Love is often represented as sacrificial in classical literature. Starting from “Romeo and Juliet” lovers go through extensive sufferings and jump multiple hoops to be with each other. They don’t stay together for long, break up shortly after or even die. Love does not come easy, it demands sacrifices, agony and perpetual misery for a short moment of happiness that never lasts.
In my youth I read a lot of books about that hard, sacrificial love, and for a long time, my love was just as full of drama, tears, and farewells. It seemed as if without them, it wasn’t love at all, but frivolous romance. Luckily I saw the light, or simply grew tired of suffering. Love for me now is a quiet joy, with no sacrifices.
I’m 45, and I like to be cynical at times. I like to say that I do not believe in love, romance, and eternal happiness. I do not hesitate to inform them of my likes and dislikes. I tell them off without hesitation as well. Periodically I run a self-check – did my heart turn to stone or the soul has shrunk? After all, back in a day I could wait for days for a single text to arrive, or take off to the end of the world following his call. I did not hesitate to buy expensive gifts, if only to please him, or cook meals based on my beloved’s preferences. I bugged friends with endless, “What exactly did he mean by this?”
Naturally, “he” was different at different times: some I loved, some I lived with, some I was just in love with, and some hopelessly in love with. The feelings evoked by the male figures in my life were always governed by “I am to do anything for love”. This willingness has passed by now, does it mean though that the ability to love did as well?
In our youth we are looking for ourselves, often to painful extents. By the age of 18-25 we represent rather something raw. How can we know what we are like, where our limits are without pushing them and trying various things? Therefore, in the beginning, we eagerly rush into any experiments – with our image, career, sex, and love.
After 25 we build a certain frame of education and professional experience, and hit bumps with sex and love. We are not as unrestrained in our experiments, more specific in our goals. Some of us are already married and have children, or begin to build relationships with those prospects in mind. We already have some understanding about life but still have very little understanding of ourselves. We still get our desires mixed up with the desires of society. We substitute love with sacrifice. We often believe that men need to be pleased, or else they will be offended and leave.
Maturity brings true knowledge of ourselves. After the “blind” youth, living “for someone,”we begin to finally live for ourselves.
This does not mean that we do not need anyone. That we have become successful, self-centered, self-sufficient loners. No.
Just like when we were 20, we want love, passion, we want relationships. We simply understand that a healthy relationship is reciprocal. Either the man has the same desires and priorities as we do, or they don’t stay in our lives for long. In the words of Omar Khayyam “I do not need someone who does not need me.”
Therefore, I DO NOT anymore:
1. Wait for the men’s calls or texts. I either write them myself, or delete the contacts of those who are too busy to text “I’m sorry, can’t talk now, will call ASAP”.
2. Go on a date, if the time and place don’t fit my schedule. For the date to be joyous, it should be convenient to both. If a man is not interested in either convenient time or place for a women, he is generally not interested in a woman. And such a man I have no interest for.
3. Forgive the absence of gifts for my birthday and other important occasions. I like men who like to spend money on a woman that they like, i.e. me. Financially stringent people are usually stingy with everything else. Inattentiveness to the dates important to me is inattentiveness to the person as a whole. Those whom we are in love with, we want to pamper and please. All that is important to him becomes important to us. If you don’t pay attention, or forget, or don’t think it’s important – you can forget my number too.
4. Look for justification for men who are not accomplished and successful. This does not mean that I only need money from a man. But poor love is not exactly the story of life of a mature woman. We had our shot at poor and pure love back when we were 20 and 30. In our 40s we already have personally built a comfortable life and not ready to compromise there.
5. Keep quiet about what I do not like. I obviously don’t engage in endless nagging. But there are things that the other person does not know just because he is the other person. If I do not like speeding, it scares me, I will not keep quiet or show pretend admiration. I calmly say, “Slow down, please, I’m nervous and I’m scared.”
6. Get scared to ask any questions. I am just as ready to answers any myself. In our youth, we are afraid to clarify shady moments, as we do not want to make a man feel uncomfortable, to stress or offend a man. But it is precisely this lack of clarity that then creates a wound within ourselves. I do not want injuries anymore, so all dot all the Is from get go.
7. Do man’s laundry. I do not like to do laundry. It’s a huge burden and I no longer do anything for a man that is a burden to me. If he loves me – he will do the laundry himself.
8. Take sex for love. Sex may be associated with love, and it as well may not be. Love for me is to do laundry, to be silent with me in the morning because in the morning I do not like to talk, to remember the name of my cat, and how many sugars I take with my coffee, to bring a bouquet of fresh cut flowers, to come and quietly fix a running faucet. If all of this is absent and there is just sex – it means we just fuck buddies.
9. Get jealous of man’s friends or work. Or children from previous relationships. If a man loves me, he finds time for me. He includes me into his busy schedule of meetings, trips, football with friends or fishing with his son. Because I also live a fulfilled, busy life. If we both find time for each other – it means everything is OK, we have a relationship. If I am the only one who strives to find time, and the man is busy all the time, it’s a clear sign I need to look for someone else to form a relationship.
10. Try to look my best for the sake of men. On the contrary, at the 1st meeting I can be even more straight forward, more cynical, and unflattering. I do not hesitate to talk about my problems or difficulties. Those who are truly interested will take time and effort to look deeper.
I’m 45, and I am a bamboo. Straight, strong, flexible, and unpretentious. I am hard to break, bend or uproot. I toughened. But I still want to love. Just not ready to make sacrifices for it. Love – is a process of creation, and not sacrifice and destruction. Let’s create!