I watched a little movie based on a Thomas Hardy book the other night and I loved it. It was called Under the Greenwood Tree. Set in a sleepy English village, it was on the surface a cute love story but on a deeper level it challeged us to question why we pursue love with some and not with others? A gentle old spirit of a man in the film admitted to having little ambition in life but had a deep and affectionate marriage and satisfying life. He was content with what he had. The heroine in the film had to choose among three suitors. She was given the choice of money and social standing, travel and adventure, or a quiet life filled with love.
I spent the weekend with a good friend of mine who is in dating mode. Since her divorce over a year ago she has dated plenty but not met anyone who she would care to claim as a boyfriend until recently. She opened herself up and let someone in finally only to be crushed with a break up out of the blue. It hurt causing her to question again, “Why am I not worth it?” It was clear by his actions that this man was no one she would want in her life and leaving did her a favor. But still. Why did he decide against her?
There are so many things that go into our decision to keep moving forward in a relationship or not. He told her that there was “something missing”. Whatever – it came out of the blue and after he had just told her the opposite. If you can’t name it…I say it was just that someone else caught his eye and he was carelessly moving onto greener pastures. But for her, he had the right kind of job, was cute, was athletic, lived in a great location and they got along great.
SO why do we pick who we pick? Why did I pick Martin? Why did he pick me?
During our conversation about the turn her life has taken and her appreciation for the journey, despite the heartache, she posed this question to me: “Do you think at some point you will regret not ever dating and seeing what else is out there?”
I had been married for 18 years to my childhood sweetheart. Then met Martin after being alone for about 8 months. I never ‘dated’.
My instant thought was, “What more could I want?”
It is like asking me, “Don’t you wish you would have had to struggle for years before making it big, or don’t you wish you would have played the lottery a little while longer before you won the jackpot? Maybe having 3 or 4 dead-end jobs would have been better before finding your dream job? I just don’t get why I would have wanted to go through that. Because the way I see it, if you know what you want…why not go for it when you see it?
If I were completely, 100%, brutally honest in answering that question I would have to say that the only thing I want more is more of him. More of Martin. Other than that I look at all of his traits and features and I honestly have never met a man more well suited to me whom I adore more than him. I love and appreciate who he is from the inside out. I love him, not his résumé.
The Bible say, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” And finding a person who will do that for you and with you is the key. Does the rubbing together produce a better product than alone?
So what if I didn’t date around before I met him. I’ve met a TON of people in my life. Not one of them has captured me like him. He could have been a weirdo. And it would have gone no where. But he wasn’t. Just looking at all my close friends, there is not one of them who connects with me on the deepest levels as much as he does. Boy or girl.
So I told her…”Actually, I feel like I have been spared all that and don’t think I’ll ever miss it. I don’t look around and think…what about that guy or that guy. I just don’t.”
What I do know is I have no internal battle over my choice. None. I would trade all the riches in the world and all the amazing adventures to have the richness of true love.
And somewhat like a fairytale I’ll be traveling across the world for a month very soon to spend quiet time with him in various parts of England. I will see the Dartmoor ponies again, the rugged coastlines of Cornwall, the sleepy trails of the Cotswolds, the hustle and bustle of London. But most of all I will be close to the man I love on a trip of a lifetime.
What more could I want? I feel like somehow, in some ways I get it all. I don’t know why. But I do. And I really don’t know what more to say than that. I can’t help it.
I made the choice to keep going forward and this is my return on my investment. A strong, healthy, loving, committed, exciting relationship. Finding the quality person to invest in is the tricky part. And all I can say, is at times I was tempted to toss him back in the pool and go fishing again. And I’m extremely glad I didn’t.
But I’m in the enviable position of perhaps being too happy at the moment.
It’s the whole picture. The struggles are part of it. Part of what makes it rich and deep and true.
And so I’ve written another sappy love blog post again. But that is where I’m at. I’m not going to feel bad about that or sad that I didn’t date a few losers before finding a winner. I’m not going to feel like I’ve compromised because I know I haven’t. We’ve sharpened each other’s iron is all.
There is nothing more that I could want.