Find the place where we escape
Take you with me for a space
The city buzz, sounds just like a fridge
I walk the streets through seven bars
I had to find just where you are
The faces seems to blur, they’re all the same
Half the time the world is ending
Truth is I am done pretending
Gavin Rossdale, Love Remains the Same
I’ve been in love three times in my life. Not including puppy love or crushes, or anything that went unrequited (which I consider to be infatuation at best). Funny thing is, I have found each of those three experiences to be not quite, but almost completely unlike one another. This intrigues me, now that I think about it.
So I guess I should start with where they were not completely unlike. In each instance there was spending time together, sharing stories and experiences and life. There was that sense of caring about anothers well-being, even to the detriment of my own. (I’m working on that, but I expect to a certain degree that’s what love is defined by.) There was sex, and more important; intimacy. And there was the sense of building a life together. This, in my case, is where each one fell apart. Without going into depth, this has lead me to understand that the most important factor in any relationship (whether intimate or within a community) is that each person is following their own path and yet things work out for them to do so together. I discussed this, in a much more raw form than I now see it, some months back in Walk with Me.
So back to these instances of love that I have experienced. With Eddie it was all about passion. In every sense that this can be invoked. And probably part of our problem, because once passion is unleashed it is hard to restrain – or even to want to restrain, in some ways. As a result, we made love passionately, but we also fought passionately. Hell, we went to the grocery store passionately. It became exhausting.
In another case, the relationship was defined by companionship. Shared goals and aspirations, shared interests. But over time, the friendship diminished. The shared goals and aspirations turned out to not be shared. I don’t want to say it was all a lie. I think at one time it was true, but it became not true long before we accepted the fact.
The third case was about joy. Simply being happy in the now. When we were together I didn’t need anything, I didn’t miss anything, whatever happened or didn’t happen was fine, life was just… good. I don’t know where that one would have gone – various complications put an end to it before it began. Because of that, I think this one has gotten stuck in my head as an ideal to aspire to. Perhaps not in a bad way – there are worse things to look for than a person that simply makes you happy to be. But because it didn’t play out, there is no corresponding difficulty associated in my mind. Idealism, I’m really not a fan. But whatever.
The thing is, thinking about all this has brought me back to that question of what is eros?, once more. Like I said at the beginning, I think underlying everything else will always be this caring for someone more than yourself. But beyond that? Maybe beyond that is whatever you need and want in your life right now. And so each experience will always be unique – not only because of the unique individuals involved, but simply because at different points in your life, different wants, needs, priorities define not only who you are but also whom you are looking for.
Of course, I may think about this again in another year and come up with a different answer. But that’s okay. I think asking the question ow and again is useful in and of itself.