what the hell is love, and what does it have to do with marriage? What does it have to do with life in general?
for years I've sort of assumed that love is what life is all about and that marriage is like the ultimate manifestation of love. Pretty big romantic ideas i think. But really, how much does romance even have to do with it? Does it matter? love, marriage, romance. All three - things that are pretty independent of each other.
You can have marriage without romance, or marriage without love. (Nauseous emoji)
You can have love and/or romance without marriage.
You can have romance without love.
And certainly you can have love without romance.
I think we can, right away, write off romance as pretty meaningless. Like the icing flowers on wedding cake. They're nice and all, but that's not what it's about. (Romance is often the easiest part of life. The feeling of "being in love" the act of "falling in love" and the idea of "the one" are all ideas that exist under the umbrella I'll call "romance." It's what movies portray and of what we get little tastes when we meet someone new and exciting. most everyone knows that this doesn't last forever. As hard as you might try, it eventually fades into a memory. In fact, often the harder you try to preserve this, the more quickly it disappears.
So if the idea of love and marriage are all wrapped up in romance, there might be trouble in paradise sooner than later.)
Marriage is the thing that stumps around 50% (so I'm told) of us. And I'm not going to pretend to not be completely mistified by it. Marriage is, by all accounts surveyed, maybe the hardest thing in life. It's about taking two things and melding them into one thing. Like when you mix oil and water, you need a special tool to emulsify them. And you have to constantly emulsify them otherwise they will eventually separate. Either that or you have to introduce a chemical that physically changes one or both of them to permanently emulsify them. Sounds like marriage to me right? Like you have to constantly work to stay emulsified. In and of itself, marriage seems to be able to be simplified to this concept of work. So marriage by itself is just another job.
That leaves love. The most elusive of them all. "Love is a thing that you can't define."
The harder i try the more nebulous it becomes. It seems to be something like "happiness" or "the meaning of life" in that you can't find it, it has to find you. But it also must be the missing factor in the marriage job and the fleeting romance. Perhaps the thing that ties them all together.
"Love is hard, but life is harder."
Maybe it's got something to do with choosing a person who you want to do the work with, who you want to fight through life with. And you make a marriage out of it, and find romance hiding in the corners and the cracks.