Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Love's Endurance

"Lemon, I cannot marry you. Not when a part of me is in love with someone else." George to Lemon in Hart of Dixie, The Big Day episode. (yes, I watch this show even though I'm not sure why. It's not my usual choice for entertainment, but, oh well.)

I can't get this line out of my mind. In part because for some reason I kept falling asleep during this episode and awaking just at this point, so I kept rewinding and watching the last half of the episode again. But it's more than the repetition... There's something about how unrealistic it sounds. It's a very romantic notion. It makes good fiction, but can real life be that clear?

Every time we love, we give a little piece of ourselves to the one we love. In return, we generally get a little piece of that person. When a relationship ends, often the love transforms to either hate or indifference, but it was love once. In love lives hope. In hope lives the willingness to compromise, to sacrifice, and to endure. In compromise, sacrifice and endurance lives the ability to love again but also the possibility to lose ourselves in the process.

When we truly love, a piece of that love lives on unless it is destroyed. A little fond memory or a cherished experience can take us back to that love against our will. We can find ourselves smiling over some silly moment we thought we would forget. Our hearts can ache deeply over a carelessly uttered word. We can find ourselves scared of letting go of a love that rings hollow in our hearts because the relationship doesn't fulfill those involved.

When we love, truly love, we don't quit loving just because a relationship ends whether through death or a breakup. Love endures even when we know a relationship can't. It sometimes even allows us to let someone go because that's what is best for them. That doesn't mean we cease to love the person, only that we are willing to do what's best for that person.

George's statement made me realize that often we repress or suppress the love we feel for someone simply because it's not deemed acceptable to continue to love someone after a relationship no longer works. We seem to think that an ending cuts the love out of our hearts. It just doesn't work that way. Relationships end for many reasons. Sometimes love has little to do with the success or failure of a relationship in the end. A relationship without a foundation in love isn't likely to last, but a relationship with a foundation in love may still fail.

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship based on genuine love knows that the fondness they continue to have for the person after the relationship ends means that, in some way, that love lives on.

It can be hard to accept that the person who loves us still carries a fondness for another person, but, if we're truly honest with ourselves, we generally find those fond feelings for someone in our pasts as well. I used to believe this was a betrayal, but I've been forced to rethink that idea by maturity and watching my friends' lives change.

Now, I'm not in any way saying I think George should've gone through with the wedding. After all, he and Zoe haven't explored their feelings yet. I'm just saying that with a few years of maturity, you learn that love isn't as clean as fiction makes it seem. Many people get married when they still have feelings for others. If they didn't there'd be a lot fewer weddings.

On the other hand, love is rarely as complicated as fiction makes it out to be either, but that's a post for a different day...

2 comments:

  1. Love endures even when we know a relationship can't. It sometimes even allows us to let someone go because that's what is best for them.

    My favorite part. It's bigger and more profound than perhaps you were thinking when you wrote... but then again... you probably thought of that, too.

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  2. Thanks! I thought you'd like that part. :-)

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