Where’s my harp music, dammit??

They walk slowly toward each other, as though in a trance. They both realize on a soul-level, they’ve never felt like this before, this primal pull toward someone else that encompasses body, heart and mind. They may have only met a few days ago, but it feels like they’ve known each other, loved each other, for a lifetime. Both of them know with every fiber of their being they are soulmates, meant to be together, bound for all eternity…

(Harp music plays softly in the background, swelling as the lovers embrace.)

In today’s dating culture, there seems to exist a myth of “the one”. The “one” is that magical being who is going to totally get you, fill you with joy and transform your life. They will be a best friend, emotional port in the storm and, of course, the sex will be mind-blowing. Afterall, doesn’t media support that notion? Books, movies, music, television all portray love as a magical thing that just happens and boy, when it does, it is the most incredible thing you’ve ever experienced.

This is, mostly, a crock of shit.

I’ve felt “the feeling”; It’s called lust and infatuation. Once the lust was satisfied and the infatuation faded, I found “the feeling” also started to evaporate when faced with the stress of day-to-day life and human flaws. Love is not a magical, mystical state. Sometimes, it is a verb. For every single relationship I’ve had, I always hit a patch where I doubted. There’s always a moment when you wonder if you’re with the partner that is the most ideal for you. Why? Because nothing stays perfect and sometimes it is hard work to be in a relationship. The newness wears off, there are days you want to punch them in the face and you lose sight of the reasons why you chose to be with them in the first place. Isn’t it easier to simply believe someone is out there with whom it will be easy, rather than think about compromise and work?

I feel this is one of the reasons why my last relationship failed. Despite the acknowledgement by my partner that we had great conversation, always enjoyed our time together, didn’t fight,  got along great and had fantastic sex…well, he just didn’t have the right “feeling”. Harp music didn’t play after seven months together, so clearly, something was wrong. Did harp music play for me? Nope. Instead, I met a man whom I liked and was attracted to. I enjoyed his company and respected his values and ideas. The more time we spent together, the more I liked him. At some point,like grew into love. Love for a real person with flaws, not a fairy tale myth. I knew this was someone I could build a life with. It wasn’t boring and it wasn’t settling; it was something solid. I sometimes wonder if my ex-lover is still looking for the myth and somehow thinking he’ll be settling if he doesn’t find that transforming, life-altering “feeling”. It saddens me to think he has given up a relationship he enjoyed and counted as fulfilling and good, to chase a Disney dream.

Profile after profile I read online perpetuates this idea. “I’m looking for that one woman like no other.” “I’m not willing to settle until I find that special feeling.” A man with whom I recently had three dates, told me he really liked me and was very attracted to me. After the third date he told me he just didn’t have that “feeling” about me, so he was going to keep looking. Since our third date had also brought out his craziness, I wasn’t too sad about this.

If only our lives were like a romantic comedy. Boy meets girl (cute indie rock song plays in the background). Boy and girl fall in love and have gratuitous moments of cuteness and hot sex scenes where everyone looks beautiful and sexy (dreamy or sexy music in the background…possibly some R&B?). Girl and boy encounter problems that seem almost insurmountable (sad, melancholy music in the background, accompanied by lots of gazing out windows).  Girl and boy realize they cannot live without each other and have a touching reunion (slow, melodic indie rock song plays softly as they embrace).

Wouldn’t it be great it all of our lives, especially our romances, had a soundtrack?

However, I no longer believe there is fairy tale love. I think all lovers can have moments of breathtaking beauty. I also think relationships are just as much about work, contentment, being able to weather the storms and still maintain friendship and respect. How many people are passing on partners that might bring them a lifetime of joy in the hope they’ll find someone that transforms them and makes them hear harp music? This is fear of commitment with an underlying deceit: I’ll commit, but only to a storybook love. Much like men who have looked at airbrushed Victoria Secret models their entire life and can’t settle for a real woman, this is setting everyone up for a colossal disappointment and a life of loneliness. Especially in the world of online dating, where there are always another hundred profiles of people not yet dated, why settle for someone that only matches you on 18 out of 20 things?

I’m not looking for a fairy tale  prince, just a flesh and blood man. One whom I respect and like, who makes me laugh. Someone with whom I can have great conversation and share the victories and disappointments of life. He won’t be perfect; Sometimes he will piss me off or let me down, just as I will him. The sex will be great most of the time, but there will be nights one of us is too tired or not into it. There will probably be miscommunication and fights, which we will work through because we love and respect each other. He won’t transform me, because transformation is MY job, not his. He won’t expect me to transform him, because he’s ready and prepared to do his own work. When he looks at a hot babe or finds himself attracted to the cool chick at the office, he’ll be adult enough to acknowledge it as a human feeling and let that be the end of it. Because at the end of the day, the love we have created and built together far outweighs some fantasy. He’ll know there will be days my hair is frizzy and I don’t change out of my pajamas; he’ll also know there will be days I take his breath away. There will be nights we want to be clingy and needy and lean on the other one, but realize they need some space and let them go with a smile. There will be nights we pout because they aren’t being our “everything” and they will forgive us for it, even as we’re laughing at our own childishness. For me, this is what love looks like: Real life, real people. I think it’s far sexier and more exciting than a chick-flick romance or Disney ending.

When I meet this man, I won’t hear harp music playing in the background. I doubt I’ll feel certainty and connection on some molecular level. That’s okay. I’m willing to watch a seed grow, do the work to help nurture it as it matures, then enjoy the blossoming as it comes. We’ll make our own soundtrack together.

2 Responses to “Where’s my harp music, dammit??”

  1. I totally undersatnd you and where yhu are coming from … my lover just did that to me, told me did not want to see me anymor over a text, no explanation nothing … could not face me, guilt?? At least yours had the decency to sit down with you and explain his uncertain, confused thoughts! The fact is that people come into our lives for a reason and if we look at it rationally they also leave for a reason, so cherish the good memories and what you have learned about life and yourself from this experience and be assured that you are now free to explore something that may bring you much more!
    I finally got my lover to give me a partial explanation for the break up over texting imagine! He meet someone else that he believes gets him and understands him.He says he does not feel the connection that we had with this person but he want to feel free to explore it and to do so he would have to pursue this women and he respects me too much to be double timing me …… the way I see it, if we are meant t o be together we will eventually be together and I would not want him to be with me constantly thinking of what might have been with this other woman…. who knows??? he may just come back and … I may just no longer be available …. that is the chances we take in life and allows to grow and learn … all part of self awareness.
    Best to you … the pain heals and makes us stronger!

    Please feel free to contact me if you want support or just talk

    • Teresa,

      Thanks for the support and for taking the time to read my blog. Logically, I know all the things you’re saying are true. Emotionally, I’m struggling. It’s a work in progress to come to peace with this, but of course, I’ll keep trying!!

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