I never wanted

Someone to hold me

Out of routine habitual bliss

Dan Lipton -- Travelogue

Whenever I am interacting with couples that have been together for a long period of time, I can't help but think about how many things have probably changed since their relationship began. We fall in love, and our love grows over time, but eventually that love can be taken for granted. We ease in, settle. Honesty and communication break apart, and two lovers become roomates, or friends. Conversation breaks down to "How was your day honey?" or discussions about trivial things or menial chores, and we say "I love you" before we fall asleep. We say that we are in love, but when we think about it, we know that those days are gone. I have already experienced this fate, and I am desperate to escape it but as I look to the future, I wonder if love really can survive over time. Can two people overcome the numerous obstacles of change and time and still keep a hold on that precious spark that first united them?

There is a scene in the movie Magnolia that illustrates this crucial point about love. The police officer Jim Curin and Claudia Gator are together at a retaurant for a first date. During the course of conversation, Claudia asks him to promise to never hide what he is feeling to her, to always maintain a perfect sense of honesty, which she will in turn do for him. He agrees, and together they help each other through their problems. This kind of complete honesty is the only way I feel any relationship can survive.

As I examine what I want in a relationship, I see that I have a very defined sense of what I feel will make me happy. I have learned from my failures that what I want is someone who is caring, not cold, someone who believes in being purely honest, who is not afraid to communicate with me, someone who can surprise and challenge me, and someone who understands that love is not a game of one partner controling the other. Can real love survive over time? Who knows. But I'm not going to find out until I am ready to begin the search again.

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