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“I’m not in love …”

Which is a really silly title for this particular blog post considering the rest of the lyrics, but lets just put that aside and focus on just those 4 words.

A dear friend once (not so very long ago) sent me these words:

“The great wonderful Amanda (where do keep the hearts and souls of the men you collect)?”  Ouch.

This was painful on a few levels.  1) I deeply care for this person.  2) I don’t go around entering relationships with the intention of cruelly ending them for recreational purposes. 3) Apparently I had hurt someone.

Here’s the deal.  I watch romantic movies and I’m pretty sure I want that.  I do!

I want the speech Meg Ryan got at the end of ‘When Harry Met Sally’.  I cry every time Harry ends with,

“And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”.

I want the car to pull up with my suitor holding up flowers and an umbrella like ‘Pretty Woman’.  I want the fairy tale.

I want to have my Holly Golightly moment when I realize I don’t have to be caged to give my heart.

But I have not found the person I want those things from.

I have never truly had my heart broken, I have never mourned for the loss of a relationship and I have never had that kind of love. Well – perhaps that’s not fair.  I have never felt that kind of love.

To be honest, it’s only been a couple of years since I’ve been comfortable enough in my own skin to be capable of offering anything of substance to someone else. I can’t begin to describe how much the term: ‘You complete me’ drives me up the wall!

How, in the world, does one expect any success in a relationship when one enters it ‘incomplete’?  I would hope to offer my whole heart to someone who also has a whole heart.  I would hope to offer my serenity, contentment and love to someone who also has that.  A partner that compliments, not completes all that is me, who brings differences and experiences to the relationship with their uniqueness.

There are many reasons I won’t go into for my lack of success when it comes to love.  Trust me when I say that events occurred to a little girl, a teenager and a young adult that should not have.

Lately, I’ve been noticing happy couples.  There is a beautiful woman at work who after decades of marriage is still SO completely in love with her husband.  She exudes happiness (which came first I wonder? The happy chicken or the love egg?).

Then today, I bumped into an older couple at the store that I did a loan for.  We chatted a while, and my heart swelled watching them finishing each others sentences (NOT the same as ‘completing’ each other people!) – I swear, the lady’s eyes literally sparkled when she looked at her husband.  Dreamy.  Absolutely dreamy.  Of course, I had to point that out to them, which brought about more sparkling from both of them.

I want that.  I want to spend the rest of my life with someone who makes my eyes sparkle.  I want a best friend to hold hands with, to laugh with. 

It’s corny, but when I was younger, I used to imagine what New Years Eve 1999 would be like.

I’m getting ready,  putting on my earrings as I smile peacefully into my vanity mirror. I can hear my husband telling the dog to quiet down and greeting the babysitter.  I hear my children running around downstairs squealing with delight because the sitter is here and they’ve just been told they can stay up late.  My husband walks into the bedroom as I stand up and smooth my party dress, we exchange a secret smile.  It’s date night with the man of my dreams. 

He never showed up.

I do have the dog – and I do own earrings.  I also have an amazing son who is the only man I’ve ever truly given my whole heart to. 

But I think I’m almost ready for more.  I think there’s still time for a ‘ever after’.