Love does not overcome all. Oh, we like to think it does. Disney convinced us as young kids that it does. Cinderella gets her shoe back and weds the Prince. Sandy and Danny drive off into the clouds in their new tricked out muscle car, and…well, you get the idea. The fact is, reality is much different. It’s often more like the Titanic and Rose having to let Jack go into the depths of the sea. Life is hard, and so is love. Love can’t make an alcoholic sober, and it can’t cure cancer.
Be Careful Who You Love
I’m kind of an expert on this subject. You see, I fell for the wrong man, again. I didn’t mean to fall in love with someone twenty years younger than me and from another country. But we can’t help who we fall in love with, or can we? Is there a moment, in the early stages of passion, where you can choose to move forward, or to stop before someone gets hurt? We had the opportunity. Kirti tried to explain to me that it would never work, but I’m stubborn and tenacious and was determined to make us the exception. Unfortunately, we weren’t.
Compatibility Trumps Passion
These were just a few of our issues. I’m a morning person and he was a night owl. I was trying to focus on health, while he was outside smoking. I was well established in my career and had savings. He was just getting started. I was a spoiled American and he was a struggling Indian. My family was small, his family was a village. I could travel freely, while he couldn’t even qualify for a visa. He interpreted my simple conversation with a store clerk as flirting. Our differences wove a tapestry of despair until finally it unraveled, and my heart along with it.
What’s Wrong With Chemistry?
Chemistry is exciting. It ignites a passion that releases dopamine, and all those warm fuzzies that keep us up all night talking on the phone, without a care in the world. But it also keeps us from thinking clearly. It’s biological, but not usually sustainable. After the initial passion (also called NRE for New Relationship Energy) fades some, usually within six month to a year, compatibility becomes more important. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be in love while on vacation? That’s because the real world doesn’t interfere. When you’re lounging on the beach with a cocktail in hand, first world problems feel continents away. However, when it’s time to pay the bills and go back to work we find ourselves arguing about who will do the dishes, take the kids to school, or whether to buy groceries or pay the rent.
How to Move On
I swam up stream for as long as I could. I fought for us with everything I had. I fought for us like Sugar Ray Leonard or Rocky Balboa. Unfortunately, life hit me back and eventually I had to face the bitter truth. A life together would never work for us. The age difference and cultural differences were just too great. I blamed him, and he blamed me, and now we’re history.
I’ve learned many valuable life lessons in India, and these two are probably the greatest lessons of them all. I’ve learned when to say no, and it’s early, and it’s often. Wait until the right person comes along. Believe in yourself enough to hold out for chemistry AND passion. They are not mutually exclusive. The second lesson I’ve learned is even more important than the first. I’ve learned how and when to surrender. When you can’t control a situation, it’s useless to try. You’re just using up all of your energy in a negative way. They call it sweet surrender for a reason. Because once you truly let go, you’re free to move on.