Love is a Lake – (5 Strokes of Survival)

For someone who loves blogging and who loves reading other people’s blogs, I’ve been doing a sucky job of maintaining my own. (Permission to agree granted, just don’t go agreeing with me aloud). It’s not an excuse (honest).  I know exactly why my blog became harder and harder to write. Actually, I didn’t stop writing, I just stopped posting my thoughts. But I digress.

This blog is about love, happy, silly, quirky, funny, sometimes a little cynical, and even a little sad at times, but at the root of the matter there is an undying faith that love will pull though, all will be well and in the end, smiles, grins, kisses and goofy laughter in place, we’d all live happily ever after. 
 
But then my undying faith in love, well, it up and died and died in a most glorious fashion. (Cue violins.) As a result, I had little to blog about. (We can only do for the love of cute shoes and donuts so many times). So while I apologize to the faithful few who kept asking and hoping and cheering me on, who emailed with heart-aching lines to let me know you missed the blog and lost a ‘friend’, the true loss I assure you, was all mine. Blogs about love don’t work in the absence of the main subject. And my love is lost. (Or is hiding out in the witness protection program.)
 
Love is a beautiful thing. It is. I highly recommend it. It is a huge lake of liquid happiness unlike anything else we could ever hope to be so fortunate to experience. Given the chance to fall into it, go ahead. Plunge! Head first. Totally and completely surrender and wallow in it. 
 
But while you’re in there, you’re going to need to do some work. And perhaps this is where many of us go wrong. The focus is often so much on getting into the Love Lake that once you’re in you have no clue what to do. There is no need for all of us to go down together, so let’s see if we can work this out. Because if you dive into the pretty lake, content to tell all you’re in love and then do nothing, you will surely drown. And love will toss your lifeless limbs on the loveless shore to rot. 
 
When embarking on that whole love thing, on entering the warm and shimmery lake immediately start swimming. And to escape drowning at any point in time along the way, keep swimming. Here’s how.

1. Freestyle

When the waters are calm and everything is as it should be, enjoy that time and make the most of it. Immerse yourself in the love lake and each other but be sure to turn your head for air. Alternate how you turn your head to, sometimes look towards the other person at your side and take time to sometimes look away. Time together to build the relationship is just as important as time for yourself to build you. Too often we lose ourselves along the way and much later, in seeking to find that person we lost, we swim apart.

Set your boundaries and stay in lane, don’t let other swimmers cross your path or it will impede your flow. Keep each other in sight and safe, swim happily on together. This is the sweet part, why you got together in the first place. Remember these precious happy times and keep a mental list tucked away safe in your heart for the rainy days. If the tides shift, you can pull them out, dust them off, smile and swim on.

2. Backstroke

Keep communication flowing. The backstroke is a beautiful technique. You can breathe easily, look at the blue sky and feel the warm sunshine on your cheeks while gliding with easy strokes through the water. Nice as it is to swim sunny side up though, you can’t see what you are swimming into, so a companion to guide you with some verbal instruction is beneficial. Talk to each other.

Be honest, open and sharing. But all the while keep in mind it goes both ways, so be a good listener too. Don’t be judgemental or overly critical when giving your opinion and give your opinion. We may act like we have it all together sometimes but we don’t and feedback helps work things through and removes that lonely isolated feeling. Confide and be a good confidante. If the person you are with is not comfortable confiding in you, rest assured they will eventually find someone else to confide in.

Oh and ‘confidante’ should immediately convey the impression that intimate conversations between partners should remain confidential, but in case that escaped you then I’d like to point out that what is shared between two should stay between only two or you’ll be swimming in choppy waters.(Or in the witness protection program.)

3. Breaststroke

All days aren’t sunny ones and no one likes to gaze upon grey cumulonimbus while a torrential downpour slams you in the face. You will have your individual challenges and though sorting out your own is one thing, dealing with someone else’s issues can be harder. Fortunately you can help each other through the rough stuff. That’s just what a partner is for. But it is easier to get to your destination if you have it in sight, so there are times to turn over and indulge awhile in a breaststroke. Look ahead. Keep swimming. Those happy memories you tucked away before will come in handy now to help you stay focused on the destination.

This swimming technique requires that you keep your chin up, so please do. Stay positive and try to have a happy outlook. Emotions are contagious so what you give out you should get back. Talking helps, start there. Backstroke a bit.

