Friday, 13 February 2009

Looking for love

I like Valentine's Day. I always ruminate on love and what makes it blossom - or wither on the vine. It's one of life's eternal mysteries.

I didn't fall in love myself until I met Jenny at the age of 34. I had wanted to fall in love many times but somehow it never quite happened.

I dated plenty of women. I kissed them, cuddled them, sometimes went to bed with them. We swopped our life stories, shared our enthusiasms, laughed at each other's quirks.

Each time I wondered if it was love. But each time it would gradually peter out. As hard as I tried, that vital spark was missing.

What was I doing wrong, I asked myself? Everyone around me was falling in love, finding their soulmate, getting married even. It seemed to come to them so easily. Was I being too fussy? Was I emotionally stunted? Was I afraid of intimacy? Was I really gay? Was I just not the falling-in-love type? I found a hundred reasons for love's elusiveness, but still it failed to find me.

The clock kept on ticking. Birthdays came and went. Likely women entered my life and disappeared from it again. I began to think falling in love must be an illusion.

All these besotted couples aren't really besotted, they're just clinging to each other because it's expected, because they're lonely, because they're desperate. This thing I'm chasing after is a mirage, a dream, a novelist's invention. But it was no good, I still believed in it and I still pursued it.

And then of course I met Jenny. Quite out of the blue, when I was least expecting it, our paths crossed and suddenly something ignited. And the rest, as they say, is history. A surprisingly long and satisfying history. A relationship that just gets deeper and deeper. What was the magic formula? I didn't know then and I don't know now. It's just one of those extraordinary miracles that leaves you gasping.


  1. Aww Nick. That's so sweet it really is and she's just lovely too. I wish you many more Valentine's days. We forget it's origins in the Middle ages when Chaucer promoted it as a Saints day and a day to exchange love notes - it's become so commercial that so many people don't like it anymore. I do draw the line at large balloons shaped like lips. Have a wonderful St Valentine's day you old romantic you!

  2. I often say that you cannot look for love. It bites when you least expect it and at times when you don't even want it.

    Enjoy and cherish your Valentine!

  3. This is just SO embarrassing!!!!!

    I'll have to buy him a Valentine's gift now...

  4. I just want to hug you both! That is so unbelievably romantic!
    Come on Jenny, you didn't just love this post? I bet you melted some. :)

    Happy Valentine's Day to you both!

  5. Baino - The increasing commercialisation of Valentine's Day is off-putting but I still like the way it encourages our romantic impulses. What would life be without a little romance?

    Grannymar - True, love so often sneaks up on us out of nowhere.

    Jenny - You ARE my Valentine's gift. And what's to be embarrassed about?

    GayƩ - Thank you, and a big hug back. {{{{GayƩ}}}}

  6. I'm so moved by this post, Nick. And Jenny - no embarrassment please, shout it out from the rooftops!
    Everyone aspires to a special connection such as yours.
    Beannachtai na Feile Bhailintin!

  7. www - Indeed, why not shout it from the rooftops? Not that I want other people to feel they've missed out though. Even if you've never fallen in love, life has many many pleasures and wonders.

  8. Thanks for giving me hope, Nick. I hope every day is Valentine's for you and Jenny.

  9. Thanks, Nicole. Never give up hoping for the things you want. You may not get them all but you'll get enough.

  10. Wow, how lovely that you feel like that still. Love is a very elusive thing.

  11. Suburbia - Love is very elusive, but when it does strike....Wowee! We're very lucky to have come this far, when so many couples split up so acrimoniously.

  12. You are a lucky, lucky man. Nice to read how much you enjoy your Love.

  13. Gayle - I'm a very lucky man. It distresses me that other people aren't so lucky and their lives are too full of struggle.

  14. Liz - That's what I often feel too!