Falling in love – a shock to the heart AND the knees

knees2As we get older our requirements change.  We change.  Our hearts are less penetrable, and our bones get frailer.  But when falling in love is so hard on the knees, how do you do it without sustaining a permanent knee injury?  Tis the season to be …. contemplating life, the universe and the bigger picture.  Today I have had so many things to think about.  I am considering what I want to achieve in the next 12 months, and what I really want out of life.  I have made my list of 101 things to do in 2013, and I am excited about doing them.
Nothing in life is easy.  At least, nothing in life worth achieving is.   But there comes a point when you want to throw your hands up in the air and ask when it gets a little easier. I have paid my dues.  I have earned my pleasure and I fucking well want to have that which I have dragged myself by my bleeding fingernails, out of the seventh level of hell, back to the world to achieve.
I am no idiot.  I will not be played, manipulated or controlled.  I will damn well stand up and be counted.  I am a Phoenix, and I am fucking fabulous.  No-one will make me doubt myself or my mind again.  I will continue to write, to articulate and express myself, and I will call bullshit when I see it.  I am empathic, tolerant and compassionate, but I am also no mug.
Except….. falling in love is hard on the knees.  And the self-esteem.   I really hate all the second-guessing and bollocks associated with romance – I’m adult enough to know that Disney is a load of tosh, but seriously – when did Aerosmith lyrics become an appropriate philosophy for romance?  Granted, the idea of screwing the sister is a little severe but the point is transferrable and applicable – love is scary.
The worst thing is when you start to mistrust.  How can it be that you trust someone as a friend, but the minute they become more than that, you find yourself permanently pondering the pressures involved?  You question their motives, your own motives, the depth of their feelings for you, the depth of your feelings for them.  It’s as though EVERYTHING these days has to have a decision.
I am not one of those girls who NEEDS a man in their life.  I am well aware that I have got myself to this point in spite of the men in my life, and I seriously resent being the girl who gets annoyed when she doesn’t hear from him.  A guy gets more comfortable the longer he is in a relationship, and makes less effort.  Far from being a good thing, for most women that is interpreted as a sign that he doesn’t care anymore.  Major miscommunications between the sexes, indeed.  Hence the reason why the basis for all great relationships is a real and enduring friendship.  Because if you can’t talk as friends, how the hell can you hope to build a life together?
If a guy cannot recognise what he has in front of him, recognise her power and passion and ability to overcome all obstacles, he is unworthy of that very woman.  Marilyn Monroe said ‘if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best’.  Oh so true.  But what happens when the guy CAN handle you at your worst, and DOES recognise all that you are, and is still scared to hurt you?  When his fear of hurting you is what is hurting you as it forces him to swing like a pendulum?  The fact that you know him means you can accept that he is telling you the truth and you know that he is being honest, which is way preferable to a liar or him not confiding in you.  Yet this emotional intimacy can actually have a detrimental effect and exacerbate paranoia – you think, deep down, that it is because you are not what he imagined you to be, that he thinks you are damaged goods, that he sees all the flaws in you that you see in yourself.  And when both of you have low self-esteem due to bad break-ups and abuse in the past, you are both afraid that the sheen will fall off and the other will see the decay and rot underneath.
This can be a good thing, for it means you bolster one another and emphasise how much you care.  Infinitely preferable to demeaning and putting one another down.  Who wants to be THAT couple?! But to the girl who was told how unattractive she was by her bastard ex, the new guy not wanting to have too much sex – as great as that may sound – can be interpreted as ‘I actually think you look like shite and you are a crap fuck’.  Whereas her desire to lose herself in having amazing sex with him can appear – to him – to be a refusal to be emotionally intimate and using him purely for sexual pleasure and escapism.  Which doesn’t make him feel good.
The answer to the ‘what the fuck tango’?  There is only one  – keep going, together, until the music stops.  Or until you cannot dance any more.  But if you choose the latter, you HAVE to be certain, because once you get off the dancefloor you can’t get back on it.  All we have in life is ourselves, and the people we choose to surround ourselves with – those who make us smile, who appreciate us despite our flaws, who ‘get’ us and our moods.  Those who, when they wrap their arms around you, can make the world melt away, ease the pain and take you somewhere else.  The people who make you forget about, or at least, temporarily diminish your problems and give you that spark, that glimmer, of hope.  If you find that with someone, with several someones (friends, lovers or otherwise), then do not let that go.  Because at the end of the day, that is what we are all seeking.  Acceptance, support and unconditional understanding.  That is real love.  And if it makes you be a little less selfish, a little more human and a little kinder, then it is worth fighting for.