Monday

Is it what you think it is?


If you have hung around here for any length of time, you know I like to mix it up and sometimes I'll stay on a certain topic for a while. With that said, I'd like to offer you another chance for self reflection and a venue by which to express yourself.

Here's the question: Is it still love, even when you aren't getting your stuff?

As good as it feels to be in love, I mean that good can't keep him/her off your mind, smile whenever you see him/her, think about him/her all day, can't wait to get next to him/her, still smelling your fingers (feeling those tremors), called him/her five times today, kind of love. As good as that feels, what do you do when you have grown past that? What happens when you get to the I'm only calling because I know you are expecting it, I wish I had more space to myself, if it wasn't for these kids I'd leave you, we ain't had sex since last month kind of love. Is your relationship still love at that point?

When you aren't getting your stuff, how do you handle that? Do your eyes wander, do you give in to that brother/sister at the job who has been dying to hook up with you. Do you live the double life because you just aren't happy anymore. What do you do? Do you still consider it love?

At some point in most relationships things are going to change. Some relationships change a lot, some just a little, but what do you do when it appears as if seasons are changing in your relationship?

How do you view love? Are you happy as long as you are getting the attention you want and when life crowds your time out you want to run and take your ball home? Or are you happy as long as you are getting the flowers, candy and gifts. What happens when the money gets tight and those things disappear? Or maybe your significant other has just been mean. They don't like the hand life has dealt them and now you don't hear the sweet nothings all you hear are complaints. Is it still love?

What is love to you? Is it deeper than the surface? Do you give up at the sign of trouble? Can you go the distance? Are you in it for better or for worse or are you in it as long as you are getting what you want out of it?

Talk to me. How do you deal with love when you aren't getting what you want? Don't preach to me, kick it to me where you live. I know the scripture, I want to know how you do it. Let's have some real talk.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 -- Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

39 comments:

Mega Rich said...

I want to hear from you single folks too since there is a method to the madness.

Girly_Girl said...

I have always maintained that romantic love is a myth. I think intense lust is what makes us couple up with someone. After that, it's all about compatibility. I'm not talking about sexual compatibility, but how you live your life. Do you want the same things out of life? Do you care enough about the other person to hang on during hard times?

Sheletha said...

Don't know. But Im willing to learn.

Don said...

Good topic.

Um, I don't think its love. It can't be. Once the infactuation or good sex is gone, there really has to be a genuine heartfelt nature for the other person. I've had it, and I've not had it.

My eyes wanders. I look for anything to break it off. Maybe remain friends. Who knows.

But when it comes to my relationship with family (kids mom), I deal with it. Usually there is more to my relationship with the kids and female so it really doesn't matter if she "loves" me or not. Well it odes but it doesn't - if that makes sense.

Love is blind. At least that's what I hear.

Don said...

*does

Shelia said...

After the initial "infatuation" phase, that's when the real test comes in. I say if you truly love someone, you will get pass it and start working on something solid. It does take two people to have a successful relationship so one person can't be the only one working at it. Relationships take work. If you truly love someone I don't think, it would be so easy to run at the first signs of trouble. True love doesn't change like the wind. If it does change that quick, then it's not really love, more like "I like you a lot."

Shelia said...

Hey Shelia G.! I know that's you.

"Real love" and a "real relationship" require participation. You can't sit back and expect for love to "happen" to you. Genuine love in a relationship will be a motivating factor/desire for togetherness and good love making. In my experience, those things generally don't wane unless there are significant problems in the relationship, and with enough care, they too can be overcome.

Shai said...

Ah Love. Last time, I was in love it was hard and confusing. After getting over my first love, someone I thought I would marry, a test came. LOL. I blew it in so many ways. All in all I fell in love with the wrong person. I did learn some things about Love. I wonder though will I love again. That ish is a trip when it goes wrong.

Literary Felonies said...

