Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012: Near, Far, Wherever You Are - Mark Andrew's Thoughts

Yes, I am going to utter those 3 blissful, or dreadful words, depending on who you are. Happy Valentines Day.

Myself, I celebrated early, last night to be exact when I checked my mail and my Mom had sent me a chocolate bar. I'm 33, my Mom still does stuff like that, and I love it. The only time it backfired was one Easter several years back when she bubble-wrapped a rabbit and sent it to me; a quick funeral was held.

I found it hilarious that I had an appointment with my psychiatrist scheduled for this morning. My friend Ethan asked me if she was hot, and I guess he is - in a balding, middle-aged, middle-eastern kind of way. He's great though. I confided in him that I thought I lived in my head too much. He said "Well what we have to do is get your heart on," and referred me to another therapist. Great guy.

I am actually writing this note on paper since my computer is having issues, which works out nicely so that I don't have to read all of the status updates of my friends who are in relationships, leaving wall-posts, etc for their little snookems.

But let's move on.

When I think about love and relationships, I am influenced a lot by the author Henri Nouwen. Nouwen, who suffered immensely do to the conclusion of a special relationship in his life, speaks of having too high expectations of the other person in the relationship. He says essentially that we buy into the Hollywood fantasy, that 2 people meet, fall in love, complete each other, and live in bliss.

But as  you know, this isn't always the case. No matter how much we may love someone, we still need nights out with the guys, or Zumba nights with the girls (as an aside, I've seen women doing Zumba before, and am convinced that it's just Tai Chi on uppers.)

Nouwen says that when we expect another person to complete us, we get angry and bitter when we realize that no one person can do that.

I think there's a lot of wisdom in that. How much better it is to love someone because we actually appreciate who they are, rather than because we need them to fill some gaping hole in our lives. When we demand the latter, we no longer love someone just for who they are, but we love them out of a desperate need within us. Our giving and taking can look more like violence, Nouwen says - even if it isn't physical violence.

But is a certain amount of need wrong in a relationship? A certain amount of dependency? Henri Nouwen was a priest. I'm just some dude sitting in a café with wants, desires, thoughts, etc.

Your thoughts?

Mark Andrew