Love is the greatest of all the emotions. To be in love is the most wonderful, euphoric feeling in life. To lose that love is heart breaking and will feel devastating. To say that there is pain is to barely comprehend the awful pit one falls into. There are, indeed, many forms of love, but the one I speak about and write about, on this day, is that of romantic love. That emotion which has written the best of songs and poems, and has caused men to attempt great feats.
In my many years of working with at-risk youth I have a received many phone calls in the middle of the night from a distraught young man who has just been dumped by the love of his life. Over the years I have witnessed many heart breaks and a few great love stories. Recently, one young man got in touch with me. He and I met years ago when he was a teen. Today he is a man. We met over lunch and talked in great detail about the very subject of love. In this case he hadn’t been dumped; he had fallen in love. His face was full of life, his thoughts and words were positive, his hope for the future was moving. It was inspiring to hear him dream out loud. In years past he had been a person who carefully guarded his emotions. This had changed.
His story is very typical. He grew up in a dysfunctional family, he went through many relationships in his younger days, but they never seemed to work out. As a young man in his early twenties he met a young lady. They decided to live together and soon they married. However, trust and insecurity had always been an issue for him. After a few years of his constant need for affirmation he finally drove his wife away. He was crushed.
This is when he did something very different, he used the next few years to work on himself and to begin to understand why he behaved as he did. He dug deep in an effort to understand where these insecurities emanated from. Many of my young friends will not engage in such a struggle. It is simply too difficult a task. The years passed by, he matured, and became more confident in himself. He accepted who he was and where he came from. And then it happened. He met her.
In this relationship, just as in any other relationship, communication is the vital link. A relationship will always run into trouble because of poor communication. When communication breaks down the relationship will begin to die. Another problem my young men experience, is that they erroneously believed that they can change their girlfriend if they simply love her enough. Unfortunately, no one changes unless they choose to. No matter how hard you work, if both are not working at communicating, the future of that relationship is heading for trouble.
For now, my friend is in love and he is so very happy. We laughed and talked as if were teenagers once again. It was wonderful. So on this Valentine’s Day let us celebrate love and the hope that it brings us.