Saturday, September 8, 2012

Actions Vs Words

I thought I'd end this week of disenchantment over relationships and love with a bang. Or, more accurately, with a blog. I've already written two this week, what's one more? They say it's therapeutic to talk about what keeps us up at night. Who 'they' are is a mystery to me, but I've been kept up a fair amount this last week. Literally. I've had very little sleep. Actually, blogging might not be the best idea, and I fear this is going to be a long one, but here we go...

First, I want to reiterate to you all that I love love. I honestly do think it is the only way forward. People need to love themselves before they attempt to love someone else. That said, this week it has been a struggle to embrace love, to show it to those who are angry and bitter. I've been weighted down by a heavy heart and have been fighting the urge to hermit myself away.

Second, let me make it clear that I'm not disenchanted with my relationship. On the contrary, it's lovely and budding and, if given the right  amount of water, food and affection, it might actually grow into something quite phenomenal. Unfortunately, I know not what the future holds and I've misplaced the keys to the DeLorean. But a bit of mystery is part of the fun, isn't it?   

Let me preface this all by saying, I'm not good with words. Well, that's a lie. What I mean is, I am not good with THOSE words. The 'I love you' words that people put so much stock into. These simple eight letters are completely blown out of proportion, like there is supposed to be this big pivotal moment when they are said with fireworks, confetti, a brass band and a stadium of applause. And cake. There should always be cake when the words 'I love you' are spoken. (I may have thrown that last part in for my own enjoyment)

Talk about expectations. Ridiculous expectations! At the end of the day, they are only words, but that doesn't mean they aren't important to people. I mean, I cannot tell you how many times girls have ranted over the words NOT being spoken and gushed when they HAVE been said. For a lot of people, they are the big reveal. The moment when a relationship goes from casual tomfoolery to a serious romance. These words change things. At least, that's what I hear. 

I myself think a bit differently about 'I love you'. 

Once upon a time, a man told me he loved me and I replied, "No you don't. You just think you do." Yes, looking back on it, this was a terrible response. In the moment, I didn't think he did. It was only a couple weeks into the relationship and we really didn't know each other. Of course, he could have very well loved me, but even now I doubt it. My response was knee-jerk, and it came from a girl who honestly doubted whether anyone could ever love her. The woman (I use that term loosely) I am today knows you can love someone the instant you see them. You can love someone simply because they are human and you want them to be happy and healthy. I love a crap-ton of people. Some I have known for two days. Some I have known for years. 

This isn't the type of love people think of when these words are uttered. They think of Hollywood romance with flowers, chocolates, grand sweeping gestures and knocking boots all night long. But this just seems contrived and unnatural to me. Not realistic at all. But, people think when you say you 'love' someone, then you are IN love with them. It's not a causal love you have for all creatures big and small. No, it's big, bold and beautiful. It's heart stopping and knee knocking. At least, that's what the movies say. 

Except, love isn't black and white like most people think. There is a lot of grey area.  But the words, when uttered, are cut and dry. They are a commitment. They are serious and not to be taken lightly.  

So, what happens when you don't say them? How will someone understand you are committed? Will they know you care about them? Can they possibly understand how deep your affection runs? 

I'm not sure. I like to think my actions speak louder than my words, or lack thereof. (Oh, look! A tie in to what the blog is actually about.) Alright, I may not say "I love you" a lot- at least not during daylight hours when the other person is awake - but I do try to show them that I am theirs and theirs alone. In my mind, if they feel important, that they have my undivided attention, then I don't have to vocally tell them I love them because I am doing it in little ways. Truthfully, I don't know why I shy away from the words. For fear of looking foolish, perhaps. And not because I fear they won't be reciprocated. No, I believe if someone doesn't love me then they wouldn't be running around making a scene with me. Maybe I refrain from saying them because I like to keep things fun and easy. I love you always seems to bring such drama and an intensity I don't know what to do with. Now, now, don't get me wrong, I'll say the words, but I do believe how I treat someone is just as important. If not more. 

My idea of love, of being in love, is different. It's something natural, easy and fulfilling. I explained it in a vlog I did about wanting a sidekick. How there are boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, but then there are partners, teammates, people who support, love, cherish and do everything in their power to ensure their other half is happy.     

The thing is, I know that other people's ideas of love (romantical love) don't exactly match my own. It is, to say the least, very disheartening how flippant and meh people are about it.  

And now, for an example. 

A friend of a friend recently told his girlfriend that he loved her. It was a big deal. The guys razzed him. The girls swooned. And even though him and his girl live a couple provinces away, they were going to make it work because they were in love. Cue the audience saying 'awwww'. Well, a couple weeks ago he signed up for this on-line dating website and started going out with other girls, unbeknownst to his long-distance girlfriend. After dating (and shacking up with) some random girls, he 'realized' how great his girlfriend was and decided to give up the extracurricular coitus. Today I learned these two are talking about moving in together. 

