In the saccharine
, ghastly world of romance novels, love
really does mean never having to say you're sorry. It also means heterosexual
relationships only, no sex before marriage, rugged men with big chests, gasping women with even bigger chests, castles, horses, and the loving wife staying at home to look after the 2.4 golden haired children while hubby dashes off to have duels and sign things with wax seals. If that's love, then baby, you can keep it.
Love is none of those things. Love can be dirty, messy, unpredictable, awkward, complicated, embarrassing, loud, terrifying, sad, and lonely. It can also be powerful, warm, exciting, amazing, safe, silly, bizarre, quiet, simple, and breathtaking. Many people think that if only they had a girlfriend/ boyfriend/ whatever, then everything would be perfect. But it won't be. Relationships are difficult. You have to work at them, like anything else. They definitely won't solve all of your problems. They will probably create plenty of new ones. But you will have someone to help you deal with them. And that's half the battle, sometimes.
You're going to argue. Everybody argues. You're going to say the wrong thing, bring up the past, be sarcastic, act more hurt than you really are, shout, swear, cry, shake, break things - it happens. We have two doors with small holes in, because somebody punched them in a huff (they're really flimsy). For a while we only had two plates - before that, we had three, but somebody slammed one down on the table a bit too hard during an argument, and it smashed. We bought a set of plates and cups after that, because if any more had broken we'd have been eating off the same plate. We haven't broken any more since then (not yet, as of December 2004, except for one cup that heyoka dropped in the kitchen after a nodermeet, and one glass Andrew Aguecheek knocked over that same night, ha ha, I told on you). I can't remember what those arguments were about. Probably nothing, or something small or stupid, a misheard comment, a snarky response. But was everything then fine without anyone having to say sorry? No. We both said sorry, and meant it, and all was forgiven.
Sometimes it's hard to say sorry. If the other person is still angry, they might not be ready to hear it, or still feeling argumentative. You might feel embarrassed, because you've lost your temper and looked stupid shouting at and punching a door, and then need lots of fuss and a plaster for a tiny cut on your hand that isn't even bleeding, for example, just to make up an example out of nowhere. Sometimes the person is ready to hear your apology, but wants to guilt trip you a bit longer because you splashed his leg with the dinner when you broke the plate, to make up another example. It's hard, but it has to be done, and done sincerely.
Love isn't a fairy tale picture book where nobody has to say sorry. Love means saying sorry - and meaning it.
And anyway, she started it...