationships have and others miss? Why do some relationship last a lifetime and others crash after only a few weeks or months?
I guess if we could single out the reason for a successful relationship so many of us would be happier. It is not that easy. While talking to my son I realized that there is no such thing as a ‘recipe for a long lasting and happy relationships’. Of course there are certain kind of guidelines like mutual respect and conversation and love and attraction. But what really brings two people together and what makes them stay with each other is not as simple. Why do we even feel attracted to someone in the first place?
See, I feel that a relationship is like a huge puzzle. There are a lot of different pieces that need to be put together in order of getting the picture right. If the pieces don’t fit together, we will not be able to finish the puzzle or make it look nice. So maybe in some cases puzzle piece after puzzle piece can be put together and the picture gets bigger and bigger and a lot of time is spent on creating this picture. Until the point where you hit that one piece that does not fit anywhere. And the puzzle can never be finished. Maybe you still try and you try to work on another end of the picture, hoping that somehow it will still turn out right. Or maybe you just now there and then, that it will never work and you decide to stop trying for good.
Love is something really strange. It’s beautiful but strange. It’s bitter sweet on so many levels. And when asked why I knew that ‘Dad’ was the right guy for me, all I could say was, that I just knew. There is no explanation. There was simply the feeling that it would work out. That we are meant for each other. That we will be able to put piece after piece after piece together in our puzzle of life. There was the feeling that this picture of our relationship, of our life would come together and that we will not hit the point where we can not find a piece or where one of them doesn’t match. And it was sweet to know to have that feeling.
I told my son, that I could have been wrong as well. Who really knows? It is a gut feeling after all. Given our history so far, I am pretty sure that we will work just fine for the rest of our life. We’ve been through some bumpy stretches already and came out even stronger than before. Stretches that really do test a relationship. Times that made you feel bitter. And I believe that if you make it through things like this, you managed to pass a huge test.
There are a lot of things I still want to do in my life. Little adventures I want to go on, little discoveries I want to make. and I can’t imagine heading out there without my husband on my side. I know that he will be there for me in the good times and in the bad times. I know that I have his support no matter what. He manages to inspire me and make me a better person, step by step. There is nobody I rather had on my side. I could not picture a better husband, partner, friend or father for my children on my side. And I am thankful for having met him. Knowing all of this is as sweet as it gets.
I am thankful that the first time we actually met was not what left a lasting impression but rather the second time. Obviously we were just not ready for each other then, we needed a little bit longer to shape into the people, who then finally would connect on a very special level.
Love is such an interesting thing. You think you are in love and you might even think that you met the right person. But then your heart gets broken or maybe you break a heart. Because it was not the right person for you. You were not right for each other. It is such a bad feeling and the word ‘bitter’ does actually describe it so well. And while it might look really hard at that moment, another door will open. Another path will be there for you to take and discover and hopefully one day, when you least expect it, you will meet that one person. And then it all will make sense. You will understand why it was not right before. It will be different.
Now how to explain all this to a child… How explain something you can not really explain to a child so it makes sense? Should I try to explain it at all or just have them go out there and discover?
Soon there will be butterflies all over, the longing to see someone, the wondering if that someone feels the same, the hope that this someone does feel the same. The excitement when this person seems to feel the same and then maybe the heartache, the wobbly knees before the first date. That moment right before the first kiss. So many amazing feelings and moments. Life will be good, it will be fun, it will be exciting and sunny and warm. There will be candles and stars. But then, just around the corner the heartache and the tears might linger. This gut wrenching feeling of missing someone so badly. The feeling of being left, of not being enough. The anger. All those ‘why’s’ nobody can really answer. And then the realization that it was just not meant to be. Suddenly the sunny sky turns dark and all you can think of are storm clouds and the cold.
All those bitter sweet moments that make love so special. The bitter sweet feelings that make life exciting. All there waiting for my kids, waiting to be discovered by them. And I will be there too. For them, in case they need me.