I recently had a a personal session with a young lady participating in my 6 week workshop. I challenged her to start identifying the things that have influenced her love life. Often times people don’t realize that their focus is on something that doesn’t serve them in any way. In most cases people don’t even know this never mind work on changing it. Television, Movies, music, social media and a list of other things constantly fight for mental real estate in our mind. These things shape what we believe and ultimately shape who we are and the results we see. Here is what she had to say after our session.
I was asked what my blueprint for love is and what idea of love do I hold in my head? Perhaps my blueprint was created by something given to me by a movie, a song, or my parents. Hmmm, well if that is the case, guess I’m in trouble there. As I listened to others describe beautiful songs of happiness or iconic couples on the big screen, I realized I idealized a different kind of couple; the tragic couple or the Romeo & Juliet’s of the world.
As a product of Lifetime movies, melancholy poetry and black & white films, I came to see how my idea of love has only been that of tragic love. I believed that if you and your one true love are separated by the perils of the world, then that’s the best kind of love there is to have. My favorite movie “Splendor in the Grass” tells the tale of a girl who goes crazy when her beau breaks it off. At the movie’s end, they’re both still carrying a torch for the other, but married to different people. When they gaze into each other’s eyes, the love they feel is so strong that no words are even needed. They look and they know. That’s the kind of love I always wanted. Unknowingly, I was also asking for the distance those couples had. There’s no surprise my relationships ended. They HAD to. Why? Well, why not; they did in all the movies I loved.
I used to think losing love was the best kind of sacrifice in the world. However, after years of hurt, I’m getting quite tired of the pain of a broken heart. Emily Bronte, Sylvia Plath and Shakespeare can keep their tragic love. I’d like to write a better happy ending in my love story; one where I can have the love AND the man. Not just one or the other. It’s crazy how I believed you couldn’t have both. In my original blueprint, I figured that a successful relationship would have to mean one of the two people being happy. I truly felt that one person (doesn’t matter which one) had to yield to their partner and sacrifice their own happiness for the happiness of their partner. I never imagined that both people could want to put the happiness and needs of their partner before their own. There was always a sadness surrounding my idea of love. One of my favorite artists, Fiona Apple, writes the kind of “love” songs I can relate to. Many of what I call my “theme songs” are penned by her. Her song “Fast As You Can” says:
I let the beast in too soon, I don’t know how to live
Without my hand on his throat; I fight him always and still
Oh darling, it’s so sweet, you think you know how crazy
How crazy I am
You say you don’t spook easy, you won’t go, but I know
And I pray that you will
Fast as you can, baby run, free yourself of me
Fast as you can
Yikes! Why would I want to emulate a love story like that!?! This is how I describe myself to love interests. Many guys have pointed out that they think I tell them the worst things about myself early on in order to scare them away. But I say, “No I’m just warning you.” Why do I do that? It’s sabotage for sure. Well, the silver lining in all this is that when you know better, you do better. Therefore, since I have finally identified at least one factor hindering me from a successful love life, a change is likely!