I also dedicate my song today to four Facebook friends who also celebrate their birthday today. We wish a happy birthday to Sally Bench who lives in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, England: Martin Fitzgerald who lives in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, Ireland: Helen Edge who comes from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England. Finally, I wish a happy birthday to my good friend, Janusz Kwiatkowski who lives in Rzeszow, Poland. I hope that you all enjoy your special day.
Today’s song is ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him'. This is a song from the 1970 album and 1971 rock and roll opera ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ that was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics). This is a torch ballad sung by the character of Mary Magdalene. In the opera, she is presented as bearing an unrequited love for the title character. The song has been much recorded, with "I Don't Know How to Love Him" being one of the rare songs to have had two concurrent recordings to reach the Top 40 of the ‘Hot 100 Chart’ and the Billboard magazine.
I first heard this song when it was originally recorded, but it resounded with me more after I heard the version that was sung by Women’s Rights singer Helen Reddy.
There are times when we have strong romantic feelings toward someone, only to discover that they do not feel the same way about us. This is known as ’unrequited love’, and it is a love that is not returned or rewarded. It is a one-sided experience that can leave one feeling pain, grief, and shame.
I once remember having a discussion if it was possible to experience ‘unrequited love’ as an adult who possessed a brain as well as a heart? I could well imagine a teenager who is inexperienced in affairs of romance, falling in love, only to discover that their strength of feelings and the intensity of the love they hold for the other person are not returned. I could well imagine the rationale of such love to be highly questionable, and to have been no more than a crush or an infatuation by someone who was immature in both age and experience, and with a need to grow up too soon.
With adults though (who I always thought ought to know better) I could never quite grasp how such a misunderstanding could come about between two grown-ups. Even kissing another tenderly on the lips has always proved sufficient to tell me if there was anything ‘going on’ between us. In fact, long before the first kiss in any potential romantic relationship, there are several signposts which either invite us to carry on or warn us that we are continuing to travel down the wrong path blindly, and to wake up and smell the coffee!
The first sight of each other will always confirm a positive or more negative impression by physical appeal alone. In my ‘Assertive and Training Groups’ that I ran for over twenty years, I always advised any group members who were about to go on a first date to be guided by common sense. ‘Common sense’ is what I consider to be the combination of the five senses most humans are born with. There are sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, which primarily exist to tell us when we are safe and when we are in danger. Their use individually warns us of the presence of potential danger, and they collectively confirm our initial suspicion.
For example. You are a guest at a social function, and it is important to the advancement of your occupation that you favourably impress your host, who is also the boss of the firm you work at. At the social gathering, you are offered some food to eat and are specifically invited by the host to try some seafood that they found delicious. Not wanting to offend your host, you sample a small plate. In truth, the food looks unfresh and unappetising to you. You smell it before placing a portion in your mouth, and your suspicion remains. The food smells off. Your host is waiting to see you sample it and provide them with your opinion and favourable feedback. When you taste it, your worse suspicions are born out. The seafood you have digested with an enforced smile. You hear/sense your stomach, turn over, and instantly feel sick and rush to the toilet and throw up.
Surprisingly, the sequence in how we feel about a first date follows a similar route of one’s senses, that we use to judge the way we are feeling throughout our first date. Our senses inform us whether we are enjoying or disliking our dating experience or whether we feel threatened or comfortable in the other person’s presence.
Even though the looks of another is said to be in the eyes of the beholder, the first impression of most people is made within the first ten seconds of introduction, whatever is being assessed provisionally, person or property. Of course, a person can change their first impression if what they subsequently discover about the individual contradicts their earlier assessment, but as a rule, we usually try to confirm our first impression as being accurate and not provide a re-assessment by examining if we were initially wrong. Once sitting down together at the bar or around the restaurant table while ‘sight’ continues to be operative, the assessment stage automatically moves to ‘sound’. What a person sounds like largely depends on what they are saying, how they are expressing themselves, and if you find their comments interesting, stimulating, off-putting, or boring, etc.
However confidently your date expresses themself, you will soon have formed a judgement if you like the sound of their voice as much as they do themselves. The more they talk, the less opportunity you will be presented with to contribute, and vice versa. The simple fact is that some people just like the sound of their own voice too much to afford you the opportunity to get a word in edgeways. This behaviour signifies that they may also perceive themselves as being more important, and a cut above the next person at the table.
If the date is going well or badly, even the silences can prove to be a suitable indicator one way or the other. While some people may not consider themselves as important, as learned or as confident as the social company they are in, they may be naturally reluctant to contribute to the conversation without the other person’s expressed invitation and encouragement to do so. It is surprising how much a first date can change as they grow to like their new date more and feel more comfortable with the developing relationship. The change in them can be as distinctive as the silence of a church mouses creeping along the floor to chew a crumb suddenly converting to a noisy, chattering, animated, hungry rabbit chomping on a carrot it is devouring, once they begin to feel safe in the presence of the other person.
As a rule, humans find silences difficult to deal with. If silences between a couple are too frequent or too lengthy (especially on their first date) it usually indicates that things are not going so well, and the silences usually produce a level of discomfort which is apparent to both parties. While it may not often occur that one person prefers to listen more than to speak, if, in addition, they find the conversation of their date interesting and stimulating, they will not feel uncomfortable by either their silence or the silence of their date, or even their combined silence occasionally. Silences between couples who clearly like each other, often act as a signal for them to touch affectionately for the first time.
When the physical attraction of both parties is apparent from the outset, much less store is placed on what is said between the couple at the start of the evening than how it is said and in what context. In this instance, the importance of the sense of ‘sight’ will come back into greater play, along with the exchange of lengthier and more sensual looks as the couple feel more comfortable together. This is where the outstretched hand of one of the two toward the other across the table is invitingly extended (almost simultaneously) without fear of rejection upon touch. Indeed, the very sensation of the couple’s first touch of hands will further confirm or refute their current impression of 'togetherness'
By the end of the date, and after the touching of the hands is transferred for the touch of each other’s lips on the mouth, not only will both know if anything has been ‘going on’ between them. but they will also begin to formulate another impression; whether they are prepared to explore if their current feelings for each other can be safely advanced to another level, should they have future dates?
My first kiss would not tell me if I would love my first date for tonight only or forevermore, but it would certainly tell me if my date was a person with whom I could ‘fall in love’ were we to continue seeing each other and allowing an emotional attachment and commitment between us to come into play.
Love and peace