Romance is a funny thing.
Sometimes passion erupts boldly - a spectacular swell of emotion that has the power to overcome logical thought. This kind of fancy dancy feeling is akin to striking a match - it happens on dance floors, in dimly lit bars and in other settings where common sense tends to go by the wayside.
Frequently - but not always - this kind of passion is fleeting. It leads to a drive that burns so swiftly it is palpable. Sweaty hands, racing heartbeat, dilated pupils - all little signals that lust is in the midst.
And sometimes that's all it is - lust.
Other times, love grows slowly. It's sparked by the same racy feelings found in a smoky bar, but love involves much, much more than slow dancing and hushed whispers. From where I sit, love appears to be a scenario of building blocks - puzzle pieces made of trust, camaraderie, shared beliefs. Determination. Friendship.
John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Sometimes I think LOVE is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. Love is the vowels between the consonants - it just happens while you begin to live your life (the good times, the bad times, the special moments and the simple) with another soul.
I've been in a romantic state of mind lately.
It's not my fault, really, I've just recently been exposed to several moments celebrating the power of love. A wedding. An anniversary marking four challenging years. An engagement party. An engagement. A young couple watching their own romantic story unfold. I've seen and heard about so many beautiful stories of love lately, and it makes me wonder - why do some relationships last, and others fail?
One of the world's foremost writers on love spent all her days without it. Jane Austen never married because she never found anyone good enough for her. Jane was surrounded by people who encouraged her to marry for money, for reputation, for status. And yet Jane, a woman well beyond her time, was determined to only commit for reasons of true love.
An altruistic thought, many people in modern days fail to subscribe to such a mission. Looks, social connections, salaries and other trappings have a way of worming themselves into the picture - inhibiting a person's heart to blindly see the potential for love.
Even I admit it - I wish I could let my heart lead as I search for my life partner, but my head often gets in the way. I am accustomed to a kind of life that involves specific expectations, goals and philosophies that I know cannot be compromised without greatly diminishing my chance for happiness.
And so I patiently wait for my Mr. Darcy.
Jane Austen would be proud.