This whole scenario left me in the worst mood. Not only because he was being dishonest and cheating on her, but because everyone made such a big deal of him telling the girl he loved her. And then, to top everything off, he told my friend that the only reason he did it was because saying the words freaked him out and made everything too serious. Ummmm. What? He said it of his own accord. I don't remember the girl holding a gun to his head and demanding he say the three little words. As far as I know, there wasn't a cattle prod, handcuffs and the threat of death involved. 

That's the thing. You can say whatever words you want, but how you act matters. Hence, the title of this blog. Actions can render words obsolete. So, yes, they do speak louder. Telling someone you love them and then proceeding to cheat on them with a wide variety of local mares is not only contradictory, but a sleezeball move.  Stories like these make me wonder how many other people are double crossing the ones they quote-unquote love. The answer is probably more defeating than I realize. And it is a brand of 'love' that I want absolutely nothing to do with. Because it isn't love at all. 

Another example? A couple of weeks ago a man made a pass at me. I told him I wasn't interested. Then I realized, he was married. He didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with this. And so, I recoil from the words, from marriage, from all these important things that are supposed to signify to our lovers, and everyone around us, that we are spoken for. That we are taken. 

I hope I'm not the only romantic. That there are other people who believe being in love with someone means there is respect, trust, faithfulness and, above everything else, honesty. Tonight, I choose to believe that not everyone in a relationship is just waiting for something better to come along. That some of them are happy and have no intention of wronging the one person they are supposed to do right by. 

This all seems so complex. But don't we make it that way ourselves? People put so much pressure on these words. They make them out to be this big deal. The simple truth is, if I feel loved, and the other person is acting like they love me, then the words do not matter. So, the verdict is in.

Actions rule.

But the words are still nice. 


Anonymous said...

To know love we need something to measure it against. So many strive to completely remove opposites and live in some kind of Nirvana, not realising that without something to measure their experience against, they become blind to it.

Perhaps the way forward is to just accept, unconditionally, who and what we are as we unfold without trying to suppress feelings of hatred or guilt or loathing or anger or any other feeling that may be deemed negative because those feelings are coming to us as a gift from ourselves as unique manifestations of spirit or source energy.

We are manifest as humans - why strive to be something else? xxx

Cameron said...

There's always so much expectation around those three little words, too. Like, no one believes you can say them to someone else without expecting something in return. That if you say them, and the other person doesn't reciprocate, that there's suddenly this shadow hanging over the entire relationship. But why can't I tell someone that I love them, whether I'm in a relationship with them or not, without expecting it in return (and without them feeling pressured), and just have them feel good about it and appreciated?

Noelle Pierce said...

Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! (And you're not the only one who's ever responded to "I love you" with, "No, you don't." :D)

My grandmother refuses to say the words. If there's an equivalent translation in Hungarian for I Love You, I don't know it (beyond guessing because I can translate I, love, and you separately...but together? Nope.). Her explanation has always been that Americans overuse it to the point of losing its value, and she shows us in more ways than words ever could.

M.M. Bennetts said...

My grandmother allegedly used to say, "Take back your heart, I ordered liver."


What you mean is there's a difference between saying "I love you" and doing "I love you." Yes, there is. And doing "I love you" can encompass everything from bringing the loved one tea in bed in the morning, to holding that person when they're crying to remembering that they like peaches and buying them one in January.

Doing "I love you" will save the world...

Anonymous said...

As my mum was dabbing iodine on open and bleeding hives that I'd scratched she said "Sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind"

Love comes in many different packages and like words, is also interpreted by the recipient.

Tyson said...

@Jobo - No one should suppress anything. Human emotions are human emotions. They are best confronted and released. Loathing, anger, guilt and hatred can be toxic to a person. I experience all of these from time to time, anger the most, and sometimes it is a chore to discover the root of it. Confront. Understand. Let go. Move forward. That's my plan.

@Cameron - You can tell them. Well, in my mind. I don't like how overwhelming it is. The pressure is cracking. If I do say it, does it mean I want to be their wife and have babies and move to Sweden. No. If I don't say them does it mean I don't give a crap about them. No. Ugh. Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

@Noelle - Is it an American thing? Was it a North American thing and it is now spreading. Interesting thought.

@Bennetts - Exactly. Thank you. Far more eloquent than I managed. :D

Cameron said...

Exactly. Just because I love someone doesn't mean I want to change my life for them (or that I would expect them to change their life for me). But it doesn't change the feeling I have for them. (And yes, I have someone in particular in mind. For the first time in my life, I'm experiencing pure love for another human being, where I don't want or need anything in return from them other than what they want to give. It's a nice feeling. Leaves me smiling quite often.)