“You can’t have a love relationship with
someone who is not your equal.”
Dan Barker – Godless
This quote struck a chord with me, deeply and unexpectedly. The subject matter of the book dealt with an entirely different topic than the emotions it evoked in me. I was instantly saying “Yeah, I have to agree!” and pretty strong for that matter. Being that intense also made me feel rather uneasy. It prompted me to understand my reaction.
We feel love on so many different levels and for so many different relationship types. When I think of a relationship, I think a connection. It’s not always love, sometimes it’s just a brief circumstantial situation that brings you together but even there, relationships require a level of understanding of each other to make that connection. And that connection seems to be a level of respect for the other person. You can look at them and feel a connection or equal because you see something in them that you identify with, and a factor that puts you at ease with them. Presumably, because they are like you, even if just a little bit.
So in a love relationship, do we require that sameness to remain connected? I think that is what startled me when I said YES so strongly to myself. That’s the real internal question I was asking myself. What does that really mean for me, and more specifically, for love relationships?
Going through a downturn with your significant other certainly doesn’t help, but it was probably the biggest reason this even made it to the forefront of my thought process. It evidently makes it more glaringly obvious that there is a problem in the love connection.
I’m sensitive to it because of my own fracture. This is why I reacted strongly to that statement. The equal part is that the balance of love and respect has been disrupted. It upset the equilibrium and connection we previously shared. And the reason I keyed in on not being able to have a love relationship with someone (MY someone) is because I didn’t feel equal to him anymore. Maybe I never did and only wanted to think that we always were when in reality we’d been un-connected all along? Maybe he couldn’t be the person I thought he was out of refusal to see the man he really was. Who wants to ever see a lesser picture than what you think you connect to?
All I know is that I do feel like he is not my equal. I feel that he is somehow less than what I fell in love with so many years ago. And he isn’t even close to being what I need now. I’m not trying to say that I’m better than him, just that this ‘female in the relationship’ is at a different place in her heart than she was. The growth and the change that we’ve been through together has left us with different levels of being. The dissatisfaction I’m experiencing attests to that difference.
“Love, if it has any special meaning at all, is reserved for those who are dear to me, for those who have earned my admiration, for those whom I find attractive or lovable.” Again from Dan’s book, struck me because of this particular time in my relationship. I’m lacking those things that would indicate I’m feeling love for my significant other.
These statements smacked me upside the head when I needed it most; my frustration level and unhappiness barometer climbing ever higher. Isn’t it funny how it sometimes happens like that? I’ve had so much personal inner turmoil for the last 6 months, much of it stemming from my personal ‘love’ relationship. It is broken, not connected and I don’t know if I want it to be anymore. Still challenging myself to go on…. just because I really don’t have any answers or direction yet. But then these statements push my buttons. Prodding for decisions that I really don’t want to make, but are necessary for personal harmony. I need release. I just don’t know what that release means yet.
*Personal note – Before I start getting emails about my relationship, this was written a long time ago. 🙂
Pausing my distressed state, I distracted myself diving deeply into gastronomy. Immersed and focused on fusing the flavors of carefully selected ingredients, I relished the finished product. Ingesting my creation, finding enjoyment in it, allowing a small measure of an easement to occur in my current state of dysfunction.
The problem at hand begged for inner reflection. Waking every morning was a ritual of opening the eyes and viewing out my bedroom window, just staring at the trees and listening to the sounds of nature. Sometimes for hours. Processing, mulling over and remembering every moment of pain. What felt like agony and torture initially gradually allowed a sense of understanding to move into the grey matter.
A deep need to release anger and frustration created a passion for a familiar act. I required the physical focus, a hungry attack on the flesh. It was an attempt at duplicating intensity, replacing pain with pleasure. And it was had.