Does Love Conquer All?

July 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

A friend of mine forwarded to me a couple of days ago, an email from her new girlfriend.  In this email her new friend listed ten things they had in common.  My friend wanted to share the email with me because had been pleasantly surprised by her new friend’s disposition to concentrate on the similarities rather than the differences.

I then thought about a friend of mine who is Muslim Turkish and came to the US to learn filmmaking.  While here she met a Jewish Turkish man and they fell in love and wanted to get married.  Her family threatened to disown her if she married him even though the two of them had so much in common.  My friend was forced to make a choice between the man she had fallen in love with and her family.  She chose her now husband but she still hurts for the loss of her family.  Her story is one of differences where families’ believes were so frail and non-inclusive that they couldn’t tolerate any differences.

As I’m thinking about what brings people together and what pulls them apart I wondered if love does really conquer all.

I recently connected with someone I’ve done business with for more than fifteen years.   In all the years I had known this man I didn’t know he had been “saved” and that a great part of his life is dedicated to listening, and discussing the words of the bible.  Differences challenge me and finding out the person underneath all of the differences, is what matters to me.

We went out a couple of times and I realize his belief was present in all of his actions.  He prayed and thought about Jesus with full commitment. He is also against gay marriage and votes Republican.

I quickly became very aware of our differences but to walk away because of them seemed to me just buying into what keeps people apart, so I decided to see if we could find the qualities that could bring us together.  In discussing the topic with a therapist friend she did point out that every time I voted Democratic, my vote would be nulled by his Republican vote.  What my friend was trying to say, is that our differences would come to matter if not now, later.  I didn’t have a chance to find out if she is right or not as my going out with this man was short lived but it got me thinking about what matters in relationships.

I think back to my late husband.  I loved Chris more than I had ever experienced love but we were also best friends and in the long run that would have been what would have sustained our relationship.  We both liked good food, wine, travel, movies, theatre, friends and family.  We both loved spending time together dancing around the house and laughing silly for no reason.

I have learned some of us, as the years roll out, opt for becoming more open while others bring up walls to protect themselves from pain.  I have chosen to live the process of bringing my walls down.  I have realized they keep me from connecting to others by fear and judgment.

I will never walk away from a relationship because of differences but I will if I can’t find respect and friendship but I do know that sometimes can be found if people take the time to peel away the layers.

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