4. Lay Float

Sometimes though when it rains it really pours and you may need to take a time out and re-evaluate. Seek counselling if you can’t work it out between yourselves. Your counsellor should be a trained professional that isn’t a friend, relative or in-law of any kind. (Just saying.) How you take your time out is your choice, take some time out together or take some out apart. Bear in mind though that during that time you are not swimming in your love lake and just lay floating around, if you float for too long you are going to catch cramp, so it is advisable to get back to swimming quickly. If all you can muster is to tread water some days then go for it, but do something to get the relationship back on track.

5. Break for the Shoreline

Your relationship will take you through a variety of swimming styles and external conditions will mean you’ll swim in varying currents. When the waters are really rough, you will need to rescue each other. However, if the waters are more rough than calm, I am very much a believer in rescuing yourself. Know when you are too tired to swim any longer and just get out the water, head for shore.

I for one am standing on shore and I am quite content to be here, but I’ve got all my swim gear on, ready to run and hit off into the lake again should the opportunity arise. All I need now is the right swim partner to join me. (Sharks need not apply.) The shore is not such a bad place to be. There are plenty of us here and there’s a BBQ going.

But if your lake is calm and your strokes are steady, stay in and swim on. And whatever you do, keep swimming.

Love Lost (Or Valentine’s Sucks)

If you ask me, falling in love is a highly over-rated concept. I’d much rather fall into something useful. Like Oreos. Or M&M’s. Definitely M&M’s. (With almonds). But of course, no-one is asking me.

So here we are, in the month of love. (Blah, blah, blah). Gone is the celebration of one sainted day, now we celebrate every day in February, (or so we are supposed to believe), a whole month of love. I prefer December, the month of ham and rum. But there again, no-one was asking my opinion.

By now you may have determined I’m a bit grumpy about the whole thing and it’s only day two. It’s all the hand-cut paper hearts in the retail stores and the website pop-ups of the Miracle-Grow-fed, English, red roses. All that mushy stuff gets me down. Why? Because it’s not real. The whole thing is about as true as Pamela Anderson’s boobs, Jessica Simpson’s intelligence or Paris Hilton’s hair. That’s right, it’s all fake. This, the-sponsored-by-Hallmark month, is not about love.

We have forgotten how to love each other.

We have forgotten the little things. Please, thank-you, have a nice day. A polite nod, a soft smile. Waiting for the other person to reply before walking away, when someone took the time to ask “how are you?”.

We don’t know our neighbours. Shucks, we hardly know our friends. And the new concept of a family gathering is a group chat via mobile device.

We have forgotten the kind things. Giving to charity. Feeding the hungry. Clothing the homeless. Reading to the children at your local library and taking the time to make Billy Goat Gruff sound, well, gruffy.

We only volunteer for points, give for discounts and buy pets from fancy pet stores while the adoption centre at the RSPCA would gladly give you Bucket (the dog that looks suspiciously like a rat) for free.

We have forgotten the classic things. Central locking has somehow replaced opening the car door for the other person. Pulling out a chair. Flowers just because. Home burnt dinner by candle-light. Breakfast in bed. (Cereal does not count). An honest compliment. A kiss on the wrist. Even a postcard brought to you by grinning mail-man (because you know read he read it on the walk over), has disappeared with the birth of the text message.

We simply forgot.

Yet, (thankfully), a few of us still remember it all. I don’t know my neighbors, but otherwise, I think I’m on the right track. And if I can drag a few of you along, I think we can really make a difference. We’re going to do it all. (And we’re not even going to wear red. Or a cape.) The little things that make for a good day. The kind things that make a good day for others. And the classic things that make for wild romances and sometimes even make someone fall in love.

Ok, so maybe falling in love isn’t so bad. But the truth is, if we can get the rest of it right too, then we’d really have something worth falling for. If we can remember to love each other, honestly, in little ways, kind acts and classic gestures, not just this month, but all the time, then that would be just, well, lovely.

Keeping Affairs to Yourself

Have you had an affair recently? Before you act all astonished that I had the audacity to ask and before you launch into a long-winded self-righteous response filled with offence and exasperation, let us be sure you understand me clearly.

Featured imageI think from my initial question you are of the opinion that I am suggesting you have had an affair. You know, cheated. Well as a matter of fact, I am. (Yes, I said it). What I want to know is if you have done it (again) recently, within the last year. Still can’t believe I asked? I still can’t believe you think you are innocent. Because believe or not, you have had an affair. At some point. Disagree? Let’s call a truce. Perhaps if we better understand each other, we can mutually agree, I am right.

In order to establish that you have had an affair at some point, we will first need to determine what an affair is. How silly, since we all know what an affair is already. Do we?

