This archived article was written by: James Justice
What is love? That’s a question I’ve asked myself too many times in my life. What is love? How do I know I love someone? Is love real? Is it possible to be with just one person for the rest of your life? These are all questions I’ve asked myself in the last six years since becoming single. This is a small opinion piece on what love should be to us, and if we choose to date how we should do it.
A little about myself before I start this piece, I’m 32, disabled, diagnosed with MS, I live with my parents, I’m divorced from a truly wonderful woman, I’m a very opinionated person and have way too lofty-goals for my education. With all the trials in my life, I’ll write more about them in another article, I’ve learned that “love” is the only subject I have real passion for.
What is love? I’ve been here 32 years and still have no idea, nor do I believe that I’ve ever experienced it. Now, I’ve had plenty of women tell me they “love me,” I’ve told plenty of women that “I love them,” but love has to be more than words, doesn’t it?
I know it exist because I see my parents, who have been married 47 years, who are totally devoted to each other. Or my grandfather, who upon losing his wife, shut down and couldn’t function – it’s been 21 years and that memory makes me cry to this day; I know love’s a real thing. And I know it has to be more than corny love songs, casual sexual relationships, or flirting. But what more, I don’t know.
Well James, what should love mean to me? Let me try and answer that question; love should be our No. 1 goal in life, love and family should mean more to us than anything. BUT, it comes at a time in our lives. Marriage between the ages of 18 and 25 hold a 41 percent divorce rate, while marriages between the ages of 25 and 34 hold an 18 percent divorce rate. Second marriages at any age hold a 60 percent divorce rate and third marriages hold a 73 percent divorce rate (www.mckinleyirvin.com/blog/divorce/32-shocking-divorce-statistics/). If “love” should mean so much to us, don’t you think it’s worth waiting a few years so that we can grow-up to make sure we don’t end up divorced? If we wait, grow the hell up, know who we are, not only is it possible to be with one person, it would be enjoyable.
We should all take dating slow and have tons of fun. Date lots of people. Realize that “sex” does not equal “love,” it’s really important to know that. If you choose to have a sexual relationship wear protection! Be responsible, but have lots of fun! Protect yourself, protect your partner, and don’t be selfish. If you choose not to have a sexual relationship, wonderful! Just remember everyone that dating should be a slow process, it should be fun, and you should date tons of people to see what you like about them all.
There are people in this life that will easily find love, that’s not me. At this point in my life, I don’t know what love is and don’t believe I’ll ever know, because; I have major problems trusting people, acting normal or being friends. In fact, I can count the number of “real” friends I have on one hand…which is sad. I understand that as MS disables me more and more that I won’t be able to go out on dates, take walks, workout. So, I’ve decided that my dream of love, a wife, and children should stay just that. A dream. It wouldn’t be fair to that other person to bring them into my life.
On a more personal note, today I was at the McDonald’s drive-through and saw the woman of my dreams. I said hi, asked how she was, flirted a little and drove off. This woman and I have a history and we haven’t talked since February. Now, I want to admit to everyone that I’m a cocky jerk, while at the same time I’m a huge coward and it’s hard for me to swallow my pride. I want to apologize to her; I hid everything about myself from you, I’m so sorry. I would love to be in your life again, you’re a great friend and I miss you more than words can say.