My song today is ‘Somebody to Love’. This song was by the British rock band ‘Queen’. It was written by the lead singer/pianist Freddie Mercury. It reached Number 2 in the UK and Number 13 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ in the US. The song demonstrated that "Queen could swing as hard as it could rock, by channelling the spirit of gospel music"
Written by Mercury at the piano, ‘Somebody to Love’ is a soul-searching piece that questions God's role in a life without love. Through voice layering techniques, Queen was able to create the soulful sound of a 100-voice choir from three singers. Freddie Mercury's fascination and admiration for Aretha Franklin was a major influence for the creation of this song. Queen played ‘Somebody to Love’ live from 1977–85.
I believe that we all need someone to love and to have someone love us in return. I always feel a touch of sorrow each Valentine’s Day knowing that there are many people living alone who dearly want ‘somebody to love’ as a soulmate in their life. Such love is a part of life that goes towards making each of us much more than a fleeting solitary reflection of ourselves in the puddle of our earthly experiences.
However much we hope for love, and pray for love, wish for love, and dream for love, we should not be foolish enough to put our life on hold ‘waiting for love’. It is one thing to miss out on love because you have been unable to find it, and quite another to miss out on life while looking in vain for it! Finding somebody to love cannot be planned to occur here or there, by these means or any other. Love is a ‘happening of the heart’’; it appears in a moment, and in many instances, it lasts a lifetime. Love can grow or diminish with the passing of time, and like ‘time’ itself, it never stays the same, but always comes around more than once. Unfortunately, we may not recognise it pass us by again, having taken our eyes off our romantic clock.
It helps considerably if we know what we are looking for, and if we can distinguish love from lust, as these two aspects of human nature rarely walk hand-in-hand. Love can mean different things to different people, and at different times. Pure romantics may tell you that ‘love alone’ can withstand all hardship and sustain all struggle, and I believe that it can, but the circumstances of two people making this type of couple are rare and require two indomitable spirits of compatible traits who are wedded to the importance of working together, and whose communication channels are never closed or dishonest to each other. There are unfortunately very few couples who are capable of either revealing all and sharing all, and that is why happy and lifelong marriages are made in heaven between soulmates of like mind.
Paradoxically, it is the loss of those special feelings in one’s body that initially announced the presence of 'love' to us which marks its disappearance from our relationship. When I worked in the capacity of a marriage guidance counsellor during my earlier years, I would often ask couples who were on the verge of breaking up to see if they could remember what it was about their partner that first made them love them. I did this in the hope that remembering their partner’s endearing qualities might enable them to recapture those associated loving feelings they had lost since their wedding day. On occasions when the couple’s marriage could be saved, the recollection of their partner’s traits which endeared them initially undoubtedly helped. This exercise was also found to be valuable when the marriage could not be saved and the couple still decided to separate and divorce, especially where they had children to their union and custody was an issue. In those cases where the marriage could not be saved, it was still possible to salvage the relationship sufficiently so that the couple might part amicably.
I cannot count the number of people who have told me that their life is unfulfilled because they never found anyone to share it with them. However hard a person tries, some people never find somebody to love who would love them back in the same way. That is why some couples who want children but cannot have them often finish up lavishing their parental love on a pet cat, dog, or a horse instead. That is why many individuals who are not destined to find a lifelong partner to live with (or in some instances do not want a partner), may choose to have a close relationship with a dog or a cat as a faithful and loving companion instead.
Most of these people I encountered who crave having somebody to love, lacked confidence and displayed an absence of social skills in the presence of others. Many were non-assertive and very shy in disposition, and the more they searched for a mate but did not find one, the less confident, and less assertive they became. All of them, however, was lacking in self-love. Many believed they did not possess 'loveable qualities' and did not come across as being a 'loveable person'. Some lacked basic social skills, and never felt easy in the company of others or expressing their personal views.
Before they were to increase their likelihood of finding ‘somebody to love’, who would love them in return, my first task as a group worker for twenty-five years was to discover ways of helping them to improve themselves. This involved encouraging them to perceive themselves more positively and learning to’ love themselves’. I did this because the ability to love oneself is a prerequisite to loving another and attracting their love for you. After all, people are less likely to think a lot about you if the messages that you constantly give off is that you think so little about yourself! ‘Partners to be’ want to see the occasional flame of passion in their mate, not a constant stream of pity flow from their apologetic mouths.
One of the frequent dangers which prevails whenever someone who wants a relationship 'too much' manages to find a suitable mate, is that they often display a tendency towards becoming ‘possessive’. Needy people always want too much; that is what makes them ‘needy’ in the first place. Their possessiveness often starts to show whenever the relationship appears to be going along okay. Secure in the knowledge that their relationship is on safe ground, they start to change the rules. They find themselves gradually becoming more demanding and controlling with their partner. When their partner shows any signs of resistance to their controlling behaviour, they often seek to justify themselves using ‘emotional blackmail’; generally saying that they do what they do and are like they are because they love the other person so much and want to protect them at all times. They may even blame some previous relationship where they were badly treated. If they really believe what they are saying, then they are merely disillusioning themselves, but 27 years of working as a Probation Officer leads me to conclude that they are using emotional blackmail tactics to justify their own jealous, manipulative, and controlling behaviour, which is being stoked by their own sense of insecurity.
Another type of individual is the person who has one relationship after another relationship; all of which inevitably break down for similar reasons. They are often like the possessive type in the previous paragraph, but with two added features in their makeup; they are highly presentable in image terms and are usually handsome and attractive of face and body. They also occupy a professional occupation of high community esteem. However insecure a personality they are, their good looks alone, and the financial security they appear to offer a potential partner ensures that they will always have someone who is initially attracted to them (usually at a physical/sexual level). They tend to start and end relationships at such a frequency that their subconscious fears that their relationship will inevitably fail when the other person ‘finds them out’. In recognition of that likelihood (and not wanting to be alone again when it does), they often begin grooming a new partner to be to take the place of their current partner before their next relationship break-up occurs. Not surprisingly, this type of person is prone to unfaithfulness and indulging in regular affairs, often associated with their place of work.
Life sometimes sucks and is often unfair on one person in a relationship. I do hope that any lonely people in search of a loving mate this Valentine’s Day finds one to share Valentine 2022 with. I am so pleased that in Sheila, ‘I have found my ‘somebody to love’.
Love and peace