Like most kids I grew up on a diet of fairy tale stories with happy ever after endings. Even as a teen the little flutters of romance with boys at our nearby school kept my dream alive.
Then I hit earth with a thud.
I had my first snog. A spotty Harrovian that pinned me against a wall at a school. The washing machine motion made the whole experience decidedly sensual.
Then when I started dating it went from bad to worse.
For a start my vision of perfect candle lit suppers crashed and burned with beer swigging rugby lads who lived in a sea of crisp packets and dirty pants. Sex was also a right off. Ignorance on both sides and too many male hormones led to a lot of grunting and grinding and little mutual pleasure.
Then the long term relationships kicked in. Again more naivety that just because you're together means it will work out or that you actually like each other. Then the disappointment at growing so comfy that you could replace your partner for a pair of slippers and you wouldn't notice. Or the other scenario where egos clash and pull the duo apart. A wise old guru once told me that the common myth was that lovers became one, like two branches intertwining. He said that fusing and becoming one is a denial of your Self. He said the perfect situation was one of the couple to take the lead one week and the other the next. He was 70 and still single with a bevvy of young lovers. I remained on the fence.
I was also dismayed by couples around me. There was more sniping and resentment than affection and tenderness. Separate bedrooms, independent lives and then often an extra portion passion on the side please. The secrecy of an affair according to one breathed life back into their relationship.
But there was the odd couple that shone out in the dark - the ones that often looked alike, that finished each others sentences, that offered a bite of their pudding before they had even started, that had eyes for their one and no one else.
It used to make me envious and after so much un-love I decided to clam up and go the single way. I travelled alone, lived alone and did the no strings things.
Then boom when I was least expecting it I became a love convert. It was a Damascus experience no less. I told him I loved him within days. I moved to France after a few weeks. It was beyond me.
He was very different from me so all my box ticking went out the window. Not sporty at all in fact a real foodie - I think foie gras was the first dish we shared. Not a wry Brit but a warm hearted Mediterranean. Also a Dad (so baggage) and a very important businessman whereas I was in my spiritual 'who cares about material life' phase.
But from the day I met him it worked, it made me blissfully happy and not only that I have discovered so much more about me. I didn't realise that finding your one, twin flame, soul mate means a freedom to be you. Because you both balance each other out so completely you both become stronger. Meeting my love also enabled me to face some demons of the past, to stand in my truth and to pursue my passions. Before I was a worn out marketeer. Now I write with all my heart. I am finishing my first book. He is my muse.
Love is much used word these days. Its a symbol on bbm, a sign off on most emails. But few feel the real stuff. They settle for second best, for an easy life. It is a tragic waste. Love is the highest religion. It does conquer all. Nothing really matters after that.
I dedicate this blog to my one, my beau. It is our first year wedding anniversary in a week and it has been the best year of my life.
In the words of Katherine Hepburn - Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get only with what you are expecting to give, which is everything.