[su_heading size=”18″]Can True Love Survive Children[/su_heading]
Everybody wants to know how to find that true love, but what about finding it and keeping the love while raising children? So far, Baddy and my love has endured the true test of time, from building and then losing a dream house together, to the trials and tribulations of raising boys in “Paradise”.
After watching writer Mandy Len Catron’s video on TED it came to me that the subject of my blog, and perhaps my book, should be on whether it is possible to make true love last, especially after having children.
Len Catron spoke about Psychologist Arthur Aaron’s theory that thirty-six specific questions plus four minutes of sustained eye contact is a recipe for falling in love, or at least creating intimacy among complete strangers. Finding the questions online she proposed to test it out with an acquaintance of hers, and guess what? They fell in love.
When posting her story she did not consider how viral a topic “finding the key to love” would be, she also did not foresee the problems that would arrive when exposing she and her boyfriend’s relationship to hundreds of thousands of people. Mandy became disillusioned by that attention and concerned that people were more interested in how long her love would last rather than what the key ingredient was to making that love last.
This gave me pause with great reflection in the days before our 17th anniversary. Having had Thumper one year almost to the day after our wedding day, the ebb and flow of our love has always been vulnerable to financial stressors, societal obstacles, and natural forces that get thrown our way at any unexpected moment, toss in three boy babies that morph into dirty, rambunctious, awkwardly cool teens looking like adults on the outside but on the inside the frontal lobes are formed only enough for them to take risks with their lives, and you have the makings of indeterminable disaffection, love gone sour.
Ultimately, it is best if we are not experiencing the pressures of life at the same time so that one can hold the torch and be that grounding force while the other slips off to crumble, twitch and hover in some dark place until ready to grab the hand that is being reached out and get coaxed back through humor, understanding and a whole lotta of love, petting and affection.
If I were to talk about the key ingredients, I would say that it all has to do with having a mutual respect for one another and treating each other with as much love and tenderness as possible, and with great integrity. Admittedly, I have my moments when I let my mind wander to thinking about how life could be different, easier, had I met somebody who was more my mentor than my equal, who was the same religion as me, and who had a whole lot more money. Ultimately though, having a magnetic attraction to one another and the ability to make each other laugh hard when the chips are down, not to mention having an unadulterated loyalty, is what has kept us together (in the end, the answer is….sex!)
As with everything, our world has opened up so completely by having children, but it is one heck of a payoff.
Here are the 36 Questions To Bring You Closer to Love
Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Would you like to be famous? In what way?
Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you’re going to say? Why?
What would constitute a perfect day for you?
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?
Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
Take four minutes and tell you partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
Is there something that you’ve dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
What do you value most in a friendship?
What is your most treasured memory?
What is your most terrible memory?
If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
What does friendship mean to you?
What roles do love and affection play in your life?
Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “we are both in this room feeling…”
Complete this sentence “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…”
If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
Tell your partner what you like about them: be honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
… and a few variations:
Category: Jillian's Real Life, parenting, Rough DraftTags: Does true love exist?, Everlasting Love, Falling in love in Aspen, finding love and staying in love, happily married, love after marriage and children, love in the mountains, Mandy Len Catron, TED Talk, the key to making love last, the love project, True love