Looking without seeing. At some point in the relationship we fail to see that our heart’s desire is right in front of us.
After the initial bloom of love has faded and you are into the dog days of the relationship, plodding along with that ever sinking feeling of ennui bearing down on your shoulders, you look up and see your partner. As you sit staring at her you wonder, who the hell is that person?
This can happen at any time. Much like love that can strike from any direction, place, and time. This sudden awakening to the separateness that engulfs you is a shock to say the least. Looking at your partner, I mean really looking, you see things you never saw before. Or, you are seeing them in a new way, and it is not complimentary. The set of her jaw, the tiredness in her eyes, the heavy sigh as she looks over her – what is it she is looking at anyways?
This feeling of distance can happen for any reason, whether it be childbirth, busy-ness, business, lack of taking time to be connected physically and emotionally, or even, just growing in different directions. And when we feel this lack of love we think, I guess I don’t love her anymore.
Depending on the circumstances you will make some choices . . . or not. Maybe you will stay in the relationship because of the kids, or finances, or because you have been in it forever so why change now. But something has died in you. The flame has gone out and you do not rage against the dying of the light.
Some people flee at this point, whether it is three months into the relationship, or thirty years. They say things to themselves like, I can’t stand it, there is no life where there is no love, and what’s the point. These nihilistic statements become the justifications for leaving simply because we are not in touch with our love for the other.
Maybe, it would be better if we conceived of love like a recipe. When out of love, some ingredient must be missing. Without all the ingredients, the meal will never turn out as you know it could and should. But what is missing? In your moment of despair it looks like the cupboard is bare. You have not been shopping for ages and starvation is just around the corner.
If you wait too long you will not have the energy to make the needed changes. You are so weak that a haunted look emanates from your eyes, your shoulders collapse, and hopelessness exudes from every pore. Yes, we need love to feel happy and healthy. However, it is up to us to attain the ingredients, prepare the food, and start cooking.
Like any meal, a little forethought goes a long way. Examining your relationship is easier if you have someone to work in the kitchen with you. If you tell them your ideas for this fabulous meal you want to cook (your relationship) and ask them if they want to partake of this meal, and ask what they think is needed to make it work, and they want to join you in this creation, then dive in and start cooking.
By cooking up your relationship together, you will re-discover how amazing your partner is. You will be pleasantly surprised when she suggests some new spices to add to the old dish. You will delight in her body as she moves about the kitchen with earnestness and confidence. Her smile, as she lifts the lid off the pot and smells the contents, will lift your heart.
Working together, my God, we are working together to prepare this meal. When was the last time we worked together on something? This reminds you of what it used to be like and you start to feel the initial stirring of some emotions in your heart. Not only are you physically close, swirling around the kitchen, but her proximity is setting off a cascade of ancillary thoughts and feeling. You are breathing deeper and, as she turns around and looks at you, she smiles, desire written over her whole being. When was the last time you felt that? The wolf within you is stirring and an aliveness that you haven’t felt in ages erupts from your mouth as you throw back your head and let out a howl. OK, maybe I’m getting a bit carried away, but you get the idea.
Your partner has gone from a lump of clay to the living embodiment of Venus because you decided not to be a victim of the fickleness of love, but a creator of desire and passion in your relationship. You went into the kitchen, turned up the heat, and started cooking. And this is how you make the one your with, the one you love.
NB: In the interests of full disclosure, my wife is a great cook, both in the kitchen and in our relationship.
Photo: Flickr/Tom Wachtel/Look into my