I was 23 years old when that I first met B. I had been on my own since I was 15 and at 23 I felt I had “been there/done that” in almost all areas of my life. I was a single mom, enrolled in a specialized medical program and was feeling like I had already experienced everything life had to offer. Then I met B.
One of the things that first attracted me to B was his fresh-off-the-farm innocence. He had grown up poor and had experienced little of the “finer” things in life. This made me fall in love with him. His unbridled excitement and appreciation of trying new things allowed me to see the possibilities that life offered through the eyes of an innocent. That virginal way of looking at things was sexy, spiritual and energizing. We visited museums, spent time in parks and ate out often. Once we went to a high-end Chinese restaurant where I basically forced this shy guy to get frisky under the table with me. Later our very telling fortune read, “Conscious the small part of you that realizes someone maybe watching.” He almost died of embarrassment.
Another one of my favorite things to do back then was to say outrageous things just to watch him blush. At that time saying something like “You are so hot” out loud in a crowd would make the red spread and I got off on it. My new goal was to see just how red he could get in 1.2 seconds and I loved him for this unrehearsed ability that he had but didn’t necessarily want.
That is the beauty of young love. Its the discovery of EVERYTHING new and relative to your relationship. The excitement of trying things together while exploring each other and the world. It is finding “your” song, “your” treasured places to dine and “your” favorite positions. While in this phase of love it as if the stars have alined and NOTHING will ever come between the two of you because you are meant to be. FOREVER.
I wonder if that is why marriage is often so difficult to sustain. After 30 years of it, I can no longer make B blush. Our favorites have become habits and finding things we haven’t done is difficult or at our age impossible to do without knee replacement surgery. The things that would excite us at 23 just don’t at 55. Maybe this is why so many partners leave. Not because they were looking for a new love but because they were wanting to see that freshness and innocence in somebody else’s eyes. After all, it is quite alluring and intoxicating.
This makes me wonder how can one recapture this sense of innocence in a long-term relationship? Is it even possible after so many years of marriage? What is it that might stir those feelings for the two of us once again? Frankly, I have no idea. We’ve done the trips, ate new foods and taken out the Karma Sutra.
Maybe that is the true beauty of young love…that it stays fresh and true within our minds and can never be recreated. That it gives us something to look back upon and smile especially when the tough times are upon us. And perhaps young love reminds us of all we shared, created and enjoyed together while giving us hope that we can find the unfindable again. Maybe it is what keeps us going when young love fades.