Well MegaRich, I see you're on a roll. And you know I'll bite, so here goes:

Off top I'll say that you don't really, truly, absolutely get to know a person, get to know whether there's real love between you until you go through some hard times, through some shyt. And, I'm not simply talkin' about a marriage rife with financial problems, though we all understand that a poor understanding of MONEY can and will kill a MARRIAGE. Sure, in the first few minutes to the first few months up until the first few years, pre-betrothal, love is defined through a feeling. Women swoon to their friends, “Girl, when I’m with him- HMPH, words just can’t express!” All the while, making mental photos of couple-dom/”we’smarriednow”/diamondleviathanonmylefthand/drivingmyhamptonslexus/ohyeah3kids&adog. Men boast, “I’ve never met anyone like her, man” citing the list of her un-witted achievements, “she can cook/gotherownmoney/hasamastersdegree/isfreaknastyundercover.” Which, in turn, ‘causes him to feel something he’s never felt before. It starts out as a feeling. The problem with feelings is there temporal, often subject to the whims of time, public influence and interpersonal agenda. Enough pre-marital, preparing for marriage classes (yep, I took ‘em- don’t act) has taught me the one thing marriage will reveal is how selfish the two people really are. He wants the marriage this way and she thinks it’ll be perfect if they do things her way. So, once the feelings subside, or really once time allows for real truth, the feelings change. His farting under the covers ain’t cute no more and her waking up junkyard dog evil isn’t either and now the whole thing gets put under the proverbial microscope. It seems to me that it boils down to the choices we make and how we make them. Most marriages don’t get entered into to fail, so it is mind boggling that going into its institution their marred with a 50/50 stat to start.

As a single person, the funny thing is – that’s the question we should be asking those of you who are married. That’s the kind of dialogue that should be taking place with married folk and single alike. Seriously, we’re the ones who should be wondering what life will be like after the butterflies are gone. Will I still be able to stand the look of his/her face when it don’t look so cute no’mo. What do you do when the sex gets boring/dull/mundane/rote? And so on and so forth.

MegaRich, being one who has never been married, who hasn’t had to make those sacrifices: for the kids, the wife, peace at home, and so it’s hard for me to honestly imagine. While I’ve often bent God’s ear to complain in it about my single status, bemoaned that same status for single black women everywhere, and often take flights of fancy where I fully admit dreaming incessantly of the happy relationship, rarely do I think about what to do when the shyt gets corrupted, nor do I think about identifying the tell-all signs, of said corruption which may be what I need to glean from this- for educational purposes of course. Provocative, highly provocative.

Mega Rich said...

Yeah, you sheila's were confusing me for a while. I thought you were the same person until I checked the links.

Anyway, good discussion. I'd rather you all hash it out in the comment section rather than I give my take right now.

@Don - is love blind because it has failed to find you?

@girly girl - You make it sound like a business arrangement. But I guess fair exchange is not robbery, unless the goods aren't being delivered.

Mega Rich said...

@literary felonies -- you are all on it. We never do have the discussions on how to deal with it when it's not what we want. So the real question becomes why do we give up on love so easily, if in fact it really is love?

Literary Felonies said...

MegaRich- since LOVE is so bloody difficult to define, considering its definition changes depending on who you ask and what it means to them, I think a poignant question would be, when do you know when it's really love? I often wonder about the beginning of a relationship at its end. What was it that made us get together in the first place. What was it that we saw in each other that made us believe, made us KNOW that we could do this? Beyond that, I just kick myself repeatedly to sleep depending on how fast the downhill decline is, wondering if I haven't done everything in my power to help it.

Mega- years ago I heard a pastor preach to his congregation about being committed to the commitment. That the ‘I Do’ identifies the initial public commitment, but that it takes the two individuals to commit within themselves to the commitment itself. He cited a woman whose husband had been in a coma for 19 years, and the woman not only stayed married to him, but made her home in the hospital the entire time. Now, while we all roll our eyes at this unsubstantiated marvel, I got the point- FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE! You don't get to pick your 'worse', but in marriage, it's understood, implied, expected that you will deal with whatever comest. I'm wondering if we've become so technologically advanced, so accustomed to instant opportunities that we've lost our wherewithal, our ability to withstand the tough times- ‘cause they’re-a-comin’. Think about it, amid the burgeoning expanse of faster-food, instant entertainment (music downloads/movie uploads and million dollar overnight careers, I wonder if people have simply gone soft.

SheliaG said...

lol @ the other Shelia and Mega. I will start posting SheliaG so not to confuse others.

I'm reading the comments. This is a very interesting discussion.

Girly_Girl said...

Rich--marriage is a sort of business relationship. At least for me.

Sheletha said...

they were two different people????

Mega Rich said...

@sheletha -- yeah the "edagowa" picture belongs to Sheila whose blog is blacktennispros.blogspot.com the other Sheila is Sheila Goss the author who kicked it with us at The Lo Zone.

