Yesterday was my 3rd anniversary. It of course drapes my mind in reflection. Reflection on love, what it is, what it isn't... at least a few things that I know about it.
When I was a teenager a young man wanted me to dive in to some cold water, I was reluctant, I have always been one of those people who tortures themselves by shuffling in to the cold water one agonizing inch after another, I have been told it is just easier to dive in but I just can't seem to make myself do it. This young man then stated "if you love me you will jump in". Now, I never did have an official boyfriend before my hubby but during my teen years I had a couple of brushes with teen romance of sorts. For some reason that young man's sentences lodged somewhere in my young woman's heart, it set up a precedence in my life about what love was between men and women. Even though I had not seen that kind of love demonstrated in my parent's marriage over the next couple of years I allowed several different men to talk to me in ways that were demanding of affection while they used their words to create insecurity, to tell me I was loud, too opinionated, not as good as so and so, to demand demonstrations of affection that I was not willing to give, to tell me that I had to choose them or my family, I was told time and again that I was intimidating.
I remember all this coming to an end at 19 when my family sat me down and said that something had to give. I was demoralized by their words and was constantly wondering what was wrong with me. I chose to change at that point. I didn't even know what that change was except that I had to get even more stringent, more guarded. And I did. For the next three years I dealt with the "ice queen" comments and more "I'm intimidated" comments. I have never been very good at letting things just roll off but my skills did improve considerably.
I did consider that there weren't any good guys left, I just figured whoever got to marry my brother was going to get a seriously lucky break. All the good ones (and plenty of bad) had already been taken.
What is it that makes so many men use love as a way to exert control over women? Love reduced to nothing more than a silly game of who can get what out of whom by playing the "how much do you love me game". The truth? The truth is where there is true love there is no one asking that question. There is no need to use "if you love me" because there are no ifs.
Solid. That is what love is. Anything less? Not love.