Today at my work I had an older man come up to me. I was typing up a paper for my philosophy class, and he interrupted asking, "Using that thing to talk to all your boyfriends?". I laughed and stated the impossibilities of his presumption given the fact I only have one boyfriend.
Then he of course wanted to know how we met...I went on this painfully long and humorous story...and then he decided to tell me his. He and his wife have been married for 60 years this October. I haven't even been living for half as long as that, therefore it is hard for me to fathom what their love has had to endure over the course of those 60 years.
However, one thing is certain...they both are still so in love with each other as ever before. I took a Marriage and the Family class to fulfill a Sociology core requirement my sophomore year of college. The knowledge dispersed on me during this class was very worthwhile, and made me realize how many challenges there truly are in a marriage. Finances, temptations, expectations...they all weigh so heavily into the less than 50% possibility that your marriage will last.
That is just so sad to me. What makes love endure? For me, I see people with a very twisted idea on what love is. They see love as a feeling, as this emotion that makes your happiness peak. Sure that is a type of love, but to me love is so much more than that.
Love is the decision to care for someone with all of your ability regardless of the circumstances. When you truly love someone, you are committed to them...regardless of how hard things may be. You put the other person before yourself. Easier said than done. Yet, in a deep love I feel like passion, friendship, and self-giving (the three loves Eros, Phileas, and Agape) are so closely entwined. You cannot have love without all three.
I feel that is why so many relationships don't last. They jump the gun. They say "I love you" too quickly because of the passion they have for one another. Yet what keeps the relationship together when things get tough? THAT is when you can tell whether someone truly loves you, THAT is when you see their true personality. When you are struggling, does the other person just get up and leave in disregarding you and your needs? Or do they stick it out?
If they leave...they aren't worth it. I promise. Every person deserves someone who loves them completely and looks after their best interest...yet it is also our part to look after the best interest of others' as well.
There are times in relationships where I think it is easy to get caught up in the faults of your significant other. To see things negatively. To let influences sway your decisions on that person. That can fester into something so much greater, that can eventually lead to a struggle and an unhealthy relationship that you are not sure how to fix.
When is it time to walk away?
60 years of marriage is a long time. I am positive they have dealt with loss, financial problems, negativity, temptations, influences...you name it. Their love endured. Not only do I see the commitment love, but I also see how passionate they still are...at 80-something years old...for each other. What a blessing to have that kind of long lasting love. They sure do have it down, and it would be of my best interest to continue learning from such an amazing couple.
Today the older man stated, "I saw her dancing...and knew she was the one. Did you know she's smarter than me?".
His wife replied, "Not very smart on our first date though...I had a Pink Lady (drink) for the very first and last time."
We all laughed...and I sat there and wondered where I will be in 60 years. Will Pat and I ever have that shot? What can I do for him that is more self-giving? If there is a chance that a random guy I met on a cruise can turn into such a great influence on my life...there is a chance that maybe one day, I will be telling someone about how we met in 60 years. This reminded me of a song I thought I'd share...
Let me share some quotes I have found true about love:
There is always the chance, and love comes in unexpected ways...I found these two pictures on Tumblr.
One of the most famous American pictures, and they had never met before.
So today I am holding on to the fact that love endures...
and that Pat and I have that chance to endure.
God bless. Love y'all.
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