In layman’s terms an affair is cheating, two-timing, being unfaithful, having a fling, a little hanky-panky on the side, messing about, or (my personal favourite) ‘ringing a horn in someone’. But in more definitive terms, having an affair is having an amorous or intimate relationship with someone other than the person you are (already) in a committed relationship with. So, if you are having an intimate need fulfilled by someone other than the person you are with, you are cheating. With me so far? Because the meat of the matter here is that you don’t need to be having sex to be having an affair. (Aha!) And that right there is how you just got caught.

We all want different things out of relationships, but some of the basic things we are all looking for, are more or less the same. This must be true or otherwise we would all still be single. So let us cover some of the basic necessities. And while we are at it, let us look where your relationship’s needs are being met. And at who is really meeting them.

Like Super-glue (or a Paris Hilton Weave) – Bonding / Time

First things first, in order to be in a relationship we are going to need to relate to each other. That means we are going to have to get to know each other and then we have got to bond. We will talk and spend quality time, and chat about and do just about anything and everything together. In the early stages of relationships this is easy. It is when you have been together for awhile you have to work at this. Date night helps. And don’t forget to do the little things like leave ‘I love you’ messages in your partner’s hand bag or briefcase. Above all, keep talking to each other.

But with all the ways we stay socially connected, Facebook, chat-rooms, Facetime (and so on), if we are not careful we can easily spend more time talking to other people than we spend talking to our spouse. Worse still, you can easily build relationships with special ‘friends’ who share a common interest. And before you know it, you have got another relationship blossoming in the left wing.

If you take a moment and think of who you chatted with most in the last 30 minutes, (smile) and if that person you just thought about, (who made you smile), is not your partner, you have started cheating. You have started the basic cultivation of a relationship with someone else. Sure, that relationship may stay right where it is, in the ‘safe friendship’ zone, but if you continue to nurture it with time and build bonds, it can take a very different direction.

“well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded – Diana, Princess of Wales”
Cathy Lowne, Speeches That Changed The World

Feel Good Factor – Emotional

Your relationship should fulfil you emotionally. The person you are with should be the person who effortlessly and always makes you feel good, feel good about all kinds of things and mostly, about yourself. He or she should be your bowl of favourite ice-cream on a hot day and when you are with them, it should seem as if suddenly (even if briefly), all is right with the world.

When you have a bad day are you still turning to your significant other for comfort? If instead you are logging on and laughing up with someone else, you are probably not on the right track. That emotional fulfilment is coming from elsewhere and ‘elsewhere’ may not be where you want to be.

Who’s Your Daddy? – Nurturing / Protection

Remember the night you came home from work and vented to your spouse about that so-and-so no-good dimwit you work with, who did such-and-such and really ticked you off? And your loving protective partner’s reply was ‘that fool did what?’. And then without them needing to say another word you instantly felt better. Remember? That was because you knew that person had your back. We need that. We need to know the person we’re sharing our lives with, will be in our corner and that they will be supportive, encouraging and sometimes appropriately inappropriate on our behalf.

This is one trait that is best revealed with time. As the relationship progresses you’ll know how protected and secure you feel with this person from their repeat performances.

If your go-to person has shifted, you have already invested time and emotion on the outside. You should understand by now that you have got a nice little affair going, but if you are looking to keep the relationship you are in from being on the out, this is a good place to stop and just cancel your subscription.

There Is Only One Usain Bolt – Priority Status

Your partner should be your number one person, the priority in your life that demands and receives the majority of all your best. Your investments are banked here, with this person. They come first, all the time, every race. They receive the most of your time, affection, love, protection, support, care, all of it.

And when I say all, I mean it in a sensible way. Who wants all of your day time but none of your night? It must be balanced, although we do recognize it has to be fair to all involved. Here by all, I only mean two of you.

If your partner receives most of your time and most of your support but the least of your flirtations, you still fail. Grade F. So if you think that just because you and your ‘friend’ are not rolling around in the proverbial haystack (yet), it means exchanging those hot and spicy texts is not a problem, think again. You’re just one step away from making your affair a legitimate reason for a class-action suit. And if Tiger Woods can’t win, neither can you. You catch my drift.

The Barry White CD – Sexual

Let’s be frank, your partner has to fulfil you sexually. You can decide how much you need in that area to make it work for you. But if it isn’t working on some level, fix it. Fast. Because if you don’t, you have opened the door wide for your new ‘friend’ to become your new improved ‘friend’ with benefits.

