Posts Tagged ‘love’


For some, the search for a ready-made soul mate is a lifelong, usually unfulfilled, journey.  When we think of “soul mate,” we tend to envision a person who enters our life, rids it of flaws, perfects us indirectly, gives us everything we need, and sets our future into fantastical motion.  Sounds egotistical, doesn’t it?  To labor under the delusion that there is one being in the entire universe who will complete us…that until we unite with this one person, we will remain incomplete and miserable.  That nothing we do in our lives matters until we meet, mark, and marry our soul mate…Is life not completely saturated with pressure as it is?  Now the pressure is on to single-handedly find one person – a nameless, faceless stranger  – on this massive planet out of billions upon billions upon billions.  Our life, happiness, and success depend on it.  Now, that’s pressure.  And to think…we get stressed  trying to meet deadlines, pay bills, and prevent our kids from “looking” at each other.  A global search for a non-existent fairy tale should be a piece of cake…shouldn’t it?  Why do we feel that we’re incomplete in the first place?  And why does the fear of remaining incomplete scare us into hoping our other half is roaming the world in search of us as well?  Will our need to feel grossly over-important ever cease?  Will our quest for something bigger and better never end?  Maybe the term “soul mate” needs further examining.  Perhaps a “mateover.”

The term “soul mates” has been defined many ways.  The dictionary defines it as “two people who share a deep affinity with one another…such as a husband, wife, lover…two people who are compatible with each other in disposition, point of view, or sensitivity.”  Webster seems lacking, does it not?  As long as two people are similar and in love, they can be soul mates?  uh…no.  How exactly does “soul” factor into that equation?  It doesn’t.  Webster is simply describing a suitable mate…but soul mate, no.

Soul mate tends to suggest a more mythical background.  At least this is the idea movies, romance literature, and legends have bestowed upon us.  Greek philosopher Plato’s definition seems a more excitingly tasty pill to swallow than Webster’s, but one of gargantuan size nonetheless…at least for me.  Plato theorized that our soul must split in two before birth in order to indulge in the earthly experience…a male and female soul…that we represent only half of our soul and spend our lifetime searching for our other half.  Once we find that half, we become whole and find peace and happiness.  But until we find that missing half, we’re an empty shell… void of…well, life.  This definition definitely brings “soul” into the equation, but abandons all sense of practicality.  Imagine if this were true…that our other half is roaming the Earth somewhere and we must find him/her to achieve true love and happiness.  We spend our days toiling away at our half-souled existence while our twin soul could be proposing to someone else in a quaint corner of a small bistro in Paris.  He could be struggling to survive life in the crime-ridden streets of some forgotten country.  He could be training a child in the ways of holding a gun and mindlessly murdering a stranger in Africa.  He could be reading a paper on a subway in Japan.  He could be scooping elephant poop in an Indian circus.  Or, he could be in the restroom of your local McDonald’s as you order a cheeseburger, but you just miss him because you’re stuffing your face and not patrolling the john.  You get my point.  The odds are stacked so high against us finding one person on such an expansive planet…it’s a ridiculous notion.  Take those odds and head to the casino…you’re much more likely to hit the jackpot.  🙂

If we spend our whole lives with binoculars glued to our face looking for something or someone who doesn’t exist, we may miss the one person who’s been under our nose the whole time…the one who would love us and accept us – flaws and all…the one we could be happy with if we’d stop waiting for the clouds to part, the birds to sing, and the world to suddenly make sense with every prospective spouse we meet.  Reality…and life are waiting.  Some hopeless romantics out there choose to ignore reality and wait patiently for their soul mate to find them.  But they’ll be waiting for quite a while.  Their soul mate (if defined as one’s long lost twin soul who will be perfect in every way and make life a virtual utopia) owns a timeshare in a magical faraway place with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.  Who knows when he’ll be back this way… 😉

Maybe we need to redefine the term soul mate…understand that we aren’t limited to only one in our lifetime.  Maybe a soul mate is a person we’re lucky enough to find in our corner of the Earth  who is willing to love, respect, and put up with our ever changing faces through life’s many minefields.  Maybe a soul mate isn’t magically found, but created.  Once we find a person who meets these criteria, we work on a building relationship…and work it WILL be.  As we grow closer, we share more, we become more connected mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Our souls respect the other, love the other, and appreciate the other.  With this connection, or soul mate, we’re equipped to face the world…however ugly it may get…regardless of the land mines we must dodge…overcome adversity together, and come out as twin victors, rather than twin souls.  As two individual souls who’ve chosen to compliment the other and venture through this amazing journey of life… not as two souls merging into one, but as two souls dancing alongside each other and each picking up the other when he trips over his two left feet.

