Hollywood – and Disney in particular – are at fault for perpetuating the myth of “the one”. The Big Love, the other half to our whole, the one who’ll complete us, our soulmate. It means there’s an expectation of fabulousness and fireworks, rather than boring stuff like trust, respect, responsibility and loyalty.
I worried there was something wrong with me because I’d got to the grand old age of 50 without ever feeling that crazy kind of love. Until I did…. And you know what, while I’m glad I got to experience it, it was the most uncomfortable way to live. I alternated between feeling loved and secure, with uncertain and scared. The good times were great, but the bad times were deeply distressing. Eventually I ended it, but he clung on in the name of friendship. And it wasn’t until I closed that door too, that I was able to move on and form a grown-up relationship with anyone else. Just in case you think I’m some sort of hard hearted Hannah, the obsessional love was mine for him. He also experienced obsessional love – but for someone else.
So what does obsessional love look like? Well, in addition to feeling crazy in love, unable to think about anything and anyone else, there’s the added bonus of jealousy, a willingness to be humiliated, to wait around and to put your needs last, to do anything to stay in their affection, to tolerate thoughtless or unkind treatment, to hang on well past it’s sell by date. When you’re the subject of obsessional love, add stalking to the mix.
In short, if you feel life isn’t worth living without them, that is not a healthy place to be. Do not fall for Hollywood & Disney’s depiction of love. They’re selling fantasy and not real life. The fade out after the wedding vows have been exchanged isn’t how life works. Real love is being willing & able to handle the rubbish life will chuck at you alongside the romance, and to still want to be together. It’s getting old together, and being happy with the person you’ve chosen to spend your days with.
When you make the right choice – you’re not giving up, you’re growing up – no matter what age you are.
Do you have a favourite romantic film or song? What type of love do you think it depicts?
© 2022, Debs Carey