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It really is- you will never be able to fully control or own another person or give up your will to them (even if you’re into Fifty Shades of Grey). For every action you take towards them, you will NEVER fully know how to interpret their response and no matter how long you’ve known each other, they will always find a way to surprise you.

And love is not always about being in a relationship or otherwise committed. Sure, you can take your love and put it in a box and establish guidelines and parameters and expectations, but Life is a wild thing.  And maybe there’s just a bit more to love than the label you put on the way you choose to relate or on having some kind of predictable behavior pattern set up.

I say this because I’m just in a constant state of befuddlement and sometimes anxiety and sometimes joy and other times hurt and confusion. Right now it’s a little harder to accentuate the positive because the dude didn’t respond to my last super nice email (it shouldn’t be about the response though, right?) although he has expressed genuine interest and wants to try to see each other when I’ll be on his side of the pond though not his city. When we have talked, we have had increasingly in depth, intimate conversations that as much as I wish he’d come right out and tell me  he cares, still leave me with the impression he does and I’m just too insecure to believe it. I also know that life is quite uncertain and he doesn’t want to hold me or himself back because of a relationship at this point, and it’s really impossible to be in one right now or to know absolutely if that will ever be possible.

But sometimes, even though it’s early and I’m insecure and uncertain, I do have a genuine feeling for him, that is not conditioned on return on investment.

And there are times that I feel like I’m willing to push so hard only because I believe I can’t get that validation or make any kind of commitment, and so it is “safe” for me to like him, because he won’t end up taking any of my autonomy and isn’t willing to cede his. He’s not someone to make too many plans around at this point even though he does seem genuinely to care.

Yes, I miss him, but he’s far away and I’m not interested in meeting someone else at this point and so he’s pretty easy to miss. And maybe he just is getting even better than I ever bargained for. Yeah, it might be that.

So love is an adventure- not a planning exercise, not an opportunity to set up grand visions and dreams and strategems only to have them toppled. Love is the robustness that remains, not the plans themselves.

So many times I think longing for a relationship is really just longing for a plan and steady companionship and another way of trying to assert your control over Life- well, Life doesn’t like that. And if you really love someone, much as you still stand up for yourself, make active choices in the face of fate, and can form some kind of committed union, you still can’t control those feelings. Love is not about domestication, whether it’s 30 years of marriage that should be smooth and predictable, or a certain number of dates that should lead to a relationship, or being in a relationship and talking about forever.

Forever is now, and now is constantly changing.

I believe in marriage and commitment and I think they are the real thing, tha tlove has a lot to do with standing up to the winds of fate and taking a stand. But I think that real love can do that because it is supple, patient and kind, and isn’t about getting what you expected.

And love is not about getting the person and the lifestyle you were looking for. Love is about finding the one you’re with.

In my case, when it comes down to it, it’s probably not the difficulties of a cross-cultural relationship (here in the general sense of a relationship between two entities), the fact that he’s just not as type A as me if I’m type A at all, or the man-woman planetary gap.

Nope, it’s hard to feel secure and know what’s next when you really don’t. Maybe life gets a little steadier at some point, but that’s not where we are.

No, we’re in a place of not knowing next, and it’s scary and exciting. Like everything else in my life right now.

Love is not really the refuge in the storm, though it can be. It’s more like coming in and out of the eye of a hurricane, there is peace and stability at the core but jeez, a lot of wind and rain and wildness outside of it.

Maybe love isn’t always about putting something together according the the blueprint you have in your mind with the person you would have picked out of the man store. Maybe love isn’t about getting what you always wanted.

Maybe it’s about actually caring for something you can’t control. Maybe it’s about the adventure, the journey, the process, and not about the goal.

Maybe there really is no peace or certainty in marriage or in a committed relationship or “keeping in touch.” There may be peace but there’s no certainty in anything. Maybe people don’t fall out of love, they just stop letting life be an adventure because it was never about love anyway, it was about having someone to share an imagined future with that never looked the way you thought it would anyway.

O love.

O lover.

Que sera, sera.

It’s not about understanding, it’s about mystery.

Maddening, delightful, dark, splendorous, crazy, delightful.

And it’s really just about that human gesture, the pat on the back, the caress, the warmth of friendship. Love is just being human with someone else- vulnerable, naked, unsafe, emotional, irrational, and sometimes feeling impotent.

What could life or love ever be, if not an adventure?