“Like all husbands, I know I was perfect.
Like all wives, she knew I was not.”
(Dedication to The Golden Dialetik, 2014, p.iii)
Expectations are the enemy of love; making love is as unstable as boiling water! There are many forms of expectations… Here are some of the expectations that drove me to distraction: (a) I believed women to be perfect, (b) I overreacted when learning that women were not perfect, and then (c) I believed that I was destined to be part of a perfect couple. Obviously, I was a very gullible youth.
When I was young, I was in awe of girls, and then women. They were the most wonderful, perfect representations of humanity ever create in my mind. Once I went on a date with a blonde woman in college (in my mid-twenties) and was so awe-struck by her beauty, I was dumb-struck and could not talk. Needless to say, my extreme social awkwardness killed that potential relationship and the possible manifestation of love.
I had to realize that women were not perfect, neither in body or mind, although some women do attempt to challenge this conclusion. (I assume women learn that men are imperfect far earlier in life than I did. Men make such fools of themselves before girls and women, acting crazy to impress members of the fair sex; how could a female not realize male imperfections early on? Men acting like idiots and pretending not to be fools is a pervasive flaw of the gender.)
Realizing that women are not perfect after all, the danger of dethroning goddesses is that one in anger could view the dethroned as less than human. My thinking went, “how dare a woman not be perfect!” Yes, the pendulum swung wildly. My expectations of women having been dashed, I developed a new expectation that was not flattering to women, and I got angry about this and blamed women.
For a short, sad period of my life, I took out my anger on the nearest woman. This was never physical, but after additional rejections (rightly deserved), I learned this anger was not benefiting me. I needed to grow more, and I did. I assumed the responsibility of respecting all women, regardless of their state of imperfection.
Then I encountered another expectation that led me astray, the popular western fantasy of Romeo and Juliet. Forget the star-crossed lover part and the belief that you can join someone romantically in death, the underlying theory is that these two were perfect, making up the perfect couple, who were destined to be together forever.
Assuming each is imperfect, the fantasy is that there is a perfect partner for each of us, making a perfect couple from two imperfect beings! This happens a lot to teenagers, who end up getting married. A funny thing happens along the way; they grow up! (I guess I am a slow learner.)
This doomed me to spend many years of my life looking for the perfect partner. This dream woman-partner was exactly that, a dream. Since there was no woman able to live up to the expectation of being imperfectly perfect in a perfect partnership that I was expecting; I was beaten down by many more rejections. Finally, I allowed myself to look for a less than perfect partner.
This does not exhaust all the expectations that can ruin the blossoming of love. Some expectations need to be learned, such as to be “open” to the women I met, and look for a woman that was “open” to me; this meant I had to put aside all and any expectations that I may have about another person. (I was dissuaded early from expecting someone to tend to all my personal needs, hand and foot. All the women I dated made it clear that this was not going to happen!)
After that, I joined the marital carousel of life, met the love of my life, married, and had an imperfectly perfect life. I have come to the conclusion that in natural reality nothing is perfect, and my love is not perfect, but my imperfect love has been really darn close.
Moral, if you expect anything to be perfect, people or love, you are going to be disappointed–and lonely.
Begone expectations! Welcome love…
-Andrew Barraford, New Hampshire
Copyright © 2019 Golden Sunset Hill Trust
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All Love Letters’ are pristine, posted as they were received. Please forgive any spelling and grammar issues, since the writing was done in the throes of love, and sometimes love doesn’t care about commas or misplaced letters.