The Urbane Lion and I are about to celebrate our One Year Together anniversary. And we are still madly, deeply in love.
But what is love, exactly? According to the dictionary, love is:
love (luv) Pronunciation Key
A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair.
Let’s break this down, based on my three long term relationships:
A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person
At nineteen, I was experiencing gratitude more than affection. Gratitude that finally some male wanted to actually date me, rather than simply hang out with me. At twenty-seven, it was more of a White Knight in Shining Armour infatuation. The hope that he would rescue me from a miserable life.
At forty-four? Sincere affection. I have very real feelings of tenderness for the Urbane Lion. I hurt when he hurts. I am happy when he is happy. My heart melts just looking at him.
Arising from kinship
In my first relationship, I was too young to have a kinship with myself, let alone another person. I had no clue who I was. In my second relationship, the kinship we shared was both desperately wanting out of our respective marriages. Not a good solid base for creating a relationship with each other.
By forty-four, I knew exactly who I was. When the Urbane Lion came along, I immediately felt a sense of kinship. I knew we shared common values and goals.
Recognition of attractive qualities
My first partner came from a very different family background and upbringing than me. I confused ‘different’ with ‘attractive’. When my second partner came along, I saw someone who appeared to be in control. I felt completely out of control so was attracted to his opposite state of being.
The Urbane Lion’s qualities are not foreign to me, nor are they the opposite of mine. Instead they enhance and complement mine, making them truly attractive to me.
A sense of underlying oneness
I got married way too young. I didn’t allow myself a chance to become one with myself, so I assumed my husband’s identity. In my second relationship, once the common goal of leaving our marriages was achieved, I realized that I fundamentally didn’t like who my partner was at his core.
The Urbane Lion and I, after our respective former relationships broke down, took the time to become strong, independent, confident individuals. We met after we no longer needed anybody in our live. We share a powerful oneness that can only occur when two people are strong in their own rights.
A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person
I thought I was experiencing intense desire towards my first two partners, but it was actually insecurity and fear. Of course I didn’t know it at the time, and I had nothing to compare my feelings too.
Now I know the desire I feel for the Lion is real. It is so intense sometimes, I burst into tears from the sheer exquisite joy of it. After a year, we still ache when we are apart for more than a couple of hours at a time. And physically, all I have to do is look at him, to get all warm and tingly.
With whom one is disposed to make a pair
A pair, and someday even married. Something neither one of us ever dreamed we would want to be again. But what we have deserves to be celebrated, to be shouted from the rooftops:
We’ve figured love out! It is complete trust in your partner to caress not only your body with tenderness, but your very soul. It’s taken a lifetime of relationship trials and tribulations, but THIS is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.
THIS is the real definition of love.