Finding True Love…Again.

Life is a journey. And my life’s roadways have not been straight, mapped nor always paved. In Lemon Twist, I tell a story about a bridge in Costa Rica. It was made of tree branches and wooden pallets and sort of woven together. It was a mess. That was a true bridge and looks like some of the life paths I’ve traveled.

Romantic relationships seem to be a particularly hairy roadway for me. I’m not sure why, but it has been the case. Oh, the stories I could tell you…

And yet despite crazy potholes, deadends and terrifying bridges, I find myself in love again. And yes, I said “again”.

Whoa. Aren’t we only supposed to fall in love once? Isn’t there one true love for all of us? And when you are in love, it lasts.

Forever.

And if it doesn’t, well, it wasn’t love. Or if love is hard or complicated. Well, it must not be real. Real love is easy. Love conquers all and all that.

I disagree.

First of all, we only say this about romantic love. We never say this about other types of love. Love thy neighbors. But only one.

We love all our children. I love my foster children. I love my step son. And though they don’t live with me anymore (nor are they even considered mine anymore), I still love them.

And we don’t say, love your kids, unless it’s hard or complicated because then…

Nor when we have to distance ourselves from other types of love do we discount it all to begin with. I ended a long term friendship with a woman I thought of like a sister. The love I felt for her was real, but that friendship had to end. And when your pastor tells you to get out of your marriage, well…

But somehow we have developed this myth that you can only have one “true” romantic love. And any other love doesn’t matter or wasn’t real.

Now let me say, I’d like that to be true. The idea that I could have fallen in love the first time and had it last forever….well, that would have been so…

lovely.

I first fell in love 30 years ago. And that relationship ended. But I don’t think it means that it wasn’t true. Or right. Or good enough.

Since it was 30 years ago, I can tell you it meant I was too young to know enough about what I felt or who I was to make it last.

I’m not going to list each time I’ve been in love. BUT I have been in love more than once and I don’t believe that because the love didn’t last, it wasn’t true.

Why those other loves didn’t last is a different conversation. A conversation not about love, but timing, circumstances, respect, honesty, faith, addiction and mental illness, safety. To dismiss its end with a dismissal of the love is naive.

And wrong.

And this idea that love is easy? Uncomplicated? Hm. I don’t know anyone who has been in love who felt it was easy. Those who have made it last will tell you it wasn’t easy. My Grandparents made it well over 50 years. And I’ve had serious talks with my Grandma about it. It was not easy or uncomplicated. And yet, there is not a doubt it was love.

And those who have lost it (ahem) will tell you it wasn’t easy either.

So, yes. I fell in love. Again.

I don’t know if it will last.

But I won’t ever say it isn’t love.