Friday, April 9, 2010

Love and Lost

Did anybody see "Lost" this week? I'm a huge fan, but I won't waste time with all that I could say about it. There are hundreds of websites that do that already. I'm only bringing it up because a line from one of the characters has been stuck in my brain for 3 days now. I keep picking it apart in my head in that obsessive way that I over-think things. The episode was focused on destiny and the concept of soul mates. One character said something close to, "When I saw her, I felt like I had already loved her for years."

Really? Is this possible? Do soul mates really exist? I once believed in this kind of epic romantic love. Now I have lost faith. Because that's really what this concept requires, faith. But more on that in a minute.

Angus and I were kids when we fell in love. It was that exciting, urgent thing that seems like the whole universe has changed. It lasted for a few years, and we got married while still in that weird/crazy world of first love. Then it wore off. We started to see each other for who we were really going to be as adults. We had a baby, and it was becoming clear that we had different directions in mind. Another baby only widened the divide. I still loved Angus. I had seen him as a young man who was optimistic and full of life. I wanted him to be that guy again. But even though I loved him, I did not like the new Angus, who was miserable and avoiding life. It's hard to be in love with someone that you don't like.

I was 34 when I really fell in love for the first time as an adult. It was exactly like they talked about in "Lost." On our very first date, I felt immediately familiar with him, like we had been friends who could tease each other for a long time. At the end of dinner, he took a phone call and was away from the table for about 20 minutes. I was irritated but not angry. The waitress brought his credit card and the receipt back to sign and left it at the table. But not before she sat down with me and kept me company for a bit talking about how rude men could be. I looked at his signature on the card, added a HUGE tip to the receipt, and signed it. I had never done anything that bold with a stranger before. It was uncharacteristic, but I just felt like it would be ok. I meant it in a "ha ha, teach you to leave me waiting" kind of way. I was sure that he would get it and be good natured about it. He didn't say a word that night, but later confirmed that he was attracted to my spunk.

Within a couple of dates, I felt like I had known this man for years. The one problem? I was only visiting Texas for the summer and would be returning to Oregon. So I kept my feelings to myself as much as possible and tried to be realistic. I kept telling myself I would forget him when I got home. Long, long story short: I didn't. Through a series of wonderful, painful, and sometimes hilarious events, I became convinced that he was my soul mate. I was meant to be with this man. Who else could be this perfect for me?

Unfortunately, Robert is not convinced.

What happens when you find love at first sight with a guy who doesn't want it? I'll tell you what has happened for me... I have stopped believing in romantic love. Now to be fair, Robert is not the only reason I have lost faith. There have been a string of other men that I have dated since the divorce. And there's one weird thing that keeps happening: the men who are most kind and affectionate and long-term are the men who are not in love with me, I'm not in love with them, and due to life circumstances, there's no possibility of romance. We're only "dating," and I use that term loosely, because we fulfill that human need for physical affection.

Which brings me to the reason I wanted to write this post... arranged marriages. But I'm out of time today. I will finish this diatribe tomorrow. :)


  1. I do believe in it, but you have to be ready for it. I think the reward for being at peace with yourself and your life is finding someone to share it with.

  2. I think you can only do the instant soul-mate thing if there's time traveling/dimension shifting going on. And you've got fish biscuits.

  3. The Desmond/Penny thing doesn't happen to too many people, which is probably why their episodes are so moving. And will both of them make it to the end of the show? It's not looking too good for Des right now.