Another Dark Night of My Soul
Really!? They don’t happen that often, but oh, how they hurt. It usually takes a lot to trigger such nocturnal disturbances. This time it was primarily the old challenge – how to reconcile my “romantic” nature with the realties of my world.
Where do romantic inclinations come from? Nurture – nature? I know I had a steady diet of Jane Austin romance novels, as well as romantic movies in my formative years. Perhaps it is learned behavior?
I can point to many disappointments, even disasters in my earlier life when I let my love “fantasies” manifest in some kind of declaration, flirtation. Never a good idea. At my advanced age, it can be downright devastating to both parties to indulge in casual encounters. Everything at this age is for keeps, or not, as it happens. Or as it happened most recently when I acknowledged a twinge, a spark when it was not reciprocated.
The big question in my mind is whether I can trust an attraction at all. When I met the love of my life, it was one of those “magical” meetings, or meet-cutes—to put it into the vernacular of romantic movies. We both felt it. The ensuing nearly 40 years of wedded bliss proved the validity of that early attraction. How different was that to now? Well, we were in our 20’s then and almost careless about how our lives would play out. We were in love and as long as we were together, we could handle whatever came.
Years down the road there are four children, ten grandchildren, a late husband and a much more complicated existence. It would be no small thing to make a romantic tie at this stage of life. My heart still wants me to believe it would be just as manageable as it was in the past. How true could that be? On one hand it seems naïve to believe so, but on the other it seems to be more about faith.
So here I sit having lunch in my favorite Italian restaurant, listening to all the crooners declaring the power of love. Is it coincidence that I chose to come here after the fitful night of recriminations? I think I know the answer to my own question.
I have seen couples happily joined in second marriages—which offers a note of hope. I do wonder how they are dealing with all the stuff of two mature lives coming together. Does love, will love conquer all? Perhaps.
Maybe the reason I haven’t encountered such a second mutual magic meeting is more to do with not having met the right one. I hope so. Otherwise, I will have to examine what deep psychological need or flaw drives me to still hope that I can be in love again. Or maybe I need to settle for having a companion relationship as some have recommended.
What can I say? I am stuck in that I still believe if we are in love, we can face any challenges…together. Nay sayers need not apply.
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