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?