“I’ll be there for you”

Who is right for us? What do we want from them?

Why do some couples tackle life’s great challenges together, while others fly apart at a slight bump in the road?

Why are some couples able to plan a future together, knowing that being with each other is the rock upon which their worlds are built, while others are together “if it works out,”on swirling waters that may or may not flow in the same direction?

Some relationships seem to represent commitment, “I’ll be there for you.” Others seem contingent: “I like almost everything about you, but might meet someone who has more of what I like. Then I’m gone.”


Some of us are incapable of “love.” Again, this may be biological. We believe in love, we want love, we show a version of love, or infatuation, but we don’t do well with lasting, committed love. Maybe we were designed to upset the status quo, to breed with many so we can diversify combinations of DNA, or maybe we are broken by mother’s lack of attention when we were two years old.

Why does this happen? That doesn’t matter to me in this moment. What matters to me is that we recognize and accept and communicate these things, as difficult as that honesty may be.

We owe it to our partner to let them know we have a terminal case of wanderlust. Or commitment to our job. Or to our church. We owe it to them not to string them along, nor be “wrong” about what we think we want when in our deepest thoughts, we know we are likely to move along when something more attractive comes along.

We owe them clarity that they don’t matter to us as much as our other priorities. Yes, that’s harsh. But hiding it doesn’t make it less so.

I envy those couples, men and women, men and men, women and women, who know a partner will stop at the store for cream for their coffee, even though the partner drinks it black. Too many of us have learned over time not to even ask, or worse, won’t ask because we don’t want our partner to expect us to do the same for them.

Honesty is hard, but in the long run it’s much less damaging than false expectations.

2 thoughts on ““I’ll be there for you”

  1. Joyce Dingman

    Hi Jessica…….Just a thought about relationships looking back from my advanced years..(73). I don’t actually believe that we were ever meant to live in a long term monogamous relationship. Men by nature were meant to hunt, travel and spread that seed, and they do. I liked the way the Indian women lived in the East in a matriarchal society before they got civilized. They all lived together, and cared for each others children in a big lodge, and the men were allowed to stay when they brought home game. If he raised a hand or caused problems he was thrown out. Sounds good to me.
    I believe that the churches and early leaders figured out that stable relationships were more beneficial to society than not. Naturally if a man strayed, no big deal, but because men needed to be sure that their spouse had only their children for division of property it became in the best interests of those men to insure faithful wives. Enter the church’s rules. Women benefited by the arrangement by being supported and protected, but gave up a lot.
    As times have changed the need to rely on a man for those needs has become less important. My daughter is in her mid 40s. She has a good job, her own home, and car. She dates who she will and sleeps where she wants. Not that her Father or his family is happy about it, but he accepts her as an adult. Times have definitely changed.
    The movie Blue Denim had a profound effect on those of us in high school during the 50s. It was the first movie about abortions and helped pass Roe vWade. I think it was responsible for my life long fight against the pro-lifers. I will never argue the right and wrong of abortions, just that it’s each persons decision to make. ………..and when the “pill” came along……freedom was at hand. I was already married so I have no idea how my life might have been different. It’s been a good marriage because we are best friends as well as maintaining the loving relationship. Actually I’m the best thing that ever happened to him……lol….54 years later he even agrees.
    I think the young women of the future should be able to live more like my daughter. Government needs to take a step back and stay out of our lives. I truly believe that most women don’t usually come into their own life until they hit about 40. By then her children are usually raised and out of the nest. If she is not consumed by earning a living she can finally lift her head out of the dishpan and take a good look around and make some changes. Is it fair….No! but it is what it is. My Mother used to say that there are two kinds of Mothers, those who put their family first, and those who don’t. If you want a family, be there for them. Once I hit 40 I told my husband that it was my turn! Having a business and making my own money gave me back my power. Once women understand that they were basically sold a bill of goods by the establishment they can start to reclaim their lives. I saw the light litterly. I’ve had a good life, an interesting one, but I was one of the lucky ones. Do I wish sometimes I’d been a little more adventuresome, yes……….. would I change places with anyone, No! Because my husband not only stopped at the store, he also brought me a chocolate doughnut!

    1. Jessica Love Post author

      Joyce, in many ways it seems like you have the best of all possible worlds. A loving, long term relationship with a man who obviously has loved you through those years. You and I share similar views on the history of female roles, though I give more power to biology. Your daughter’s situation is more like mine, and I would say it’s working for us. It might also work if we find a man or woman who gives us what you have, also. It could happen that we would “settle down,” as they say, but I’m not sure that’s a goal in itself. In my books, I describe a more extreme form of freedom, but my aim is what you say here: to reclaim our lives from the judgement of others.Thank you for writing.


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