So, Saadia, not to make light of this, but was your marriage "arranged" for the benefit of maintaining family wealth?

@ Lit Felonies (you know we gone shorten your name, pretty soon it will be LF) -- very few people seem to have what it takes to make it in marriage. I was listening to the local morning radio show and they always advise people to get divorces. As if nothing can be worked through. What's up with this generation of quitters. I'm of the mindset that I'm in it to win it, despite what we are going through.

Don said...

From what I hear, and from my experience, I think love is blind because if you really love a person ... you see absolutely no fault within the person.

You can't really see what is obvious. Either that, or the true beauty lies within the heart. Again, if that makes sense.

Girly_Girl said...

No, no...believe me my parents would have loved that but, no.

I just mean that after a certain amount of time, the business of staying together becomes almost formulaic. Running a household, raising kids, keeping each other relatively satisfied--it's all work--kind of like a job, or, running a business.

Sheletha said...

okay I misinterpreted as being her business and no one elses. I laughed at myself for that...

Mega Rich said...

@Don - I need to check myself, cause I'm like the boy in Sixth Sense, "I see people with faults". It's hard for me to overlook certain stuff, even if I "love" the other person, but that's good stuff. I could chew on that one all day.

@Saadia - I can definitely dig that. I guess that's why some marriages are failing. No business sense. People don't understand how to keep the share holders happy.

Shai said...

Ironically, I used to write a blog based on Love. I stopped and planned to restart it. It can get deep.

Check out my Love blog at:
http://journeythroughlove.blogspot.com/

CapCity said...

All's I want is someone I can lay in bed with and TALK to for hours! talk so long his intellect & humor gets me all hot & bothered and I just wanna jump him again, and again and again!

I've had that before and I knew my favorite living author was also a kindred spirit when she described the same kind of thing with her late husband! She said she and that man would lay in bed & talk & laugh for hours even when he was dying of cancer. THAT's the kind of love i'm holding out for!

Of course, that means we need good business sense so we have a room & bed to lay in for hours! LOL!

Mizrepresent said...

Having been in love and in marriage...i guess i have a different perspective, in a sense. Love is a wonderful thing...but as i've said before it takes work, lots of work to make that relationship work past the infactuation stage...i have to agree with Saadia, it's almost like a bizness, you both sit down and discuss what you want, where you want to go, compromise on the small things, negotiate on the big things, and try to keep each other relatively happy until those days where hey you know...absolutely know you wouldn't want to be anywhere else but where you are, despite the temptations, you weigh and weigh and still know that you are where you are meant to be...it seems that at this point in your marriage or life, some men or women will choose the grass that's greener, as opposed to the lawn they've groomed. I believe that love is definitely in the giving, and not of your expectations...during the dry times, the hard times, the i'm not getting any times...you have to rely on why you came to be...you can think it will be different elsewhere, but trust me...you will only find yourself here again. As a single woman now, i look for compatibility more than anything else, can we have a conversation, long after our sexual desires have ceased, can we hold hands, laugh at anything, find comfort in our companionship, way beyond our beautiful years, can he still look at me, and say I love You!

Mizrepresent said...

Secondly,

Of course all marriages, especially those that have lasted awhile will experience those dead moments...when you are not getting what you want, no extreme sex, no romance...but it will take both of you to ignite those fires again, you men by being the romantist you were in the beginning, the flowers, the candy, the candles, the foot massages, the spontaneous kisses or squeezing, the compliments, the dinners, the night's out by yourselves, and you women, the being sexy even when you are tired, the special sex, not just on his birthday or anniversary...it takes all of that and more, tit for tat, that's how a marriage succeeds beyond the dead moments...if you can't make it work now...believe me, life will repeat itself and you will be back here again.

nikki said...

it's all love so long as the folk still care about each other's well being. love to me is mad simple...he nurtures me and my dreams and i do the same. that's love to me. it could mean going a while without 'the stuff' and i'd be cool with that because i think the spirit needs more loving than the physical anyway. what makes me question if the love is still there is if folk don't wanna be around each other anymore and start not caring about whether the other is being uplifted.

MysTery said...

