This Valentine`s Day, do you believe that love never dies? Or is it just the name of a romantic musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber? The musical is a sequel to the long-running musical Phantom of the Opera and was loosely adapted from a book by Frederick Forsyth called The Phantom of Manhattan.
But does love never die? Google "eternal love" and you will find references to a Chinese television series. The deities Bai Qian and Ye Hua fall in love and theirs becomes a romance of epic proportions that straddle the best of 3 lifetimes. "Undying" means eternal, infinite, permanent and constant. "Love" means intimacy, care, concern and kindness. By putting these 2 words together means undying love never dies. How could the lips that kissed, the eyes that cried, the heart that beat or the arms that entwined your naked form ever die? Unthinkable.
There is a difference between romantic love and real love. This Valentine`s Day do you want a love so great that it would consume you and shape the rest of your life: even if it didn`t last? Is there, in fact, a greater magic in a love that is broken and where the star-struck lovers pine for each other for all eternity? It is fodder for the movies, plays, pop songs and poets. Is that ideal romantic love or real love? Is the definition of real love shown with a tragic ending and the cue for the latest manufactured pop song that tugs at the heart strings in the romance industry of Tinsel Town? Is it portrayed and framed in celluloid, a money-making machine ramped up by Hollywood and Disney where the rest of us are damned to eternal misery in a poor facsimile of the real deal?
Is sober reality the ugly truth of real lives trying to fit together and nothing like a fairy tale? Do we not all deserve to live happily ever after? Or just happily where we take ownership of our choices? To live happily is good. The fact of the matter is being in a healthy relationship is nothing like what we learn from the movies or the pop songs. It is hard work. Every day. I n every way. You just drive through the sickness and health, the betters or for poorers, the boredom, the monotony, the trials and triumphs remembering how to communicate with each other and that all important quality for any relationship: forgiveness. It has been said that the 3 most important qualities in any relationship that has any chance of longevity are kindness, kindness and kindness.
True love isn`t a fireball from the sky or love at first sight across a crowded room. This is romantic love and it is the stuff of pop corn and karaoke lounges. True love is a partnership, taking it in turns to change nappies at 2am, compromises and acceptance: the decision to continue loving each other when the road gets bumpy; especially when the road gets bumpy. And bumpier again when the other person really doesn`t deserve forgiveness or redemption. To love the other person at life-changing moments of disillusionment is the grace of love. The other person cannot ever do anything to earn that forgiveness and so the grace comes from real love. Romantic love would disappear like a snowflake in a microwave or a bag of chips beneath a flock of seagulls. None of the soppy pop songs or movie tear-jerkers will teach you these life-skills or the transformative power of love through a roller coaster ride of emotions. Only unconditionally loving another person will do it. There is no certificate or night class where you can enrol that will do it for you. Listen to your heart and try putting another person first for a change.
On Valentine`s Day please do yourself a favour: disregard the billion pound industries that promote the misrepresentation of relationships in damaging ways. Romantic love is a myth, a lie perpetuated by celluloid for profit. There is a reason the divorce rate is so high in the West: marriage is not easy. Couples intoxicated on romantic love get immersed on fleeting passion and sexual attraction. A relationship can only work on commitment, forgiveness and kindness. And lots of it. A healthy marriage is a whole lot of compromise through the anger, frustration, sadness, good times and bad.
This Valentine’s Day find someone to love and someone who loves you in return. If it is based on reality and not Disney or Hollywood romantic myths your fairy tale vision of love might just come true and you can live happily ever after.
Love never dies. When you find true love it will stay forever in your heart. It’s impossible for a person to stop loving. The human heart was not made that way. Love does not disappear and we cannot just stop loving. Love is inseparable and it can be addressed to more than one person: your mother, father, husband, wife, brother, sister or children. Love has no limits. Happy Valentine ‘s Day.
Member since: 4th February 2019
Managing Director of an award winning law firm
Ian Henery Solicitors Ltd
Award winning poet and playwright