What is love?
It seems to be a feeling, but I’ve seen feelings fall apart and love go with it. I think, it’s more likely, that love is an intentional approach to a relationship with another person. As long as the “love” is given priority, and the relationship remains mutual, I believe love is a non-ending source of energy, joy, and connective happiness. But love is not magic. Love is not found in a soul mate. Love is the action of loving. Love is an action. Love is not a feeling.
I have written about beauty a lot as a catalyst for love. Physical attraction can provide energy and enthusiasm for building a relationship. But physical beauty is also a trap. Case in point, a beautiful woman crossed my path a few months ago while I was in a loving relationship already. There was chemistry. There was joy and energy between us. And… I was not interested in pursuing a relationship with this woman. I was taken. When my girlfriend at the time mentioned noticing my interest in this woman, I agreed she was pretty, “But, I’m already in a relationship. I’m taken.”
[My girlfriend was probably giving me some very deep information about herself when she said, “Maybe you should be with someone more like her. She’s an artist. She’s beautiful.”]
Jump forward through the summer to now and pick up the story. My girlfriend is no more, and this attractive woman now reappears in my imagination. “I wonder what she’s up to?”
I wonder about just how pretty this woman is. I wonder if she’s frequently accosted by hungry men. I wonder how I might fit into her constellation. And, ultimately, I wonder if she’s simply too beautiful for me to be with her. (What?) Is her beauty a deterrent to having a healthy and happy relationship? Of course, that last question is stupid. I know very little about her. I know she is pretty. I know she is creative and has two daughters. I know she got divorced six years ago. And that’s it. What do I know about relating to her? What do I know about her goals and her aspirations? What do I know about her love/relationship style? Nothing. I know nothing about her. Except, I know she’s pretty. Very pretty.
When I write all these posts about noticing the beautiful women on their own paths, what am I saying about myself?
I think I am saying, I am a loving person. I am becoming aware that I create a passionate love story wherever I go. And I know, I am capable of creating this “love” with a number of different kinds of women. And I notice that I am attracted to strong, capable, and beautiful women. What’s not to understand about that? And then what?
As I am rejoining the dating field, I am approaching my goal a bit differently. I know I create love. I know I build loving relationships. And, I know when the right loving person emerges I will not be afraid to give my heart to them. I just did. It was glorious. And it was ultimately a miss. That’s okay. Love is also a journey. I have not found my next home in love. But, I am fearless in putting my heart out there and asking for an open heart in return.
What part of the equation does beauty play? Does this really pretty woman threaten me, or intrigue me? One thing I’m certain of, she has caused me to pause all active progress on other women and to slow my roll completely. Is that a good thing? Am I too invested in her, even when we’ve just been reintroduced?
She’s busy. She’s made that clear. I’m busy. We may not get together again for another week. And, my heart says, “No problem, she’s worth it.”
I want to be worth it for her, as well. As I was talking to a friend last weekend about this woman he said, “You’re the catch.”
I’m ready to believe that as well. I am worth it. I am pretty. I have an amazing capacity to love and be loved. And in the long run, I am worth waiting for. The right match is my goal. The right love mix is my journey. And my undying, unwavering, and joyous heart is the vehicle to get me there. And, more importantly, to keep me there. In love.
John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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How I Can Help
I am a relationship coach and a dating coach. I coach women in small groups as well as individual 1 x 1 zoom calls. If you have questions about life coaching I am happy to talk to you. Please schedule a phone call HERE.
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back to The Positive Divorce
- The Spiritual Quest for Love
- 10 Things I’ve Learned In the 5 Years Since My Divorce
- The Care and Feeding of a Lover
- The Training and Education of a Reluctant Divorcé
- What You Can’t Tell Your Kids After Divorce
- The 3 Immutable Laws of Co-Parenting
Here are my books on Amazon:
- Single Dad Seeks: Dating Again After Divorce: Advice and Strategies on Learning How to be Loved Again
- Fall of the House of Dad: My journey through divorce, from loss to joy, again and again
- A Good Dad’s Guide to Divorce: One father’s quest to stay connected with his children
- The Sex Index: Getting Our Love Languages Right in the Bedroom
- Here Comes the Darkness: Surviving and Thriving After a Mental Illness Diagnosis
- The Third Glass: When Drinking Becomes an Issue
- The Storm Before the Divorce: When One Parent Wants Out, That’s the End