There is a commonly known verse, ‘love is patient, love is kind’. But how many people know what comes next? I guess that’s how it is with real life love: we know enough about love and romance to do the basics (like try to be patient and kind!) but many of us still find ourselves asking what are we doing wrong in our relationships.
I found myself listening to a favourite band earlier this week, and thought – what if the answers to all our romantic questions have already been answered by the world’s great creative romantics? Written in the bible verses we quote but never really listen to? Quoted by movie characters we watch but don’t accept as real life possibilities? Passionately sung out by our favourite bands but accepted as nothing more than catchy tunes?
So this week I’ve been exploring my theory and come up with rather empowering words from some rather extraordinary minds.
Let’s begin with a favourite literary and on-screen character, Noah Calhoun from The Notebook.
He answers the big question, “what is the purpose of life?”
“I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”
Next, to the Coldplay song Magic, on ‘never losing sight of what you had in the beginning’:
And if you were to ask me
After all that we’ve been through
Still believe in magic
Oh yes I do
On to a classic romance novel that has earned its place in history for a good reason.
Gone With The Wind is one of my personal favourites (and yes I sat through the movie, intermission and all!).
Rhett Butler answers, “what keeps a relationship intimate?”
“You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”
When we turn to the wise Florence Welch, of Florence + The Machine, her lyrics from Cosmic Love warn of the dangers of hanging on after the love burns out
(Don’t do it, it’s such a sad picture):
I took the stars from my eyes, and then I made a map
And knew that somehow I could find my way back
Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you
The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I’m always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart
Sean Maguire in the movie Good Will Hunting answers the question, “Am I too critical of my partner’s flaws?” (Yes, you are.)
“People call those imperfections, but no, that’s the good stuff.”
Back to Corinthians 13:4-7, it answers a lot, including, ‘how do I get through a fight with my partner?”
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
And a bonus Coldplay lyric because I love them and they have so many magical romantic verses to choose from, this time from Miracles,
about maintaining perspective and letting go of the insignificant worries in favour of the love you feel for someone:
Sometimes the stars decide
To reflect in puddles in the dirt.
When I look in your eyes
I forget all about what hurts.
On the other side of my musical and literary research about love and romance, I actually do feel that I have a little more perspective about the important things. It is important to indulge ourselves in the great movie-like romances and aim for the type of love described in our favourite songs – starting with how we conduct ourselves.
As Christian says in Moulin Rouge, “the greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return”.
How very true.
We are celebrating true love, marriages, romance, friendships, the love of family – love in all its forms – with the sparkling new ‘Love Collection’, available now at cristinare.com.
So much love,