Ever hang around a happily married old couple? Try it sometime. I noticed a few things and one of them has to do with the issue of being wanted. I know this couple, Steve and Rema. Steve’s a retired auto mechanic with a sharp country wit, bawdy sense of humor and over-all a generous, kind man. Rema is more on the conservative side. She’s warm and Motherly, just as sharp a wit as Steve and can bake like you wouldn’t believe. You can tell just the first few minutes hanging out with them that they really do love each other. It’s not just the time they’ve been together, they’ve been like that since I first met them and they’d only been married perhaps seven years or so at the time. (Second marriage for both of them.) But one thing is for sure, they want each other as they are, not for what they get from each other, though that’s an added bonus.
I suppose they’re getting up in their late fifties or so. Okay, so Steve isn’t the stud-muffin he was thirty years ago and perhaps the years are beginning to show on his favorite gal. I suppose Rema figured out right away that Steve’s off-color humor wasn’t just from a momentary brain lapse one afternoon, it’s pretty much a big part of his general character to ruffle her feathers once in awhile for a little fun. And of course Steve knows he’ll be in for some bit of scolding in return from Rema as well along the way. Yet in the midst of all this, they love each other for.. each other. And that is what came to mind as I thought of some issues during the weekend.
For well over a year I’ve been pondering the question, “Is it better to be loved for who I am?, or for what I have?” Seems like an easy question. “For who I am.” seems obvious. But upon further examination (as I’m prone to do) I pondered the following; “If a woman loves a man only for his money it is obvious the man is not truly loved. If a woman only loves a man for how well he treats her, it is possible this man is still not loved.” Seem unlikely? I wouldn’t have asked this question three years ago until five weeks before my wedding, my fiance’ simply stood up and said, “I can’t marry you. I don’t want to talk about it.”
For six months she refused to talk about it until finally she felt she was able to tell me the truth about why she canceled our wedding plans. She said, “I was never in love with -you-, I only loved how well you treated me. Don’t take it personal.” So getting back to “being wanted”.. it is possible to be wanted for what you have, even when what you have is not a material thing such as good looks or money. This happens to women as well. I have a close friend who has found the absolutely most passionate, adorable, kind-hearted woman he ever could have hoped to find. But he refuses to allow himself to love or pursue her. He wants her qualities, but doesn’t want her. Granted, his perception of how pretty he thinks a woman should be to be the one he does choose has clouded his thinking to a great degree, but in essence he’s found what he’s looking for, but doesn’t really want… her.
Being wanted. Wanting someone. Sometimes we want someone despite the fact that they are the total opposite of what we know is good for a relationship. We just “want” that person even though they are rude, loud, obnoxious, cheap, on parole, in rehab, should be in rehab or whatever. And then there’s the opposite situation. We meet someone who possesses all or most of the attributes we wait so long wishing and praying for.. but if they are anything less than absolutely stunning in appearance we draw back confused at ourselves.
I may be wrong here, but I think it’s worth consideration. In the first instance, it would seem plainly obvious that pursuing someone who lacks either the maturity or desire to have a healthy relationship is just a recipe for disaster. It’s one thing to fall in love with someone you can have a truly loving relationship with who has a few “rough edges” as with Rema and Steve. It’s quite another to get involved with someone who has no practical concept of respect, kindness, giving or compassion. Steve may be a little bit of a tease on Rema, but he’s always been one of the most loving, faithful, kind-hearted, respectful men I’ve ever known to love a woman. A great contrast from the boyfriend of a past acquaintance named Kim. She bailed her boyfriend out of jail (he’d been arrested for beating her the weekend before) and then she married him two months later.
In the second situation, you have the character and mature, loving heart you’d always hoped to meet.. only there doesn’t seem to be that explosive, “fireworks” burst of song across the heavens announcing you’ve found your loving soul-mate. I do believe, to a degree, that in order to love a person in an Eros sort of way you need to be attracted to that person. But I also believe that as you understand how much this person loves you, and how much you love that person… they become beautiful to you inwardly in ways that make them physically beautiful (or handsome) outwardly. That being said, it seems to make sense that when you do find someone you can respect, love,and share your thoughts with.. that it would be worth the effort to at least see if this situation could work out.
There is so much truth to the words, “Love others as you would desire to be loved.” We do not want to be loved for what we have or can provide, we want to be loved for who we are. This is what we need to keep in mind as we assess our love for someone else as well. Do we really desire to love that person? Or are we only wanting to take what they have? Would we love them after some unforeseen accident stripped them of that perfect nose or shapely body? Or would we hold them all that much the closer with a devoted love for their welfare? Love may not come with a sudden burst of passion. It may come quietly when you turn to that person next to you and realize, “This person wants me for me.. and not for what I have. Funny, that’s how I feel too.” Stranger things have happened.
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.