Royal Couple

Westminster Abbey becomes Marital Shabby.

Designer Gown becomes Thorn of Crowns.
Happily Ever After becomes Unmitigated Disaster.

pink yellow thin line

Whether you’re a blue blood or an ordinary O+, relationships are work, and there are no guarantees.

Only hours away from Kate Middleton and Prince William taking their historic trip down the aisle, the world is abuzz with fascination, anticipation, and expectation. And of course the pessimists who are laying bets on how long the union will last (and the impetus behind my mock headlines above).

What are the odds of falling in love with a Prince? Perhaps we should start smaller. What are the odds of you finding your ideal mate (ie, someone you could fall in love with/spend the rest of your life with)? There are lots of different formulas and theories out there, but this one seems most prevalent: 1 in 100.

Here’s the breakdown. Out of every 100 people you meet, you’d likely consider talking to/exchanging contact info with 25 of them. Of those 25, you’d likely consider 5 interesting/desirable enough to date. Of those 5 you date, you would probably fall in love with 1. When you consider the thousands of people one encounters in a lifetime, that’s a solid base of 10 possible love matches. (These odds increase or decrease depending on your amount of sociability―be that at work, school, or play.)

Falling in love is easy. Feeling attracted to someone, enamored with their speech and actions, desirous of their time and attention, missing them when you’re apart; these are heady feelings that heighten your excitement and desire. Staying in like is hard. Seeing someone at their worst, in spirit and deed, bearing the brunt of their shortcomings first-hand, watching traits transition from adorable to annoying. These are realities that are unpleasant and wear on you. They require tolerance, understanding, and adjustment. That means work and effort and creativity.

Sidebar: Even the wording paints a negative picture — “fall in love”. It’s a trip, a stumble, unplanned & accidental. No one likes staying on the ground after biting it, it’s embarrassing. And it’s that much worse if we got hurt doing it.  We are wired to get back up, brush ourselves off, and hold our heads high. We really need a new expression. I vote for “Ascend to love” or “Skip in love”. Deliberate, desirable trajectories with positive connotations.

The real marker isn’t the feeling itself, rather it’s initial intensity. Ever become so hungry you feel like you could eat everything in sight? You start out ravenous, the packet of crackers left by the patron at the next table makes you salivate. Ordering is a challenge, because everything sounds good. You make your selections quickly, easily swayed by sights and smells. The food arrives and you dig in. Mmm, has anything ever tasted so wonderful? Despite valiant efforts, eventually you become sated and put the fork down. The more you take in before stopping, the more unappealing the remaining spread is. Now just looking at this once enticing feast turns you off.  Did the food change? No, your desire for it did. I’m not saying relationships equate to meals. They are night and day, the former having far greater ramifications and intricacies than the latter. I was just making the comparative to strength of feelings, how they change over time, and how those peaks and valleys sway us.

Familiarity breeds contempt. Normal can become boring. It’s difficult to live with someone, day in and day out, see all their flaws and weaknesses, and look at them with pure unadulterated lust. Lust doesn’t judge; it isn’t comfortable or mundane. It is extraordinary and overwhelms you with drive and passion. Nothing that powerful can be sustained at that level over a long period of time. In other words, it’s normal to look at your mate over time and not constantly feel a white-hot searing in your loins. Actually, it’s damn good. People would never get anything done if they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Those hands provide great pleasure, but they also have to put food on the table, clothes on your back, checks in the mail, maintain your home and car(s), raise your children, and care for your sick and injured.

Love is a flame burning bright. But the winds of change and sands of time will regularly blow through, dimming or dousing that fire. The real credit goes to the unheralded candle. There can be no lighting or relighting without that steadfast pillar of support. Metaphorically speaking, the flame is Love; the candle is Like. Wax and wane. It is the spark and light that we’re drawn to, but they will only continue to burn if the foundation beneath remains strong and unyielding.

pink yellow thin line

Intensity and novelty fade away, but in a good relationship, they are replaced by comfort, respect, admiration, and mutual memories. The trick is finding a way to dress up the dull & undesirable. Finding cuteness in quirks, and goodness in goofs. Never forget what made you fall in love with that person, because you need that booster pack when times get tough. If you and your mate can look past each others foibles and weaknesses, and still long to be by each others side, that is Nicholas Sparks gold. Don’t squander your fortune, or keep it locked up like Fort Knox. Dole it out in careful increments throughout your life, and be rich in the way that matters most.

“Desire creates havoc when it is the only thing between two people, or when it is what’s missing.”
~ Mignon McLaughlin

Impassioned by the pen,
Platinum Pink

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