Does true love exist?

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Brandon Christopher Warren

I want to believe in true love. I really do.

The idealist in me wants to think that the theory of soul mates exists; that your other half is out there, somewhere, waiting for you to find him or her so you can grow old together.

I want to believe that agape transcends difficulties, obstacles, and any curve ball life throws at you.

A part of me wants to harbor hope that when you meet the person you’re meant to be with, you will grow old with him or her.

In good times and bad times, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.

How utterly beautiful.

And yet, the realist in me rationalizes that love is fickle; that it can be shallow and fleeting.

Logic tells me that most people don’t stay in a relationship because they harbor all-consuming love.

Instead, they stay because change is hard.

Change inspires fear; rocks stability; threatens our sense of security and wreaks havoc on our nerves.

This dual stance on love often finds me at war with myself.

It makes me doubt whether I should have faith in romantic love, or continue to question whether love is an illusion.

Today something happened that caused me to lean in one direction.

As the Significant Other, Roxy, and I sat sunning ourselves on a park bench, our attention was drawn to what appeared to be a tender scene.

An elderly couple drove up in their motorized wheelchairs and parked a few yards in front of us.

They silently gazed at the pond and smiled at each other.

After a few minutes, the gentleman got out of his wheelchair and diligently adjusted his partner’s oxygen tank.

We saw him lean close to her ear and whisper something.

She smiled at what he said.

He then sat down again, only to get up a second time to readjust her tank.

For a moment I thought, I’ve been wrong to doubt love.

Here’s an example of how love can be unconditional; how one evidently makes sacrifices for a loved one.

I whispered to the Significant Other, “Isn’t that romantic? Isn’t that lovely?” and he whispered back, “The fact that he’s lighting a cigarette or that he’s actually smoking it two feet from her oxygen tank?”

Here he is, reaching in his pocket for his cigarettes.

Needless to say, we hustled out of there before the poor, unfortunate woman’s tank blew.

So does true love exist?

If anything, today’s example has taught me that no matter how much we say we love a person, there are times where we’re unable to put their needs before ours.

And until I see evidence to the contrary, I’m reserving the right to decide, one way or the other.

How about you? Do you believe in true love?

32 thoughts on “Does true love exist?

  1. I know I shouldn’t laugh at this but I had to share with Mr. Bernie. He said, “Awww, it just goes to show how women and men think differently. She sees the love and he sees the guy blowing the wife up.” I must admit that is so true about men and women.
    I do believe in true love. It see it in friends and family. Not to mention us. We may not be the romantic, movie ripping clothes off and having wild sex on the floor type. Yet, I’m happy I married my best friend.

  2. Hmm…now you’ve gone and made me think on a Sunday.

    How dare you.

    I don’t know if I believe in the movie type all consuming love. The one that defies logic and reason.

    I do believe in love.

    But it’s more realistic. And it’s hard work. It’s the love that doesn’t look past someone’s faults. It makes you acknowledge that they are there. It makes you work with those faults no matter how gut wrenchingly difficult it can be at times.

    It means that sometimes, you forgo what you want for what is best for them.

    It doesn’t happen magically. It takes constant cultivation.

    That probably makes it sound awful. But it’s not.

    True love means that the other person does all of those things for you too.

    And I think that is what makes it rare. Two people willing to give that much of themselves finding each other.

    1. Amber, beautifully delivered. I agree with you; love is about hard work and not ignoring the other person has flaws. We’re human after all, right? :)

  3. Enjoyed the post, was going to write a long reply. It sounded corny. Had giggling little girls distracting me.

    Perhaps Pat Benatar said it best….Love is a Battlefield. You are both down in the trenches, and you fight the rest of the world together, and then sometimes you turn against each other. Love is stopping the in-fighting, and clasping hands and focusing on the bigger battle again. Everyone says they love a happy ending, but it seems that often times those same people try everything in their power to make things difficult for you and your relationship. So my war paint is on, because I know that my Jaded J is worth the fight every single time.

    1. Georgia, Jaded J is a keeper by the sound of your ferocious words! I am inspired, sister! You see, this is what I love about blog posts like these: I rile up the masses and they come back strong and make me want to believe! Mua! Big kiss for you for your feisty spirit! Love it! :)

  4. I believe in it, not that I’m looking or sure I will feel it again.

    And at least the old guy was smoking two feet away and not two cm…erk.

  5. Ha! I had to laugh at how differently a man and woman see the same scene. I do believe in true love and still regard Kevin Costner’s declaration in Bull Durham one of the great manifestos of all time! If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out and see if you agree.

    1. Nancy, I am definitely going to check it out! I’m not a big fan of Kevin Costner but if you say it’s worth it, I believe you! :)

  6. oh, I really believe in true love, and I also believe that true love is not always delightful!!, As it was told in that 80’s movie, Moonstruck, “love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess”
    So funny to read you, everytime!!
    besos & amore

    1. Señora Allnut, you are forever a balsam to my “funny” writer ego! Love you! And didn’t you just love Moonstruck? One of my favorite movies! Besos y amore!

  7. True love exists. You get anywhere from 3 months to possibly 2 years before the bubble bursts. Then comes the hard work called a relationship, which seems totally dependent on a lack of distractions for success.

  8. Great post, Bella! I agree with Amber/wosushi (beautifully said!) and in that sense we can truly love anyone, right? Revolutionary!
    Soul mates? Yes. I believe in those, too. But I don’t think the intensity of such a connection always creates the soul mate relationship we usually see in the movies. I think the average person unknowingly runs from the intensity of a soul mate connection. Its typically unsettling, terrifying, and can ultimately disrupt everything in and around us. In the end, I think it can be the most incredible experience of one’s life, but also the most painful. I have met a few who cannot live with their soul mates but find it easier to live in a painful world only because they know their soul mate exists. (we need to sit oceanside and chat for hours about this over margaritas and chips!)
    p.s. what if the man in the wheelchair asked his wife if it was alright if he smoked? “Of course, my darling, the more you smile, the happier my last days will be.”

