Disposable Love

My heart swelled, I was dressed in white, and tears flowed down my face as I whimpered and worried about causing my pristine make up to run… “I’ve known him a long time, you don’t have to cry hon, he’s not that bad of a guy”, my best man quipped at me, trying to make me laugh and stop crying. I was going through one of the most defining moments of life, that’s why I was crying! I was getting up in front of family and friends and declaring that I found that one special person that I loved and wanted to spend my life with. In that initial moment, before I walked down that aisle with tears in my eyes towards my husband-to-be, I had the whirlwind of life flashing before my mind’s eye. I saw us, our home, our vacations, our children, our holidays, and us sitting on our porch in rocking chairs surrounded by our grandchildren. Life was set, I was embarking on the next chapter, I had found THE ONE.

Now as you’ll notice from the title of this blog, the above scenario did not have the expected outcome. And furthermore, if you’ve read other entries in this blog you will find nothing worked out even close to anything I expected or desired.

When I got married, I said I’d only ever do so once.. This was with the impression that the marriage that happened once, lasted.. I still stand by the only ever getting married once, as I’m not sure I’ll be able to be convinced otherwise..(although I’m only being a realist here, not a pessimist…ultimately, you never know). But I never expected to be in this circumstance; married and divorced before 30. Funny though, isn’t it? That is usually the first thing that someone going through a separation or divorce will say; “I never thought I’d be going through this”… Well of course we didn’t think that, none of us would marry! If you EVER thought you’d be going through the difficulty, challenge and frustration that is a separation/divorce we would all be running in the total opposite direction of any potential future spouse, perhaps waving goodbye to them on the way (from an absolute safe and cautious distance!).
But in enduring my own experience and watching many (and sadly, I mean MANY) people around me experiencing dissolution of long term relationships; I’ve noticed a saddening difference and I do not know how to coin the comparison other than perhaps generationally.

I look at my parents’ generation, and even the generation before. When marriages happened, they tended to continue. Now, by no means were all of these marriages/relationships rainbows and roses. But I notice a decline from this in my own generation and generations that are following after me; it seems that everything is viewed as so DISPOSABLE now. I was raised that in a relationship you have communication, if there’s a problem: you express it, talk about it, and try to come to a means of resolution or compromise. But a relationship was work, you worked at it, and you worked at it because you love eachother. Life isn’t always going to be easy, but you should at least be standing as a united front in life. The key point of being united, is that you both have to want it.
Unfortunately in the dissolution of my own marriage, we didn’t share the whole “united” deal. I accepted accountability in my relationship, what I could do to help and what I had done to hinder. I communicated this, and wanted to move forward. While he was happy to have me accept all accountability and have no admittance to any issue on his part. Well folks, if a boat is sinking, there’s better chance of survival with two people bailing water, than just one; isn’t there? So, with the numerous issues we had, and only one wanting to do the work, my marriage met its watery demise.

I look around me and notice in my age bracket that there are those before me and many after me are experiencing the same idea (much, much different issues, lifestyles, and circumstances perhaps; but the same idea). Relationships are now viewed as so disposable. It’s no longer, “you played your part, I played mine, let’s accept responsibility and figure out what we need to fix to move forward (together); we love eachother enough to do this, right?”… I now see alot of “well, he/she did this, and while I love them, I don’t see any other way of this working out”….. Both of these statements have the word “love” in them but which one really portrays the ideal of love?? Has love become so skewed that it’s now disposable or undervalued? What is our definition of love? There’s different kinds of love, which one is it that we are now all getting into these long term relationships with? Or is it common practice that people seem to have romanticized love so much that if it’s not easy and wonderful all of the time that it’s not worth it? I’m confused with these values and interpretations.

Mind you, if your relationship STILL doesn’t work after an effort or attempt at working at it; I would not classify that as “disposable”. My point in this entry today is NOT to say if we’ve chosen that one person stay with them even if they make you miserable or you find you’re not compatible. Sometimes we do just find the wrong people for us and build on a different kind of love, it happens, and that’s not a bad thing. But the lack of trying I’ve experienced and noticed around me just flabbergasts me.

I am now shudder at the possibility of a “loving relationship” for fear of how love is viewed. I do not view it as disposable, but it seems that quite a few do! And I hear that it’s getting worse, I listen to younger generations and their relationship gripes (I know, I know; alot of people talk to me about relationship trials and problems…. Yeah, that’s right, talk to the SINGLE chick about relationships; she must know what she’s doing! LOL), and it’s scary what love/commitment means now! For my future (if I ever get around to having any) children, I am petrified what marriage will look like to their generation and the generations after them. Will futuristic great, great grandchildren be sitting around in future races of instantly gratified and spoiled people saying “wow, can you believe when my great, great, grandmother was alive, they had these ceremonies and a piece of paper that meant you had to be with ONLY one person like for more than when the great sex and fun times ran out?? As if! Who would do that, if it wasn’t easy and wonderful, how could you even bother with keeping it?!”

