LOVE. In all caps.

Hi Cyber Sweeties,

The flavor of the week is LOVE in all its forms and glory. Later this week I will share a question I have received from the community concerning love conundrums as well as big-eyed songbird stories of yore and hearts and magic. Before then, get yourself ramped up with some incredible TED talks on the subject of all that is LOVE in all caps.

TED talks about LOVE.

What does Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, think about love?

Introducing the thought-process behind love that changed my entire perspective:

“I can tell you, I go to many parts of the world, where I don’t ever hear people say, “My partner is my best friend.” They have best friends, and that’s not there partner. Their partner is their partner. That’s a different thing. And frankly, many people treat their partners in ways that they would never treat their best friends and allow themselves to say and do things that no best friend would ever accept. Friendship does not operate along the same lines.

So what sustains desire and why is it so difficult? And at the heart of sustaining desire in a relationship, I think it’s the consideration of two fundamental human needs.

On the one hand, our need for security, for predictability, for safety, for dependability, for reliability, for permanence:  all of these anchoring, grounding experiences of lives that we call home.

But we also have an equally strong need, men and women, for adventure, for novelty, for mystery, for risk, for danger, for the unknown, the unexpected surprise…for journey for travel.

So reconciling our need for security and our need for adventure into one relationship, or today what we like to call a passionate marriage, used to be a contradiction in terms. Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children, social status, succession, and companionship.

But now, we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend, and my trusted confidant, and my passionate lover to boot, and we’ll live twice as long.

So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village was to provide. Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge, give me novelty give me familiarity, give me predictability give me surprise, and we think it’s a given.”

Talk about unrealistic expectations on our partners. Who knew love was such a balancing act. Then again, should we be at all surprised?

So gather some inspiration and then lets chat. I’m still collecting stories and questions from you, Cyber Sweeties. Continue to ask away!

Can’t wait to share the LOVE in just a few days.

All the best,

Jiminy

LOVE. In all caps.

Young Love and Old Souls

Hi Cyber Sweeties,

Firstly, thank you for your letters and questions. Thank you for your total honesty and for coming to me with your heart in your hands. I’m amazed by every single one of you. What a courageous group of individuals you are to dare to ask the tough stuff.

Right now, I’m sitting and looking out on my old college campus. It’s been years since I walked these hallowed halls. I see myself in so many of these faces. Some, I look at with fondness. Others? Eh, maybe the grunge 90’s look that is circling back into our closets should stay away. Those crop tops weren’t as flattering as I believed.

My memories invade me from all over. Especially of those and my Mister.

My love life has been carved into this magical, mysterious, Hogwarts-like memory machine. I’m looking right at my initials and Mister’s etched into window pane. Love apparently knows no rules when it comes to vandalism.

I’m looking out over the hill where we went puddle-diving and had our first mouth-watering, not-suitable-for-children kiss. I’m gazing at fondness at the bridge where I threw a library book over the edge and into the creek because I was furious with the ending and, where moments later, Mister met me with a hug, a laugh and a free ice cream cone. The best cure for all my then and future post-novel slumps.

Just beyond in the distance is the chapel and old colonial President’s house where I lived my last year. Where Mister and I squeezed my 10-bedrooms worth of knickknacks, pillows and pink  this and thats into my itty bitty room.

I’m giggling to myself as I pass by the many classrooms we found ourselves in after hours and the theater where we rolled around on the backstage couches (a secret we have kept from even our most intimate friends to this day).

Mister has long since graduated as have I. We have now moved on from this bubble of the world filled with cheap vodka on a Friday night and an endless buffet of eggs and sausage to clear our hung-over, post-coital, dehydrated heads.

We’ve now traded in our chocolate milk for coffee and our toast for only the most well-made of mimosas (the best kind of liquid diet). We’ve moved past bunny love and the joys of skipping class to hang-out on the futon for another hour.

We’ve realized that real love exists outside of throw-together games of soccer on Saturday mornings, 5 a.m. sexual escapades, meeting in the stacks of the library and slumbering till noon with our best friends all entangled in each other’s limbs.

We have learned that real love, does in fact, blind you and surround you and consume you and enrage you and fascinate you and confuse you and strangle you and enrapture you and burn you and overcome you and, most of all, become you, eventually and painfully and beautifully.

We have come to realize that bills are pills that are hard to swallow and the main side effect is “stress on love life.” We have come to find that living together is the best and worst of all worlds. We’ve discovered in each other a nasty, monstrous and cruel being as well as the most humble, generous and compassionate of people.

We have flung ourselves into successes and failures and words that would have better been left unsaid, but were said all the same and have left wounds. We have supported one another in the front row and quietly from a distance.

We have held hands while our hearts broke for each other and ourselves.

We have survived as young lovers and now as old souls (and we can still make out for an absurdly blissful amount of time in the public library stacks of Manhattan).

This week, love bugs, I want to hear about your love stories: old and young. Tell me your tale or ask questions about the obstacle course that is Love and All That Jazz.

Whether you’re passing notes in high school study hall (is this still a thing?) or celebrating your knot-tying of 25 years to the day, love is always a (if not THE) burning question. Ask away Cyber Sweeties! I will share your questions and stories this weekend for all.

Only the best,

Jiminy

Young Love and Old Souls