    1. Brynne, I knew I could count on you to bring a little magic to the mix! :) The ying and the yang, that’s what we are! What I wouldn’t do to sit oceanside over margaritas and chips with you! Perhaps then you would be able to soften my cynical heart and make me believe in magic! :)

  9. Oh, Bella, I have many beliefs about love, but most of them conflict. I’m old enough to know how uncertain and difficult things can be, yet retain great romantic notions. Thus, I sometimes live out of an overnight bag.

    1. June, as you grow older you may realized that the romantic notions may or may not disperse themselves into thin air. I don’t have any romantic notions at all but my sister, who is just four years younger, still seems to believe in “till death do us part.” I guess it depends on the person and the personal experiences one may have. Here’s hoping you’re able to retain yours! :)

  10. I thought it existed until I heard the news of Arnold and Maria breaking up, but then I don’t think I could stay indefinitely with a man who digs cigars. Other than that, I didn’t buy Matt Damon’s performance in The Adjustment Bureau either (he supposedly finds his soul mate in Emily Blunt’s character). Dang, that boy has GOT to work on his kissing scenes!

    1. How can someone that hot not have sexual chemistry, huh Rowena? That’s what I want to know! As for Arnold and Maria, never saw that one coming!

  11. Yes, I believe in it. In fact, we’d only been dating a month when I was hospitalized and JP held my hand to walk down to the courtyard, pushing my oxygen tank with the other. I believe he helped me get well much faster. But soul mates? We have don’t have a ton in common, which can be frustrating, but we also laugh long and hard just about every day. He makes my day better, so that scores true love points in my book. I think soul mates might be kinda boring…

    BTW – LOVE your new banner. LOVE!!!!

    1. Lori, you “gotta” good man by your side, woman! Your relationship sounds a lot like mine–not a lot in common but plenty of laughter gets you through the day! I’m glad you like the banner! :)

  12. Ahh true love DOES exist though our definitions and perspective differ and change as we mature and evolve. I too married my best friend and referred to him as my ‘true love’ but twenty years later I know that definition is probably a little less romantic and spontaneous and now probably more dependable and pretictable… does that mean true love no longer exists? I don’t think so.
    On the darker side: Maybe you and your signficant other stumbled upon an old couple’s suicide pact?
    Oh, but on the lighter side – I like your new banner too!

    1. Oh lady, you have made me chuckle with the suicide pact comment! Not that suicide is funny but the thought of us “stumbling” into anything is! I say this because the Significant Other have a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes it’s cancelled trains, other times it’s witnessing couples’ fight, and one time it was even being evacuated out of a store because a child pulled the fire alarm! I like the thought of dependable, but not so much the one of predictability. I guess it has to do with my short attention span! :) Great that you like the banner! My readers are the best! :)

  13. Well, you know how i feel on the topic of romantic, passionate, love. I don’t think there is a happy Cinderalla ending, but I do believe in passion/love so fierce and kindred connections between people. I tend to stand alone in my corner about these feelings, but I know what they feel like, know how my life changed… even if it wasn’t ever after, it doesn’t mean it does not exist. I’d leave you with a poem on the topic, but.. I don’t want to wear out my welcome. I have to run now, lanky with come hither eyes might be waiting for me at Starbucks.

    1. OMG, “lanky with come hither eyes…” love it! :) Brenda, I know where you stand and I respect your position. And for the record, I’m a believer of passion, lady! hee hee! :)

  14. Yes I believe true love exists; like you, I’ve seen couples who demonstrate that it most surely does. Like Brenda, I do not believe true love always equates to a Cinderella ending, but sometimes it does. And when all the stars line up for that to happen it is probably the best this world has to offer.

    1. Carol, it’s great to have your view on love! I like what you say about “the stars line up…” Lovely! :)

  15. Bella, I married my high school sweetheart; we started dating when we were 17, engaged by 19, married at 21. I was passionately in love with him but he did not feel the same way and the marriage was very damaging to me. I divorced him when we were 24. During this time, my mom was dying and I was LOST, but I am so proud of myself for leaving and realizing that life would be so much better alone than with the wrong person. The day after my mother died, Jay came up to my parents house to bring me flowers; he was wearing dark blue sweat pants, a white t-shirt and running shoes and my heart skipped a beat. Here was my friend making me feel all teenagery. In that moment I knew I was still alive. You kind of know the rest, dear Bella: together for 13 years, three beautiful daughters, and me realizing that I had no idea what true love was until it jogged up my driveway carrying a bouquet of flowers.

    1. Heidi, I am touched by your account. Indeed your story is a beautiful one and I know you’re blessed. Like I always say, you’ve got a good man by your side, woman! Thank you for sharing this! Know that when I take a step back into self doubt, I will remember you; remember your experience. Something tells me that I’ll be inspired to move forward! :)

  16. I totally believe in true love. But I also happen to know, from experience, that we fundamentally flawed human beings are fully capable of muddying those waters with other emotions that sit on the top like an oil slick. It is only the ones who are patient enough to deconstruct the puddle and be honest about what’s in there that will rediscover the pool of true love still sitting there.

    Hard work, for sure. In my case, with my husband/best friend, it has been definitely worth it.

    Love the oxygen tank story! Thanks for the smile.

    1. Kario, I’m learning so much from my readers! I think it’s extraordinary to have so many different viewpoints! Indeed, we weave a tangled web and it’s great to discover different perspectives. I’m happy that you’re married to your best friend. How cool is that! And I’m happy I made you smile! :)

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