Our accepted version of a soul mate is one that is centuries old, unrealistic, and damaging to our expectations…as is some of our most treasured very old, very idealistic, and very romantic movies, or classics.  Sooner or later, most classics will face a remake, be rethought, and reinvented…a newer version of the same story.  The fairy tale of soul mates is a story as old as time.  So, maybe it’s “time” we end the troll for that mated soul…and recreate our perfect mate.  🙂

Chick Hughes

“Love never claims, it ever gives.” ~  Mahatma Gandhi


Ahh, love.  It comes.  It goes.  It takes your breath away… leaves you floating on air.  Then one day, it simply takes your breath… leaves you deflated, void of life, and gasping for the very air you once floated effortlessly on.    But what goes up must come down, right?   We fall passionately in love… can’t pull our otherwise rational head out of the clouds – not that we want to.  Our love is intoxicating, empowering, and seemingly infallible.  Little do we know.  🙂  We trust that love so completely that before long, we take it for granted.  Anything we take for granted, we neglect.  A marriage neglected becomes a marriage…fallible.  What comes next?  The better question may be what doesn’t come next?  We may find ourselves in love limbo…somewhere between “in love” with our spouse and divorce.  No man’s land.  We still love our spouse, but we’re not “in love” anymore.  What now?  Do we give up, lawyer up, and begin the battle of who gets what?  Or do we fight for our marriage, rather than against it?

It happens every day to couples everywhere.  Spouses fall out of love.  They no longer feel that electric spark between themselves…no longer see in their spouse what they did once upon a time.  They’re simply no longer happy with this person they vowed to love in “sickness AND health.”  Of course, there are occasions when divorce is the best choice.   But more times than not, a couple who was once passionately in love can find their way back to that love…given a little effort and an open mind.  Do you remember those heartfelt vows you pledged to your spouse?  Do you remember the look in your spouse’s eyes when you were exchanging those vows?  Do you remember the moment you said “I do?”  Do you remember the officiant who wed you waving the “easy marriage” wand over your heads?  Do you remember the marriage license containing a disclaimer?  “Warning:  Marriage will suck the life out of you.  If you have a wandering eye, a short temper, a stubborn personality, a closed mind, or if you in any way, shape, or form classify yourself as HUMAN…you may want to consult your divorce lawyer before entering into this contract!”  Of course not!  We don’t enter into marriage with the anticipation of divorce.  We’re too blinded by our love at the point of “I do.”   But there will come a time…a time when you don’t share the same spark that once had the ability to set your whole “forest” ablaze…a time when you simply tolerate the other…a time when you no longer feel “in love”…a time when you wonder if divorce is inevitable.

You won’t be alone.  When we say “I do,” it’s hard to imagine the profound reality of the next 50 years.  As newlyweds, we’re infants in the world of marriage.  We can’t comprehend the difficulty that awaits us…the stress of keeping mounting bills paid, raising kids whose primary job seems to be pulling us away from each other, meeting the needs of career, family, and life, in general.   Romance is often times stuck on the back burner, metaphorically speaking, and forgotten about until we smell that “burning” stench lingering in the air.  We forget to pay attention to it until we’re so far apart emotionally that it may seem too late…and we begin kicking around the “D” word in our thoughts.

The fact is ALL marriages will go through these “dry” spells.  This is the ebb and flow of marriage.  Spouses fall in and out of love with one another all the time.  We enter marriage “in love”…obviously.  As the years pass and stress envelopes us, we may begin to neglect one another…and fall out of love.  While we may still love each other (just as we love our family), we may not be “in love.”  We may love him, but not like him very much anymore.  We may wonder why we ever married this person to begin with.    We may even be disgusted with our spouse on occasion.  We may think there’s no hope…no way to get “it” back.  Wrong again!  By this stage in life, we should be growing accustomed to being…wrong…every now and then.  🙂

The beauty of love is that it tends to come full circle –  much like that iconic, circular representation of it we exchange on the day we wed…the wedding band.  Our love will start out in a state of romantic bliss.  Bliss will fade.  “Getting by” will become our daily struggle…but love will endure.  That iconic symbol will withstand being left at home, being temporarily lost, being smudged by life’s daily messes…it will even withstand us outgrowing it (just as we do our love at times).  But even with all the trials that band encounters, it remains an intact circle and very difficult to “break.”

