Over the past few weeks, age and change have helped me see how marriages fall apart. And even without letting it, as most people claim happens with marriage. I have two non-relationship relationship examples. And it’s further killed my faith in everlasting love. (This is in no way a dig on those who are happily married. This is simply my perspective on why I don’t think I’ll ever get married.)
First example – a radio show I love. I won’t mention it so as not to say bad things about it. You know why? Because despite no longer being madly in love with the show, I still care about the people who are on the show. (And I don’t even know them, but it feels like it.) For the past five or so years, I listened to them religiously. I loved the show, related to the hosts, or could relate to the hosts as some of my friends. I would listen from the time I got out of bed, and once the show went into repeat on iHeart Radio, I listened at night to the portions of the show I missed. Or I’d download podcasts. I was infatuated. This is the first part of love, right?
As the years went on, I loved them more and more, and a time came where they were off the air for a week. I genuinely felt sad and in withdraw. No, really.
When the show came back on the air, it was mostly the same, but a little different. Could this be similar to a spouse graduating from college, changing careers, losing weight or taking on other new habits after you’re married? That’s what it felt like. And slowly, over the past six or eight months, or however long it’s been, I’ve drifted. I’ve lost that loving feeling. I’ve tried to recapture it a lot of different ways. I’m not totally ready to check out, but it’s definitely not the “soul mate” I once thought it was. I can go weeks without listening to the show, and if I turn on the replay stream in the evenings, I often find myself bored and turning it off to instead watch crap TV on Netflix (which is another love of mine, so not meant as an insult, just a change in priorities). I used to want to travel to meet the hosts of the show. Now I feel like if I were in their city, I’d be like, “Meh. Not sure I care.”
I’ve become complacent. Not because I tried. Or because the show did anything wrong. The show changed just slightly, and that was enough for me to lose whatever that feeling was I had. Should I change myself to adapt? Maybe. I mean, in this case, it’s just a radio show (a year ago it wasn’t “just a radio show”). Absence really did make the heart grow fonder… And then the heart stopped caring anyway. I used to think, “What would I do if they ever moved on and found something else other than radio?” Now I know what I’d do – I’d just listen to music on my iPod. I felt like I couldn’t live without them. And now I feel like being around them every day is slightly suffocating. OK, not suffocating. But I get frustrated with some of the things I tolerated before (too much music, commercials ALL THE TIME). It used to be worth the wait for them to come back on the air. Now they go to music or commercials and I switch the station or switch it off all together. I feel like their personality changed every so slightly. And that’s probably the root of the problem. But don’t you give the one you love the ability to grow and change and become more successful? Apparently, I’m not that “wife” and I don’t want to be the person who is scared of change. But when change changes someone, as it inevitably does, sometimes that person (or the radio show) is not a match anymore. It’s sad. But the lovin’ feeling is gone, gone, gone. Whoa-oh-oh.
If that example was hard to follow, how about a food reference? All of my life I’ve loved pizza. Loved it. My parents used to bribe us with it on Saturday nights after church. I’d take it no matter where it came from. I’d drool when I’d see it on TV. And the simple mention of it in a book was enough to make me start craving. No, I don’t have an eating disorder. I just love pizza. Love it.
But over the past two years I’ve been working on feeding my body healthier stuff. Not that I’m perfect by any means, but my approach to food has changed. During this time, I’ve still had pizza regularly (not as often as before). This might be how it is in a relationship. In the beginning you spend all your time with that person, thinking about him, wanting him there even when you know it’s too much. And then suddenly, other things (healthy food, or maybe children in this case or a career or a hobby or whatever) comes along, and suddenly your time isn’t dedicated to one another as much. Maybe at the time you think it’s for the best. Maybe the children need that attention and there’s just not time for dates. Or maybe you need to go to college or work longer hours. Sure, you could keep your relationship at the top of the priority list, and many say that’s the only way, but sometimes it’s just NOT possible. What if you have a sick child? Or you’re in debt and extra hours are necessary. Or you’re on the bottom rung of your career?
Whatever the reason, for your individual health, or just the evolving lifecycle of who you are (in one case, your marriage, in the other, you’re getting older and can’t eat pizza three days a week), there’s just less thought of pizza and less consumption (yes, I see how this could apply to sex).
And then, suddenly, one day you’re eating pizza (or on a date with your husband) and it’s not the same. It’s like, “I remember how great this used to be. And now it’s not. And my heart is sad.” But eating more pizza doesn’t make it better. In fact, more pizza makes the lack even more apparent. Trying different types of pizza (different things) might be what you need. Or, again, it’s more of the same, and the problem is pizza isn’t the same. So, maybe you avoid pizza and eat other types of food? But that’s giving up on pizza.
Anyway, I don’t know the analogy. All I know is all my life I loved pizza. Like deep, passionate, infatuation love. And it lasted my whole life. And it was one of commitment. Someone said pizza, I said, “I’m there.” No questions asked.
Now I’m all, “Eh. What other options are there?” It doesn’t taste the same. It’s like the taste I remember and the taste now don’t match up. At all. And there’s no way all these different restaurants have changed their recipes at the same time.
So what else can I conclude but, “Nothing lasts forever even cold leftover pizza love.” (Or November rain. I love November rain. Am I the only one?)
I know it sound silly for things like this to make me lose faith in love. I mean, it’s just a radio show and just pizza. But these were two things that really were rocks in my life. They defined me. I could connect with people about the radio show. I could talk to people about the great places to eat pizza in town. And now? They’re like a distant memory. Not unlike my first “love of my life” my first boyfriend. Who I thought I loved. And maybe would have married. But now? What was I thinking? We weren’t right for each other. And if I can fall into love and out of it once or many times, what will ever make it stick?
And for the love of pizza! SOMEONE MAKE A BETTER PIZZA! I miss the deliciousness!