Okay, I have to admit love is complicated. What makes it work is a mystery. Well, for me, anyway. I know there are experts who claim to know the scientific principles of love. And yes, they can predict divorce within 97% accuracy (John Gottman). But can they predict who falls in love and why?
In science they say who we are attracted to has something to do with the way each of us smell, which is just crazy if you ask me. There has to be more than smell that brings two people together. And if smells are that powerful, why did I fall for a mechanic who is always in a garage sweating? (Does that suggest I like my men rugged and strong? )
When I was single and living in Southern California, I attended one of the how-to-attract-the-right-kind-
Silly me thought there were endless fish in the sea and if one didn’t work out, you go stand at the bus stop, and another one would come around in fifteen minutes. According to this leader, that wasn’t the way it worked
She explained the stages of romance. In the beginning most relationships don’t make it past the two-week point. There is another critical juncture at a month and a half, and so on.
That insight I appreciated more because I had a lot of “two-weekers.” Apparently after the first attraction, there has to be something more to keep the relationship going.
The relationship “expert” also declared that most couples got married around the year and half point of dating if they were ever going to get married.
At the time, I was getting close to dating my boyfriend for a year and a half. I wasn’t worried that we’d make a marriage commitment. From the beginning, my boyfriend had told me repeatedly that he would never get married, again. I told him that I was the type of girl who did get married.
He would pull me close and nod, hearing me, and I’d rest my head on his chest and think, “Not leaving … yet.”
There was comfort in this contradiction. I knew in my heart-of-hearts that eventually I was going to have to leave, and he knew in his heart-of-hearts, I don’t know what. He’s not the type to live in the future. He likes to stay in the present. He said he didn’t think about it and I almost believe that was true.
So, after the weekend workshop, I asked him if he wanted me to dress up more, wear heels, and have shiny legs. He gave me a curious look. “No. I live in a shop. That wouldn’t work in a shop.”
A week later he asked me to marry him and move out of state. That shocked us both.
(Have you ever noticed at these life-defining moments you learn a lot about yourself?)
After he asked, and I said, “Yes,” I realized that I didn’t after all want to get married. I liked my freedom and to be pinned down into such a big commitment, especially when a person realizes that if it doesn’t work out the government has so much say over your life (who pays who and how much, when you get to see your children, and, of course, even when you can be officially divorced.) I didn’t want to give an institution that kind of power over my life.
The day of our wedding, I was tied up in knots, shaking, and fighting back tears. I loved the man. I wanted to be with the man, but the social meaning of marriage and all the commitment a marriage symbolized seemed stifling.
I looked over at my soon-to-be in his suit, yes, the one and only time I had seen him in a suit, and he was beaming. No nerves. No second guessing. No doubt. Beaming.
As we stood in front of the justice of the peace, my shaking went into full force. My fiancé reached out and touched me, grounding me. We became married in an arboretum with butterflies swirling around us giving God-winks, encouraging us in our new union.
Every relationship has these defining moments. Whether it is a “wedding” or something not so public. These defining moments often make or break the relationship. These moments reveal a lot of about each person and what they really want.
This complexity of emotions is explored in my newest novel, The Sedona Upset. Maggie Chambers and JT Devonshire are engaged, but that doesn’t mean that the complications of trying to merge two lives of two very different people together will be easy.
I invite you on their journey through their complicated ride of love that includes, coyotes, vortexes, hot air balloons, Sedona, the extra drama of reality TV, and maybe some second guessing about their relationship and what it all means.
Here’s a little of what it is about:
Can love survive hot air balloon crashes and vortexes?
Maggie Chambers is the villain of the Millionaire Engagement reality TV show. She shocked the nation by capturing the heart of JT Devonshire, but can she keep it?
Being with JT requires moving to a rattlesnake-infested hundred and eighteen-degree desert of Tucson, Arizona.
It also includes being the outsider in a tight-knit community and taking on Dee, the crafty TV producer who has no short supply of meddling tactics.
Is love worth hot air balloon crashes, vortexes, spiritual energy healers, and the ever-present cameras for the most popular TV show?