When Manda met Lola

As a parent, there’s a special feeling you get when you introduce your child to your partner. It’s not something to be taken lightly, it’s the grand assumption that this person will be in your life for the foreseeable future.

The event shouldn’t be something that is overly stressful that one partner pushes for, while the other is hesitant about the situation. First meetings are awkward enough.

There’s a difference between attachment and love. Co-dependency and healthy independence. There’s love languages to be aware of, infatuation to wane. You have to really ask yourself if you are with this person for wholesome reasons, to love them as a separate entity, the other, instead of the desire to be taken care of as a child. You have to ask yourself if you are with this person simply because you don’t want to be alone.

When I met Amanda, actually our first communication was a question, “What are your greatest challenges and how do you work towards growing?”, “What are your short and long-term goals?”, “How do you approach problem-solving.”

Question after question. It was strange to lead with such things. Most people introduce themselves to each other with a funny pickup line, or a rather lame, “hey.” I went through quite a many interested people and told many people no.

Amanda and I approached things differently. We began with the real questions, followed up with a love languages quiz, finished things off with a Briggs-Meyers personality test. INFJs with much of the same love languages, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch. Although, I always tend to be more extroverted than your garden variety INFJs.

We both had our doses of poor relationships. Heck, she too knows what it feels like to go through a divorce. We both wanted something real and knew all too well what fire feels like.

We talk about our previous relationship experiences, to learn where things went sour, to grow, in all brutally honest detail. Our infidelities, our darkest moments.

Things just feel different. You think you know what love is, but then you meet someone and find that it shouldn’t be a compromise. You find that love is hard work and sweat. Love is what you can do for your partner, but they have to be willing to do the same. It’s trust, it’s friendship. It’s being able to have the hard discussions, yet laughing until you can’t breathe.

Love is vulnerability. Mutual vulnerability. The ultimate vulnerability.

Yet, most people aren’t willing to be vulnerable enough to experience something real.

“Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready.”

Nayyirah Waheed

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