Last week, I came across a quote about relationships from Joni Mitchell (whose music I played all the time when I was pregnant with Joanie after we decided what we were going to name her and who remains Joanie’s favorite) that I thought was particularly poignant and totally insightful:
“I recently read an article in Esquire magazine called ‘The End of Sex,’ that said something that struck me as very true. It said: ‘If you want endless repetition, see a lot of different people. If you want infinite variety, stay with one.’ What happens when you date is you run all your best moves and tell all your best stories — and, in a way, that routine is a method for falling in love with yourself over and over.
You can’t do that with a longtime mate because he knows all that old material. With a long relationship, things die and then are rekindled, and that shared process of rebirth deepens the love. It’s hard work, though, and a lot of people run at the first sign of trouble. You’re with this person, and suddenly you look like an asshole to them or they look like an asshole to you — it’s unpleasant, but if you can get through it, you get closer and you learn a way of loving that’s different from the neurotic love enshrined in movies. It’s warmer and has more padding to it.”
I’ve been with Drew for almost twelve years — not an eternity but long enough that this sentiment really rings true for me. On our first date, Drew gave me some of his best material, and I was really charmed. Since then, I have heard his stories many, MANY times, and while I still find him charming and funny, it really is in the shared process of getting through the shit life throws at you and reconnecting when that shit starts pulling you apart that we’ve deepened our bond, gotten closer, and learned a way of loving that is different “from the neurotic love enshrined in movies.”
Thoughts? Have you experienced this too in your long-term relationships?