LOVE AND LUST Part II: Long Term Love
I got married in 1971, and back then, I didn’t understand what I do now about long term relationships. As I’ve said so many times before, I got lucky. I stumbled along the path of hearts and flowers, probably because my head has always been safely tucked in a rich fantasy life. I remember things as no one else does and I’ve stopped second-guessing this and just accepted this fantasy world as being every bit as real as anything else I’ve actually experienced.
The topic of love is fascinating to me and I’ve been a student of the effects of love on brain function. People meditate for lots of reasons–for clarity, peace, to calm their anxiety–why not for love?
Did you know that married people are five times more likely to have sex two or three times a week than are singles? A Vanderbilt study said, “While people get older and busier, as a relationship proceeds they also get more skillful–in and out of the bedroom.” There are the seasons of the heart, too: when we’re close, when we’re in our separate worlds, when we fight, when we make up. We aren’t one thing all the time. I didn’t understand this when I was young. Yes, I write younger women as perhaps a fantasy ideal to fit in with the genre or characters I’m using, but I’d much prefer to be the age I currently am, compared to the care-free 20-something. And to be that woman, all I have to do is close my eyes or pick up my favorite book. I have learned we can actually physically change our brain and that this change is now being studied in psychology today as totally healthy. Yes, I said reading love stories, fantasizing and meditating on love, lust, sex and all parts in between, is actually life sustaining. It’s good for you!
A recent study of long term marriages and passion says this: “One thing you learn over time is that no matter how log you live together, two people always inhabit separate worlds. Some part of your partner is deeply unknowable.” Who besides me thinks this is sexy? Sara Ban Breathnach calls it “the search for the undiscovered other.” Like an explorer of old, searching for love, for the adventure of love and being loved, is one of the sexiest things we can do. And it doesn’t mean you have to sleep around. In fact, I’ll wager sleeping around actually ruins it. One study calls it sexual mystery. I laugh when mystery writers tell me they can’t write romance–the biggest mystery of the ages!
In a long term relationship my experience is that you wander around the halls of the heart, not knowing when the encounter will stop and start, but you know the potential is always there, might happen when you least expect it, but you have certainty that it is there, ready to surprise and thrill you. “The familiarity of a partner is soothing. Is it too calming for couples to get it on? Or does it open the door for intense sexual arousal?” Quite different than being out on the prowl, looking for something else when the perfect love is right at your side.
I allow myself to be conquered and captured, and all the sexy implications that that brings. I willingly submit to one man only, and turn that submission into a creative exploration of passion. That keeps sex fresh and new, ever-changing. It isn’t dependent on frequency or some other arbitrary criteria. We are for each other what we want to be for each other. I will feel this way still even if he precedes me in death. The fantasies and the memories will never leave me while I live and breathe.
I guess I would have to say that perfect love is what you dream it to be. That place I take with me everywhere. Always.
And is there anything more sexy than the picture of a bed with tussled sheets?
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.
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This Post Has 14 Comments
Nice post again Sharon. Love and life are a gift we shouldn't take for granted whatever the age or longevity
Well said, Julie! Never take anything about love for granted…
This is a very interesting and complex post for the average mind or for someone who knows not of the long term relationship."Some part of your partner is deeply unknowable". This is true because on a deeper level we are always searching to know ourselves, our true selves which is constantly evolving if we are growth motivated and not deficiency motivated. The brain is the greatest erogenous zone of all. Therefore, romance, love and sex are just a thought away. I love the idea of meditating on love. When we do that, it expands and our fantasies and realities become as one. May our sheets always be tussled. May our thoughts always be centered on the love that we meditate on is the love we create. The love that we create is the love that is gifted back to us ten fold.
I should have you write an article on love and loving. Who but my very best friend would understand so well what I am trying to say. I agree, as it was said by someone wiser than I, "great sex is between the ears." And thank you for that thought about the "other" and the reason they are undiscovered is because we are always evolving. That's exactly right, and a huge addition to my theory. As usual, you take my words, thoughts and ideas, and give it back to me ten fold. How perfect we get to "take" and then give back ten fold. That we can be captured, and liberate everyone around us. We talk about being snagged by love too. Well, I love those tussled sheets and how they wind around me so that I just stay there 24/7. Thanks for taking the ride, making fantasy real in our hearts and minds.
Spoken like the true Princess you are. The ride, the journey, the fantasy, the reality are all a part of the magical experience that I am blessed to share and experience with you! Xoxoxo
Love these posts Sharon. Love and life are two gifts we should never take for granted
Never. And they are definitely two gifts we live to deserve. The gift comes first, then we learn to use it, enjoy it and make it expand!
I struggle with love, my feelings and my desires with my hubby as he struggles with mental illness and other medical things so its always a roller coaster in our lives but I chose him and I try to stand by him and learn all I can to help and support him. A long term relationship is about the good and the bad and learning from what Life throws at you and making it better for you both. A commitment to one another of love and trust!
Very true, Shannon. You are both lucky to have each other. We take what we can get, make up what we need or perhaps don't have, and learn to love what God has given us. And we are stronger, wiser and better for it. Bless you, dear Shannon.!
Having never been married, I'm pretty ignorant about the relationship myself. I've watched though. I've seen couples married for years who still live only on the surface. I'm grateful I'm not them. I've also seen couples who share a depth and breadth earned through years of hard work and patience. I envy them.
And marriage isn't for everyone, either. I see a lot of marrieds not enjoying it, and I see the same with singles. Even more important than the experience of loving and being loved, which is fantastic, is the knowledge that we can create it, with our own imagination. And that for me is even more powerful. That which we dream about, we create. Or, as one of my SEALs told another one, "That means you're going to turn into a woman." LOL. Love you, Judy.
Loved this post. All marriages have to be worked at to make it work. You have to keep talking to each other and accept each other. There are no perfect people so there are no perfect marriages. Loving each other is accepting them and them accepting you and being there for each other always.
Therese – you are so welcome!. I agree completely! Thanks for showing up and sharing my Sunday!