After the first sexual interaction with the other person, (the other person being the one you are not in a relationship with), you know without a doubt you are having an affair. Usually this key point is where most people recognize they have gone astray.

The sexual affair is commonly considered ‘the affair’ and they are some who will challenge that everything before sex, is just foreplay. We will get back to those critics in a minute.

As we have all come to learn from the whole Bill and Monica saga, (Clinton still rocks), loose definitions of sex will come back to haunt you. So to clarify when I refer to having a sexual affair, I’m including all the fun and even somewhat sketchy types of sex. Oral sex, penetration, phone sex, text sex, chat sex, if one (or both) of you climaxes from it, in my book sex occurred. Clear?

And for those of you who think that as long as sex is absent, you have not done anything wrong, I say only this. If that were true, the global divorce rate would be a whole lot lower. Instead, divorce is suspiciously high. Because it seems that even in the absence of sex, your sordid emails, texts, messages, photos and whatever else was uncovered, still hurt. It seems your partner can still end up broken-hearted, when they did not actually catch you in the act.

“He wasn’t yours to get hurt by. He was someone else’s and you knew that, so why are you offended? What right do you have to be hurt when you were a part of the deception (lying by omission)?” ― Donna Lynn Hope

Think of if this way. If the roles were reversed and the person being cheated on was you, at what point would you no longer be comfortable? Would it matter less that your parter is involved with someone else if no sex occurred? Or would somewhere inside tingle a little, would a little sleep be lost, would a meal or two be missed, from the first too-long phone call in the middle of the night? In other words, when it’s happening to you, when exactly to you define the start of the affair?

So did you have an affair recently? Ok, I concede, there’s a chance you haven’t. But I’m pretty sure that now we have talked about it, you have had one at some point. It’s okay though, keep your affairs to yourself. You don’t have to tell me. After all, I’m sure not telling you.

There’s A Con In Our Conversation

So you’ve met someone. Not just anyone, someone really special. Someone you believe you can wander through this crazy maze of a world with, who will help you to make sense of the insane and share the wonderful, the worrisome and the weird with you. It’s a lovely thing.

And then, all of a sudden, out of the clear, blue sky, that person you met becomes the person they are and the two aren’t the same person. You have been deceived. Swindled. Tricked. Conned.

It’s the fault of our elders really. Our parents and grandparents and teachers and mentors aren’t honest with us from the start. Between the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the wide world of Disney, by the time puberty kicks in, you’re as confused as a cat in a dog fight. Nothing is really what it seems, if it’s real at all. The Tooth Fairy was Mum. Santa Claus was Dad. (Sorry. I thought you knew by now). And that frog in the backyard won’t become a prince no matter how many times you kiss him. (I should have told you sooner). Even the clear, blue sky I referred to earlier seeks to betray you. Surely the sky cannot be both clear, lacking in color and blue, a primary color. (Hmm.) You see the con begins from early.

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In the relationship, the con starts from that very first conversation. When you first said hello you used your best Marilyn Monroe, or Barry White impression. Because we know you don’t really sound like that. You laughed at their jokes, which we know aren’t really funny. You praised your boss, loved your neighbor’s dog and said your tennis level was just a ball shy of a Williams sister. You twisted the truth a little. You bent it. You lied. Call it what you like, that’s what you did. And don’t bother to tell me you didn’t because that would be a lie in itself and only prove my point.

It’s ok though. No harm in it. (Or so they say). Because once you got to know each other and the love started to bloom, it all worked itself out. The little twists and bends straighten themselves. And later when your real tennis skill level is revealed, your little white lie becomes something you’ll both recall and laugh at when you meet mid-court by the net. Those initial and little fibs are not a big problem, just don’t keep them going. If you’ve been in the relationship for awhile and still can’t say what those shoes really cost, or where you really were at 3am, you need to rethink what you want from the relationship. Flat out. But later, when you know each other, it’s not so much about what you said. Oh no. The real problem by now is what you don’t say. (Ummhmm). That secret you’ve been keeping. This, is the real con. What you don’t say in the conversations. And if you keep on keeping that secret, that beautiful future you’ve been building for two, can end up fit for one.

