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What is love? How do you find love? What does love feel like?

What is love?

It’s the void you try to fill with another soul–the multifaceted fairytale we all dream of, even if we don’t believe in traditional happy endings.

As a fiercely independent, successful, single young female I get asked this question a lot, and ask myself this question frequently.  What is love?

Well it’s obviously a different answer depending on the person.  My sister-in-law and I shared a very awesome evening talking about this subject matter -something we’ve never gotten to do.  Her and my brother are happily married with three young kids.  I say happily as they still hold hands; she makes his coffee, they have sex frequently…and every so often you catch them giving each other that private look.

One of my best guy friends, someone I deeply treasure and enjoy – finally found his soul mate it appears after many long phone conversations about how women were assholes- and their sole purpose on the planet was to destroy men.  I can’t count the conversations we had analyzing women and men and human relationships.  Now?  He’s happy.

One of my other best girlfriends made the good point the other night when I asked her if she was happily married.  “What does that mean?  I’m not sure I know what that means.”  Good point, especially when I couldn’t answer her question.  Does that mean they still have sex?  Does it mean they don’t imagine cheating? Does it mean they’re simply content with their everyday lives?  Or does it go as far as to mean that you can’t live without that other person?

I’m 33 years old.  I feel like I’m at such an amazing place-I feel more confident, successful, and beautiful then ever.  I’ve been married; have two awesome young children, and am happily divorced.  As I’ve dived into the dating world the last few years, I’ve learned something.  Something I maybe knew growing up, but didn’t entertain to it’s fullest extent-mostly because I wasn’t at my fullest extent: love is an anomaly; it only means it’s true meaning to those that speak the vowels within the word; to those that actually spell it out on paper or dream it at night…those that are brave enough to trust and believe in it.

You learn quickly when you need no one, that no one suddenly needs you, either.  Men pretend to fancy the idea of a beautiful, young, successful and independent young woman, especially after dating needy, desperate females that have portrayed themselves to be anything but what they truly are: determined.  Determined to marry and bed down their men for their future brood.  It’s disgusting to me really-that my generation of women is so caught up in making their life goal to marry a rich man; instead of furthering their own education and/or doing something they eternally love and that brings them fulfillment; all on their own.  It’s crazy to me-but that’s exactly what many men want.  Despite pretending to love my kind, men need to feel needed. They need their ego, no matter how tiny or large…to be stroked.  You see ladies, this is where those evil, little (determined!) bitches have trumped me: YOU are what men want and have wanted all along.

I date, just enough to know that I hear the same thing every time.  “You work so much? How refreshing that you are so busy! I love that you travel.  I love your independence.  You are so beautiful, I love knowing I’m dating a woman many men want.  You don’t need a man?  I love that you can take care of yourself.”

Ha! All lies!  Well at least in general…there are some exceptions to the rule…like those single independent ladies who know when to let down the strong front and make their man feel like a man (can you please give me a lesson???), or the men, I know a few, who truly treasure and can handle a woman who handles her own – because they’re so confident in themselves and don’t doubt their own abilities; they need a woman that can do the same.

My other best guy friend told me the other day – “Girl, guys are simple creatures.  You have to tell them what you want.  They don’t read minds.”  I shook my head agreeing.  You see I’ve known this for years.  Which is why, date one, I’m clear – “I’m divorced.  I don’t want to get married again.  I have kids, and I don’t want anymore.  I have a great job, and am successful and busy.  Not only do I not need your money, I don’t want it.  And more importantly, I have a packed schedule and am very social. Can you handle this?” Thinking I would weed out the losers right off the bat.  The messed up part?  They eat that right up.  Re-read the paragraph above…blah, blah, blah.  “Really? You are our dream girl. Let’s get married.  Tomorrow.”  Seriously.

Today I had a conversation at work with a few brilliant, beautiful-successful young women.  We were in agreement -I may indeed, be single forever.  And I’m cool with that…  because love is a portrait I cannot paint.  I’ve dated some pretty awesome dudes and am still having the opportunity to enjoy doing so (add a douche I’ve had to experience here and there-because; hey, we’re all guilty) and the outcome is typically the same: Challenge #1; break her independence.  Next, kill her stubbornness. Then; make her yet another selfless, opinionless, spineless…needy female.

The best part is that they actually think they can do this.  Challenge of a lifetime…

So, the million dollar question still is – what is Love?

I think love is the Lifetime movie you watch at night.  It’s the rare occasion that two people spend a lifetime together, and maybe it’s not passionate, but one dies shortly after the other because they can’t imagine life apart.  It’s having three kids together and still wanting to get dirty between the sheets late at night.  It’s the Repunzel, the Sleeping Beauty or the Brave of Disney. It’s a connection you finally feel with someone, after feeling emptiness with all the others.  That’s love. ~T

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