Great expectations...

  • Great Expectations…

    Is love in the heart or mind? Is there are a difference between logic and emotion?

    There is no doubt that we recognise when our emotions are pulling us in certain directions and most of us are attuned to listening to them. Falling in love is an emotional state, but we inevitably apply logic to it, sometimes too much.
    A friend, lets call him Richard, met Lucy, a lovely, feisty lady and they hit it off immediately and started dating.

    They had a great time, although with the inevitable minor problems of a new relationship; she was a little older than him and had the usual sags and wrinkles of a middle aged lady (alas we women do age faster than men would like). She lived quite a long way from him and owned a cat, which she was overly fond of, sometimes citing it as an excuse to ask him to visit her rather than her him. Richard thought it rather insulting to come second place to a cat but put up with it.

    On the plus side they had a lot of fun together, sent jokey texts and emails whizzing between them when apart, explored each others regions of France when visiting their respective houses, going away for weekends to Italy and beyond and having a great time together.

    After about 18 months and a couple of difficult trips during a bad winter Richard called it off.
    He told Lucy it was too complicated and described how the travelling was a pain and was irritated about the cat being prioritised over him. He said it wasn’t working for him. Lucy was distraught, she even offered to move closer to him but Richard remained adamant in refusal.

    In his own way he was trying to be kind to Lucy in not telling her the truth, or his truth. In his mind, Lucy did not meet his ideal version of a partner. He had had quite a few serious relationships in the past, even having a daughter by one of his partners, but none had worked out.
    He was quietly critical of Lucy. Rather than seeing her lively mind and outgoing positive nature he focused on her physical defects, her less than perfect body. It was irrelevant to him that he too was less than perfect; he had held an ideal image in his mind of who and what he wanted in a woman and he had promised himself that one day he would find her. Her supposed defects were preventing him from falling in love with her or seeing her true qualities. In his mind they grew to be worse than they actually were. He regarded Lucy more as his best friend rather than lover because she fell short of his expectations and he had closed his mind to loving her.

    Loving is as much a state of mind as the heart. Many people have missed out on love because of their negative attitude and remain lonely and alone because of it.

    Lucy was heart broken by Richard’s actions and it affected her self confidence deeply. Not being stupid, she had realised that Richard didn’t find her as physically attractive as younger women and it didn’t help that Richard went on to briefly date a young lady from Malaysia afterwards. This relationship also broke up because Richard couldn’t feel any empathy with the new girlfriend. He missed the friendship he had with Lucy but still couldn’t give up his idea of finding someone he thought would be closer to his ideal.

    Looking at the details of a failed affair from the distance of an outsider, Richard looks to be a complete fool and has unnecessarily hurt someone that could have made his life so much happier. Instead he continues as a lonely soul, wrapped in his own world that inevitably focuses more and more in on itself. He reinforces his own expectations and regards others more negatively because of it.
    Eventually he contacted Lucy to try to maintain a friendship with her but so far she has refused to talk to him. Inevitably she remains hurt and distrustful of him. Her self confidence is affected and she is a little more reserved because of it, her feistiness is muted and the sparkle has gone from her eyes.

    Negative attitudes and unrealistic expectations are common problems, I know far more people of whom the same story could be told. If you want a relationship to work, open your mind and life up and expect nothing other than a little joy, if you are lucky. I hope Richard has enough sense to see this at some time in the future, but as his attitude has become a life habit and as he is not given to introspection, it seems unlikely. If you do think about love, use it in an intelligent and positive manner, because anyone can achieve nothing, which is what Richard has done.