Bob responded after reading my entry On Love today and it compelled him to leave a comment I reckon worthwhile to be converted into an entry to do it justice.
So here it is:
Love is found in shared experiences, and shared pain.
After a few romps in the sack, and the physical attraction starts to wane, there had better be something else to take its place.
Those waiting for the “perfect mate” have a long wait. My own parents provided me with a good model for romance.
He was an American Jew, she a French Roman Catholic. They had very little in common, really. Their shared experience was the second world war as the Allied troops liberated France from the Nazis. The courtship lasted only a few months and after the war, they came to the US. She spoke no English (may dad did speak fluent French – very unusual for an American at that time). America was a very foreign place and culture for her.
They had little in common, certainly at the beginning, but the marriage lasted for 53 years, ending only when my dad passed away 7 years ago.
I think their secret was their diversity – and their celebration of it.
A successful and loving relationship involves more than just being tolerant of another person’s faults. Understand how others are different from you, and don’t just appreciate it, revel in it. You would be surprised how you can learn to love someone so different from you.
A culture of exclusion and conformity breeds hatred. I see what is happening in my native land. People stay with their own kind, and teach their children that those different from them are to be avoided. This creates narrow minded and bitter people who are incapable of love, even amongst themselves.
I fear that this is the kind of world we will leave to our children unless we change our thinking. My parents set a good example, and I hope that others would do the same.
~Robert Henri Graf, Singapore, 26th Feb. 2006 ~