Thursday, August 19, 2010

Love and Loving

Many years ago - before the emergence of Facebook and Blogs - I participated in an online forum for those in the media industry.
It was where we went to vent about crazy viewers, reluctant sources and grouchy assignment editors to name a few topics.

Sometimes the conversations got personal. Because it was a place where you could gather many opinions from a variety of people - some folks would toss out a relationship issue or two just to see what other people thought, for validation or discernment.

Let me tell you, I was amazed at what I learned. Men were very forthright about what they thought and what they expected. Sometimes it was shocking, from the "Gee, and I thought I dated @-holes." point of view.

These years later, one exchange still sits with me. Somewhere in the thread someone offered, "If he doesn't love you the way you need to be loved, you're going to have to move on."
A young man piped in, saying, "That doesn't seem right. What if I love someone as much as I am capable of at the moment and it's not enough for her? Does that mean I don't love her? I do. She should just give up on me?"

I don't remember how it went after that. But I think about it every now and then.

Today, I think I have the answer.

See, a friend pointed out that McTwitchy speaks my Love Language. Even more so, it looks like our love languages may be the same, maybe even the same dialect! In the case of Words of Affirmation, it meant a lot to me that he told me he missed me. Truthfully, it sent me over the moon!

I recognize too that it means a lot to me, because I never heard those words, not ONCE from Mr. Burns over three years. Okay, maybe once or twice - but come on!

So that got me thinking about all the effort that I put into that relationship with Mr. Burns - and how it's so clear now that it was never meant to be. I realize now that he couldn't tell me he missed me - because he didn't. He couldn't tell me he loved me - because he didn't. Imagine his frustration when I was more-or-less demanding these things from him and he couldn't even understand those emotions!!?

But you know what - he maybe did love me. Just not how I need to be loved.

I need to be accepted. I need to be cherished. With ease.
Instead, I was told how he wanted me to be (and I'm sure I did the same to him.)
- On an airplane, he wanted me to read the Bible instead of a fitness magazine. I'm obviously not opposed to reading the Bible, but on an airplane I want recreational reading. I felt he judged me for that.
- If I was cracking up over a stupid joke, he just looked at me as if he were embarrassed - of me and for me! I want someone who just loves the fact that I'm laughing.
I asked Mr. Burns to read the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. He did, and it seemed as though he got it. Although when we discussed it, he tried to tell me that my love languages were not what I thought they were. Ladies... there's your sign!

The bottom line, I think - is that someone may love you, but if it's not in the way you need to be loved, you are going to be disappointed. Maybe even miserable.
It doesn't mean that their love isn't valuable or meaningful. It just means that it's not for you.

It's sad. It's heartbreaking.
But you deserve the love of your life.

I deserve someone who loves to hear me laugh, no matter what I'm laughing at. I deserve someone who lets the little things roll off their back. Someone who accepts my explanation for why or how without having to nitpick it to death or demand that we agree on it.

So far, McTwitchy offers me that. The relationship is easy, and comfortable. I understand he may not end up being The One - but he sure is good practice!

We laugh at the same things. He doesn't shy away from my hugs (Mr. B would shrug me off if I clung too long ~ There's another sign ladies!!!) He constantly alludes to my good looks and good figure - and I don't even care if he's making it up!! (Which is a welcome change from someone who kept telling me what to improve.)

It all points to a person who maybe loves me the way I need to be loved. He sure is liking me the right way.


Genevra said...

I couldn't agree more. Naturally speaking the same love language is fantastic. The person being willing to try to communicate love to you in your love language, even if it does not come natural to them because it is not theirs, is also fantastic.

Love only takes you so far if there is not respect and kindness to back it up. Pooh on Mr. Burns. I'm not a fan of his. At all. But I am of McTwitchy. :)

Anonymous said...

So happy that's it's been an easy and comfortable relationship :-)
I got what you were saying and even understood it from some experience too. My experience was with the same person, but by the work of God, that more uptight person also became the easygoing person and the change (which was sustained) made ALL the difference in how comfortable and loved I feel.
Now I can tell you from his own admissions that that uptight person is a sign of a person who has serious relationship issues/scars/secrets to work out. I am certain it is more than an issue of different love language, but also indicative of a love deficiency.
It is def. best that things with Mr Burns didn't work out since that issue hadn't changed.

Jinxie said...

Another friend just asked me today what I wanted from a partner to balance me out. I didn't answer, because I don't know, at least not in words. This post is helping me flesh it out a bit, but I'm still I'm not sure I know. The good news is that I'll probably figure it out as I go along. :)

TRS said...

@ Genevra - Mr. Burns did try to speak my love language. He did, but couldn't get it. And to be honest, I wasn't very good at speaking his either. We really did try.

@ CS - So nice to hear from you! And Bingo on all you just said!

@ Jinxie - glad to help. I certainly don't know it all. But sometimes an example helps.

~ifer said...

In regards to the question the young man asked years ago...

I think timing has so much to do with loving. If you can't love someone the way they need to be loved WHEN they need to be loved, then yes, I think the other person should be free to move on and find someone who can fill their needs. It is possible that in some time, you might grow, you might be able to love that person the way they need to be loved, and it is possible that maybe it would work out for the two of you.

But they shouldn't be made to wait until you grow into that place.

God gave us each a need, and someone to fill that need. And it is a magical wonderful mix of miracles when it works out right.