I am learning that relationships are a trip. This is my first long term relationship. I am learning that you can't give up when you get pissed off, or the money is tight or whatever. IF you really love and want to be with that person, you will stay and pray your way through it. It takes alot of hard work. But it seems to be worth it.
Now if I ever feel the love slipping away or whatever, I stop and say to myself 'what is going on'. Cause I tend to think negatively about relationships in general. Just a little something I work on daily.

Anyway, that's my 5 cents!

Mega Rich said...

Beautiful. I loved every comment and hope everyone is the better for what transpired here today.

Andrew The Asshole said...

When you look at a man-female relationship I think these things come more into play because of the physical/emotional/spiritual aspect. But if you think of your parents or a platonic friend or same sex friend that you have had for years... I don't think we have as much doubt.

Regardless of whether you have a disagreement or lack of attention certain times the bond will always be there.

The sex has an emotional/spiritual bond thatcomplicates it in our head/heart.

GurlNexxDoor said...

All relationships change, and the "newness" dies off over time. As Long as the TRUST is still inact nothing is lost.

I think if you commit to loving through the hard times, you can get over any dry spell if it's what you both want.

The most important thing in my opinion is loving is MUTUAL. To Keep love alive and keep loving when all seem lost, takes Two.

Just my few cents.

Ticia said...

Well, I am single--

Haven't been with someone in a year....

I have no clue to these questions...

I am as boring as CNN at 2AM!

GeckoGirl said...

Dang, I'm late to the show. Nevertheless, here's my two cents. Infuation and lust are what you have in the beginning but love is what sustains you for the long run. I haven't been married long enough to have gotten to a point of mundane. However, I think people (especially women) have a very romanticized view of marriage. Not every day is us running barefoot through meadows and ish. There are plenty of days like that but there are also days where we're both sick in the bed arguing about who's going to go to Walgreen's.

I think the key is to not let your marriage become mundane in the first place. We make it a point to have date night. Hubby will, all of a sudden and for no reason, give me a kiss that literally takes my breath away. The thing about is love is that when you make sure to constantly GIVE love, you will constantly RECEIVE love. I can be aggravated with my husband and then see that my car has been washed. I can't stay mad after that and in turn, may make his favorite meal (really any food makes him happy). It sounds corny but it's kind of like that car insurance commercial when people who see an act of kindness go on to do an act of kindness.

If my main goal is to keep ME happy and hubby's goal is to keep HIM happy, neither of us will be all that happy. But if I desire to keep HIM happy and he desires to keep ME happy, guess what, both of us are as happy as can be. Selfishness is the start of the death of marriage. It's like I said in the other post, you have to die to self.

Also, merely going through the motions isn't necessarily love. The Bible says that the Lord delights in a cheerful giver. Why do something if you're going to do it grudgingly? Neither you nor the recepient will get much out of it. The smallest gesture, done in love, will go a lot farther than the grandest gestures.

Mega Rich said...

@Ticia - I am as boring as CNN at 2AM -- why does that sound hard to believe.

@GeckoGirl - I love how you break it all down. Good Stuff.

Andrew The Asshole said...

ticia - CNN is awesome at 2 am

Don said...

lol @ andrew's comment. Especially if it whats I think it does.

LadyShay said...

I wish I had something to say about true love. After being in a relationship for 5 years and now wanting to be out, I just don't know anymore. And when he says he loves me, I don't believe it anymore. Because Love to me is making sure that you are providing what you can, and doing what needs to be done. But when all you do is for yourself-how can you look someone in the eyes and say you love them and expect them to believe it? So b4 I go on about that dick-I will say peace.

Femigog said...

I am single and to be honest my ideas on love are not as traditional as they could be. I think that sex is important. In a healthy stable relationship it breeds closeness. It isnt the only factor but biology is not a joke. Nature gives us the push to push against one another. Period. Now the things that we invent in the civilized world are different. We hear, see and read all this stuff about how we should behave in a relationship and figure ours is broken when the rules dont correlate. I think this is our failing. just because the relationship isnt the same doesnt mean it is inferior. Even when the sex is gone at the end of the day we need the touch, the smile, the look or even the attitude sometimes. If someone wont even engage with you (even if its just to show you that they are pissed) then we are leaving relationship territory and entering singlehood.
If someone still pushes you to act, react or engage the emotions arent gone...
I would like to say that I am straight up with someone when I aint getting what I want but the last time I tried that it didnt sit to well with my intended. I dont know if I would be so straightforward with the next guy...I might hold a little bit of myself back---

Ticia said...