Love will come and go.  Someday, we’ll fall out of love with our spouse and find ourselves hovering in love limbo.  But give it time…that love will return.  Search for the charming, endearing things your spouse does, rather than focusing on the negative annoyances.  One day your spouse will wink sensually at you, touch you lovingly, or kiss you in a way that reignites that “long been out” flame.  That flame will cause your knees to grow weak, send your heart aflutter, and…hopefully, leave you in the throes of passion.  All the things that made you fall in love in the first place will come rushing back to you…and possibly, leave you floating on air once again. On this day, your vision won’t be so utterly impeded by all of life’s messy trials.  You’ll be able to see what initially attracted you to this person you pledged your life to.  Once returned, that love will likely be stronger than ever before. After all, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger…right?  Cliche, but true.

A love that once found us WILL find us again.  We just have to do our part:  be patient enough to wait for it and devoted  enough to draw it a map.

Chick Hughes

Trip over love, you can get up. Fall in love and you fall forever.” ~ author unknown

Remember those swoon-inducing, romantic gestures he once dizzied you with before you said “I do?”  Ever wonder exactly which black hole they were unexpectedly sucked into?  While dating, women analyze every move he makes in regards to her, just as a scientist forming and testing a hypothesis. ” How does he feel?”  “Does he love me?”  “Where is this going?”  “What did he mean by that?”  Once the wedding planning commences, the analytics subside and surrender to the intoxication of the honeymoon.   Now fast forward a few years.  Responsibilities have consumed him.  She’s no longer receiving what she perceives as tokens of his love and is left wondering what happened to her dizzying gestures.  She still longs for the swooning high from the early years.  Without this, she begins to wonder:  “Does he still love me?”

Men and women have very different methods of expressing their love.  When a relationship begins, a man will show his love for you by spending time with you above others.  He will forsake his family and friends for time with you.  He is consumed with thoughts of you.  He will also display the metaphorical beating of his over-sized chest for you.  “This is my girl.”  “Are you looking at my girl?”  While we humans may have refined this behavior a bit, it still bears a striking resemblance to mate claiming in the animal kingdom.  Once Cupid’s arrow has embedded itself, he will also begin to “provide” for you.  This will include taking you out to dinner, treating you to a movie,  and buying you flowers and gifts.  These early signs of his love represent the romantic gestures women enjoy that get lost in the translation of marriage.

Once married, a shift occurs in how he expresses his love…this is because men are incredibly practical creatures.  They’re very capable of prioritizing what needs to be done to reach a particular goal.  When dating, his goal was to win you over and marry you.  Unless he’s been living under a rock for his entire existence, he’s well aware of what’s required to accomplish this goal.  However, now that he’s won you over, his goals have changed- along with his responsibilities.  He now has the responsibility of taking care his family, not a challenge he takes lightly.  This is now his main focus.  Guess why?  Because he loves you.  He is showing his love for you by ensuring a nice home, food on the table, and financial security.  He must provide for you because…you guessed it…he loves you.   Men are not big on sappy declarations of love.  For him, actions are a more productive means of expressing his love than words.  While women are more feeling oriented, men are more action oriented.  So, working hard in order to provide for you, tending to your car needs (filling your gas tank, making sure your tires are properly aired, washing your car), cleaning the kitchen before you get home, massaging you after a long day–these are your newly evolved gestures of love ladies.  Recognize and appreciate them as such.

Men prefer to share space rather than feelings.  Connecting, for him, may include a road trip, hiking, or some other activity that includes only the two of you.  These side-by-side activities are bonding for him.  If there are issues in the relationship, he would prefer to handle it with a non-pressure activity such as this.  You can talk without ambushing him and boring your eyes into his soul expectantly.  This is why he cringes when you demand a sit-down, face-to-face talk about what’s missing from your relationship?  You may as well sit him in the corner and proceed to chastise him because this will cause him to feel trapped and attacked.  It’s not all that different to him than a lecture from his mom–and the last thing you want is to be perceived as mom-like.  Neither of you want that association come magic time.  For him, eye contact represents a challenge, not an opportunity for growth. A together no-pressure activity may be his way of saying, “I do love you.  Let’s fix our problem.”  Another way to read his love gauge for you is sex.  A man in love has an emotional connection to you and will pamper you in bed.  He will strive for your enjoyment.  Without love, sex with him will be nothing more than an act of lust. Women are perceptive; you’ll have no problem deciphering between the two.

As women, we’re forever searching for those little romantic gestures.  As married women, we sometimes feel we’re treading water in a barren sea–void of romance.  Unfortunately, we’re unaware that our “romantic gesture” may not come in the form of fireworks overhead, but in the form of a life raft occupied by him.  As times change, so does our definition of romance.  Next time he changes your oil or takes out the trash, remember this is his way of pledging his love for you.  Your response:  “I love you too.”

Chick Hughes

“Every man is afraid of something. That’s how you know he’s in love with you; when he is afraid of losing you.” ~author unknown