Twenty-one winding kilometers to go, and as always on these long drives, my thoughts are random. Last night, it was this vague thought about love in all its forms – what is “real” love, how much of it is informed by “settling”, “convenience”, not having bigger or grander expectations? I have been thinking the last two days about how love is often dictated by convenience for some people. These people may not even recognize that they have chosen convenience – and even if convenient, it does not negate that love plays a part.
Sometimes convenience would make so much more sense. I have often asked myself why I could not just love the guy in Gothenburg who professed his love to and for me confidently and completely. He wanted me to live with him and move forward with a future together, and that would have been a really easy option, especially given my “homeless/hotel existence” in Gothenburg for much of the last year. He was a great guy, very nice, honest, direct and decisive. But there must have been something missing – or at least there was not enough there for me to submit in such a committed and tethered way and give up what is otherwise a very happy life being on my own. Being nearly 40 years old and not having any strong desire to have a real, committed and serious relationship has not given me cause or evidence to believe or know that the fabled and storied idea of “love” was something real – certainly not something that a rational, older, experienced sort like me could connect with. The case could be made for consciously choosing to be with someone who meets all kinds of positive criteria even if there had been no “falling madly in love” on my end of things. But that is not me.
I had never seen or felt this elusive “click” – certainly not mutually. I have made a lot of choices and decisions in my life based on the assumption that I never would.
As people tell you, though, you can be hit by this powerful feeling at the most unexpected and inconvenient moments. If you plan it or are looking for it, it probably won’t happen. You will probably find something – maybe even the set of positive criteria outlined above – but it won’t be this bolt of lightning that somehow makes all the sense in the world while simultaneously being totally crazy. And naturally, it being an unexpected, unplanned and inconvenient – but not at all unwelcome – intrusion on the grind of daily life, it has none of the calm outlines of something well-considered or rational. It may turn out to be rational – or may work in a fluid and beautiful way – but it never makes sense at first. How does one reconcile falling in love with someone far away – and all the waiting, distance and inconvenience of that?
Only because love cannot be another way.