Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Take two people at 19 years old who make a lifetime commitment to always stay together. In my mid fifties, I’m old enough to know I didn’t know much about myself or how the world really works at 19 to make such commitment. Most of us over 30 are very different in lifestyle than we were at 19. I think there’d be more love in the world if we reexamined our choice to love at every moment. A yes is only a yes if there’s an option for a no. When someone leaves a relationship because they want their freedom, I think this is what they’re talking about. The obligation has worn thin. They want their freedom to choose whom to love, a freedom from obligation.
So now our couple is attempting to live up to obligations made when they were different people living in different times. They now have different needs and different criteria for whom they choose to love, what they want to do with their lives, but what to do about the commitment to love forever? I suggest it be realized for what it was. A dream born out of lust and desire for ownership. A commitment made to drive off feelings of insecurity, to push away a the fear of loneliness and ultimately the terror of dying unloved.
My intention is not to be pessimistic about love. I’m quite the romantic. My desire is to change the infrastructure to incorporate a love built on realistic terms. The love I’m describing is much more satisfying than being in a relationship because we both feel obligated. I want to know we’re actively choosing each other in the moment. Only then will I feel truly loved and that I’m truly loving. I’ll also need to let go of my expectations that I’ll be loved in the next moment which adds to the sense of obligation. A conditional love based on choice is a love that can grow and change as people and conditions change. An unconditional love based on duty and the desire to be rid of fear, is destined to wither and die. More about ownership in Part Five.