As a young man, I was constantly finding love in the arms of some impressionable girl. Indeed, I would be hard pressed to find a time in my life when I wasn’t in love that I wasn’t in the process of ‘falling in love’ with some young girl or woman whose charms had smitten me to distraction. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that ‘being’ and ‘falling’ in love was a constant feature in my life ever since I discovered the sensual pleasures of being in the presence of feminine beauty of coquettish charm.
When I recall my conquests, knockbacks, bitter disappointments and rejections; when I remember those testosterone-driven years of youthful exploration around every attractive female I was able to put my hands on, I now know with the seasoned reason of an older and more streetwise man the indisputable yet crucial distinction between the messages a male frequently confuses as having been transmitted by his brain and not his balls!
Only growing through the developmental stages of the child, teenager and man enabled my expectations and experiences to match what my mind, body and feelings were telling me. I was eventually able to distinguish the difference between teenage infatuation and youthful curiosity. Only through emotional growth and increasing age was I able to distinguish between ‘what is’ and ‘what isn’t’; between ‘lust’ and ‘love’, between knowing the difference in ‘wanting to be with’ and ‘not wanting to be without’. I learned that It is not uncommon to find reluctance in leaving a sexually satisfying ‘affair’, even when love by both people isn’t present in the relationship. I also discovered how hard it can be for a wife who never worked outside her home and who is married to the wealthiest of husbands and enjoys living a luxurious lifestyle to leave her loveless marriage. Being conditioned to one’s high social status, being used to never having to do without militates against many an unhappily married woman ending her marriage. Such a radical change in her circumstances takes considerable courage.
As a Probation Officer, I often came across women in physically abusive relationships with their partners who preferred to stay within that relationship, not out of fear of leaving a controlling man who regularly beat her, but reluctant to leave the man she still loves and whom she wants to believe will someday change for the better.
Only one’s experience of the pleasant and unpleasant, the good and bad, the disappointing and emotionally devastating, acceptance and rejection, satisfying or suicidal; only these experiences can truly inform one whether ‘loving and losing’ is better than ‘never have loved at all’.
As a boy aged nine or ten, I once asked my mum, ‘Why do fools fall in love?’ My mother looked at me, smiled wryly and replied, ‘Because they’re fools, Billy. Because they’re fools!’
Love and peace. Bill xxx