Don, Rich, and Andrew--

I am blushing.. you guys are a mess!!

blackrussian said...

Wow...the people have SPOKEN!

Here's my take on love...

It is the only thing in life we can make more of simply by deciding to. Think about it. Just by CHOOSING to, you can MAKE more love.

What else can you say that about? You can't make more time. No matter what, there are only 24 hours in a day, 168 in a week. No matter how you divide them up, part of that time has to be spent sleeping and eating and working, etc.

Before you know it weeks roll into months roll into years.

You can't really make more money...In the most literal sense, you can invest differently, get a better job, scrimp and save, etc, but you will be hard pressed to turn one dollar into two or three or four. (Such is true for the average American.) As much as we would like to believe otherwise, most of us (not us AA...us everybody) will not ever be really truly financially independent and wealthy.

The deck is just stacked against us. There is too much for the average person to overcome. Inadequate education, terrible spending habits, bad credit, unforeseen medical emergencies...any number of things can keep a person down and stop them from learning the things they need to learn and doing the things they need to do to get out from under a crushing debt load.

But love...love really is free.

It can be anyway.

Real love. True love. First Corinthians love.

The love that 'does not seek its own' is not dependent on gifts, so it doesn't shrivel and die when the money gets tight. That kind of love is creative.

When there is no money, you can still give your woman a foot rub or back rub or clean the house while she's out. (Trust me THAT is an INCREDIBLE turn-on!) When there is no money she can still surprise you with your favorite meal or meet you at the door wearing sexy lingerie.

I believe - whole-heartedly believe - that true love, real love, first corinthians love, is not dependent on money or sex. If you truly establish a deep emotional connection to that other person that is independent of their trappings of success and the chemistry, but fully centered on who they are at their core, and who YOU are, then it doesn't matter what else happens.

You can still please each other and crave each other and support each other even if the money is tight and you ain't gettin' yo' stuff.

When things get bad, you can CHOOSE to say: I'm going to stick by this person.

I absolutely agree with Sheila, though. It only works if both people hold this belief and are willing to work at it to the same degree. Otherwise, one of you just gets took...

There is so much I could write in response to and in agreement with the things that literary felonies said...I want to take it to my own blog and write a whole post, but I just don't have the time!

The same way we can more easily come up with a list of things we don't want in a man/woman/realationship, it is so much easier to define what love is not than what it is.

Even Paul (1 Cor. 13) is telling us the things that love is not....

I don't 100% agree with saadia that love is like a business, but I do like what mizrepresent says about the things you need to talk about...before marriage and during.

Marriages do fail because of 'lack of business sense'. People spend more time researching investment opportunities and housing markets and vehicle purchases than they do marriages and the individual they are currently kickin' it with.

They go into it with NO PLAN and no clue about where it's headed. That accounts for a large part of the 50/50 failure rate.

Can I find me a man like Geckogirl got?

THOUGHT I had me one, but, yeah, he flipped when the times got tough....so I had to let him go. And sometimes I still GIVE THANKS to God, that I found out the truth about him before we said I DO!

Like GG said (hope you don't mind, I am all about the abbreviations). You do have to give love to receive love. That's why I truly belive that when times get rough, the only solution is more love not less love. You have to be willing to go out even further on the proverbial limb. You have to extend yourself, not withdraw.

But again, this formula only works if you are with someone who believes likewise. Someone who will actually follow-thru with this belief and not just pay lip-service to it.

I am SOOO LATE to the discussion because I just discovered your blog this morning. However, I will most definitely be back!

The Master (De)bater said...

Love is A CHOICE. Attraction is a feeling; love is a choice. I learned a full-proof way to keep the fire and passion burning brightly in a relationship, but I warn anyone who reads this to remember that this "secret" requires a person's decision to leave selfishness behind and to grab tightly the choice to love: serve your love. Decide that you want to give your love with no worries or hangups, and do the little things that you KNOW your romance partner will enjoy. Leave an encouraging Post-It note attached to your love's cellphone before they wake in the morning, or take a moment to do some chore that your love HATES to do... and don't tell him/her that you have. Small surprises and kindnesses outlast expensive gifts any day of the week. Try it for three days, and you will transform your relationship.

By the way, this idea is a BIBLICAL principle in action. God invented love, intimacy and relationships; why not search for your love answers at the Source?