Let’s set some boundaries. We’re going to need to clear up what a big secret is. Because let’s be honest with each other, some things you’re meant to keep to yourself. You’re not in the practice of doing anything to deliberately hurt yourself. Part of two becoming one, is that this person is now part of you, so you wouldn’t do anything to deliberately hurt that person either. I believe there are some things you don’t need to say, ever. This applies to telling your partner things about themselves which will hurt, but they can’t change anyway. In other words, you’ve highlighted a hurtful problem without a solution and neither of you is any better for it. For example, if his equipment (sniffle), is more weed-whacker (blush) than a 17 horsepower, 4-wheel steering, 2-pedal hydrostatic, rust-proof riding mower (cough). To me it’s not necessary to say, but this is where you (chalk in hand) need to draw your own moral boundaries, I’m not touching that one. (Pun intended).We’re talking the big stuff. The stuff that day time programming is made off. The ‘my credit can’t get me a loan for a pencil’, ‘I did drug rehab’, ‘it’s not your baby’, (Maury, you need a new punch line) and ‘I was born a male’ type of stuff. You always tell the truth about your sexual status, your sexual partners (how many, who is up to you), your sexual preferences, your finances, your expectations and ambitions, your recreational habits (the negative ones), your religious beliefs, your triggers (what turns you on and off, non-sexual) and your definition of family (4 children, 3 dogs, 2 cats and a pig).

Now while most people when asked will say they lie to shield their partner from hurt, but if you’re ever caught in that lie, the hurt you both feel will only be a part of the problem. You’ll then have trust issues to deal with as well. And by the time you add feelings of betrayal, (theirs), guilt, (yours), anger, disappointment and heartache (shared), you have got yourself one great, big, flushable, hot mess.

So what’s to be done? Surely I’m not expecting you to tell the truth? Well actually, yes.  If there’s any chance that secret can come back to haunt you, tell. (The whole truth?). That’s the idea. Out with it. You’ll sleep better. But since it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, let’s see if I can help. (Ahem).

Before you open the closet, know why you’re coming out. You can’t undo hurt. So remember, if it’s not on the must tell list and neither person benefits from the knowledge, you may want to get a combination lock for the closet door and just leave it in there.

But once you’ve decided to share, plan ahead. You don’t want to drop the bomb just by the way. Know what you want to say and how you want to say it. Be prepared for all the follow-up questions that are sure to come. If you write it down, this helps some people, do not leave your note-pad on the dining room table by accident.

Location, location, location and timing has got to be right. This is all part of your planning. Don’t do it in a public place. It could turn into a disastrous embarrassment for you both. Choose a time when you both have clear calendars for awhile. Give yourself time to tell, time for you both to talk and time to determine the steps to recovery.

Be ready to give the other person space. Depending on how big the bomb is, that might be physical as well. It’s a dilemma you’ve brought to the table, so the couch is yours. Or the hotel room. Just don’t expect things to return to normal overnight. If there’s something the two of you enjoy doing together but alone (just the two of you), it may be a good time to do it. Hiking, fishing, tennis. But don’t purchase two first-class tickets and plan a second honeymoon as a surprise. This will not only invade the other person’s recovery period, it may cost you a good non-refundable penny if the other person doesn’t want to see you for bit.

Serve notice.  You didn’t plan the what, the where and the when only to slip up now on the warning. You’re going to have to let the other person know you have a secret to tell. Let them know it’s something major and when you want to have the discussion. Be ready to do it immediately if there is persistence, but if you can, and this is preferred, allow at least a few hours for the other person to be mentally and emotionally prepared.

In stressful situations we tend to improvise, don’t, stick to the script. At least in the beginning. Ask beforehand to be given the opportunity to explain everything in detail before answering questions. Talk to your partner though, not at them.

Now is not the time to cast blame, take responsibility. This will be difficult enough for your spouse without them having to hear that they caused the problem. So when giving that detailed explanation, remove all occurrences of the word ‘you’. There is a good chance that you will be asked who is to blame directly, think this through in advance and know what you want to say.

There may be expletives. Know in advance that you will be a pestilence spat up from the bowels of Hades upon the face of the earth. Or something not so creative but equally as harsh. Anticipating this in advance will help you not to be surprised when the onslaught begins. And there will be an onslaught. But try not to retaliate or cast blame. Remain calm. Don’t argue. This will be their time to vent. There is a lot of confusion, hurt and anger and any retaliation on your part will hamper the resolution.

Have your suggestions for how you plan to move forward ready. What are the resolutions. But, and this is a big but, you may not be able to fix this. It may take days, weeks, months or even years for full healing to occur. And sometimes, that healing never comes. Don’t expect the worse, love conquers all (I believe this and I’m a pessimist) but be prepared for it. That first-class ticket money may be put to good use with some professional counselling.  If all else fails, there’s ice-cream. Good luck.