I could be looking at this harshly friends, but I’d love to generate discussion. Disposable love, is it a commonality now? Like everything else in this world, even materialistically, perhaps “it’s just not built like it used to be?” What are your thoughts? What’s worth it?
Myself; I’m a flawed individual, I’m not perfect, I’m human…(and albeit a little difficult and stubborn—and I will note not to refer any potential partners to reading my blog now, hahaha)… Therefore, am I going to have a problem at some point in a relationship, will there be mistakes made? HELL YES. Unavoidable I’m afraid, but with this new (and seemingly common) perspective of love being so disposable, I fear if I will find what I’m looking for.

Still learning….

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4 comments on “Disposable Love

  1. Trevor Allaby says:

    Interesting read. I am not sure where I stand on the subject, or if I even have anything of worth to contribute, but here goes. My wife and I are in a great relationship. How I was lucky enough to end up here, how two very awkward people managed to struggle through dating and end up together I still have not quite figured out to this day. What I remember of our time before we got engaged was that is was the longest relationship for the both of us, by a long shot, and nothing about it felt like I was lead to believe.

    I had a very limited experience at dealing with the opposite sex at all. I was never good at the chatting up bit, my nervousness reached epic proportions when dating someone new, and I am sure it showed. My idea of what a relationship was supposed to be was basically formed by TV and movies, and it left me with some of the most unrealistic expectations. I believed in love at first sight and in this idea that you just wake up one day and know this person is absolutely ‘the one’. Even after we had moved in together, I still had an attitude that the current situation was acceptable, but did not necessarily feel this deep and emotional connection that I thought I was supposed to feel. And I began to obsess on that fact a bit to the point I really started to question what I was doing. I can’t even pinpoint when that slight apathy turned to a desire to spend the rest of my life with my good lady wife, it just did.

    So I have said this before, and most people do not believe us, and I am not bragging or anything (I don’t think marriages are a contest to see who has the best.) We really don’t fight. We have occasionally gotten snippy with each other, but I think I could count the number of times we have raised our voice at each other in 10 years on one hand. The why is what I am curious about. If I had to guess why we function that way, I have a couple theories. First, we both had a lot of single time before we got together. When you are single, you get to observe what all the people who are in relationships are doing, and you start to notice some of the pitfalls and ridiculousness that goes on. Second – we are both pretty mellow people anyways. That helps a lot I am sure. Also, I am fairly certain that not only do we accept the flaws in each other, we accept them in ourselves and are fairly aware what those flaws are. And finally I think we are both fairly good at seeing things from the others viewpoint (something I try to do on a lot of interactions in life.) So basically, if an issue comes up, we generally speak our minds about it, and it is resolved pretty much instantly because the other one already knew on some level it was an issue anyways.

    So to the idea of disposable love, I sincerely hope that is not the case in most people because it makes me sad. I would hope that the apparent increase in divorce rates can be attributed to people rushing into things before they were ready combined with people not willing to resign themselves to a life together with someone they really are not all that compatible with. I think in the older generations people just stayed together regardless of the fact that quite a few of them should not have. And if people are not doing that now, that at least could be a good thing. Even better would be finding someone you are compatible with the first time out, but we are not living in a perfect world. And people are always growing and evolving as people, you kind of have to hope you remain compatible through this.

    So, I have been rambling for a bit here. I guess if I had to sum up, I don’t believe in love at first sight, I don’t believe in soul mates, and I hope to hell love is not disposable! I think I can say with a fair bit of certainty it is not for me and my wife. I believe that I was lucky enough to find someone I am very compatible with, at least in the last 10 years we have remained very compatible and I hope I continue to be smart enough to never take her for granted.

    • Trevor, thank you so much for reading and for your wonderful insight! It is so refreshing to hear about getting past what societal images and norms of “what love is supposed to be”.
      I believe love can happen over any range of time and circumstance; but I will definitely agree with you strongly on an above point, knowing yourself and observing those around you from a single status. Perhaps this is your secret for success? Whatever it is,I commend you and your lovely lady wife, and wish you many wonderful things!
      Thank you again.

  2. Lindsay says:

    I love your blogs and I’m not entirely sure I have anything of true worth to say either, but here’s my take…I believe our generation is stuck somewhere between a future generation lacking true love altogether, and our parents/grandparents generation where when something broke, you fixed it rather than throw it away.
    We watched parents stay together for the kids, we watched grandparents who stayed together for their own reasons until death literally caused their parting.
    We were the first generation to have disposable EVERYTHING from cameras to diapers to phones, you name it, we can throw it away, and how quickly!
    Our children are by far, worse, due to our own “throw away” complex. We do still believe in true and everlasting love, we just do it in a different way. Where our elders stayed together NO MATTER WHAT, we know enough that when something REALLY isn’t working, and we REALLY can’t fix it, it’s time to let go. Staying together for children causes future issues for our kids, and staying unhappy doesn’t teach anyone a valuable lesson either.
    However, I don’t see our generation as hopeless, or disposable. I’d like to think we understand what or who would enhance our lives and even though we are (mostly) willing to work through problems, we also know when enough is enough.

    • Lindsay, I adore your comments and again, thank you for reading!
      I agree, generationally, everything has become about convenience and disposability; but I do fear that has some affect on relationships as well.
      But we can only try to instill in future generations some less disposable ideals.
      I appreciate your optimism, as these blogs are only my opinions.

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