In Sickness

Traditional wedding vows. The beauty of rhythmic poetry combined with such deep passion and sincerity of heart in the most melodious form, as to make the even the hard-hearted shed a tear at the sound. You can decide whether that shed tear is one of joy, or if it be in condolence to the poor sods that utter said vows to each other. I go with the latter.  (You’ll recall I’m a pessimist). 
The good stuff mixed in there is pretty good.  ‘To have and to hold’, ‘for better’, ‘for richer’, ‘in health’, ‘to love’, ‘honor and cherish’, is quite frankly, some powerful stuff. And simply pretty, to boot. Makes you think of running through fields of daisies dressed in white to an Abba sound track. Like a fabric softener commercial. If this was the essence of marriage more of us would take the plunge, feet first and be it for the long haul too. ‘Till death do us part’, would be a breeze. But it’s not that simple. And for most of us, it’s always the other part of the vows that seem to be the reality. The not so good stuff. You know, the ‘for worse’,’ for poorer’ and ‘in sickness’ parts. 

So how do you take a whole lot of the not so good stuff and just a little bit of the good stuff and still make it till death do us part?  ‘In sickness’ is the key. 

‘For worse’ is guaranteed. There will be bad times, you expect that, but in those bad times be happy, because there are worse times ahead.  You’ll need to really remember those ‘for better’ times and hold firmly to those memories. Keep a journal if it helps. Better yet, turn those bad times into something good. It’s not as impossible as it sounds. Just look for the good in the situation and focus on that. One of you left the toilet seat up and the other fell in? What a wonderful time to spend the day at the spa for an invigorating body scrub. One of you lost a job and feeling a bit down about it? More time to spend having picnics at lunch. You get the general idea. This is the easy stuff of course, but if you break the harder stuff down into manageable portions, it can be just as simple. More or less.
Anna Nicole married for love. (Stop rolling your eyes, she did). So did you.  And so did I. Fortunately for her love came with a mansion or 4, limitless credit cards, a yacht, designer clothing, a walk-in shoe closet (shivers up my shine with envy) and some jewels here and there. For us, love just came. But make do best as you can. Work hard, save harder and spend wisely but willingly. Just don’t forget to save, you may need something to pull out your hat (other than a rabbit) for the doctor, when that pesky ‘in sickness’ part kicks in. But here is where we separate the men from the mice.
I was sick recently. Nothing major (or so they tell me, I felt quite rotten but I’m not the expert). And as far as vows go, to me nothing truly says ‘I love you’ like rubbing someone’s back while they throw-up. If you heaved at the mere thought, you’re probably single. (Now you know why). To me ‘in sickness’ is the ‘for worse’ of the bad. You can be broke and happy. It’s been proven. Ask me for details. But sick and happy, not really. When you can look someone in the face with their eyes all puffy and red, no mascara, snot around the nostrils, still kiss ‘em on the cheek and say ‘good morning gorgeous’, well then you’ve got this relationship thing nailed.  Some out there are wondering, is it that simple? You bet it is. (Thank me later).  Have, hold, love, cherish and rub my back with Vicks. Ahhh. Happily ever after…

I do

Love. – noun: a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. So says dictionary.com But it’s much more than that isn’t it?

It’s that funny feeling in your stomach, kind of like one too many prunes, but not quite. That lightness of the head, quickening of the heart, the removal of all sense and reason. A constant smile, a soft sigh, a burst of laughter. Irrational, illogical and ecstatic. Ready to throw-up yet?

Before you get the wrong idea, yes, I’m a pessimist. Oh I believe in love just like most of you. I do. It’s the length and sincerity of it that I question. It all starts off ok. Person meets person, they date, laugh, eat a few meals together and before you know it, fall in love. Sensible ones stay there but others get carried away. You know what I mean. Get engaged, plan a debt, I mean wedding, they get married (if it’s legal where you are), put an aquarium in the living room and rescue a dog. It’s beautiful. Stay with me now, cause this is where reality sets in. And then after that first blissful year, farts ain’t funny no more…

Don’t let me discourage you. Fall in love! Go for it. Just be aware that “till death do us part” might be a longer time than you think. 

It isn’t a bed of roses and if anyone tells you it is, remember that roses still need pruning to stay pretty. In other words, it takes work. And lots of it. 

But other than that, if you like the flavour of Pepto Bismol, waking up at random hours of the night with the sheets gone, find your own company boring and you think the person you are reading this to, you can’t live without, my friend, marriage is for you.