I’m not going to go all Gary Barlow on you as I’d never be able to find the words, however love and relationships, not a topic of discussion you would normally expect me to give my two pennies worth on but I had to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard or whatever the expression is these days. Recently I’d been asked to give some relationship advice to a friend, specifically how do you know that it’s L.O.V.E? Now you don’t need to have a 1st in philosophy from Oxford to realise I may not be the best person to turn to for this sort of thing. With my track record, asking me to help improve one’s relationship is like asking the cast of TOWIE to sit on the Treasury Select Committee and give advice on the Libor interest rate scandal.
However to help a friend out, I dished out a few words of encouragement and what generally seemed like common sense advice, but at the same time knowing full well that if the shoe were on the other foot, I would have hung up the phone. It’s not that the advice I gave was bad, it’s just that when it comes to relationships, you generally tend to do what your heart wants and all common sense goes out the window.
For me, ‘Love’ is a word that can bring about a bag of mix emotions and reactions; with some lucky enough to experience it in all its glory, while others see it at its most punishing. I believe everyone will at least once in their lifetime experience it, whether or not they know what it is or what form it takes. I still haven’t decided whether I had it at its most satisfying and heart melting, or soul destroying and heart breaking. I guess in time I will look back and say both.
It is fair to say I’ve crashed and burned big time in this department and it’s taken me the best part of nearly two years of soul searching to find out why, what went wrong, what went right, and what could I have changed? Hope, regret, sadness, relief and many more emotions have all been experienced in a time where I simply didn’t allow myself to move on. It is of course easy to say “oh time will heal the heart, you will get over it, you’ll meet someone else” etc, but deep down you know that feeling will never completely leave you. I think everyone deals with it in their own way.
I remember I was once told that my heart was too fragile, that I’m too innocent and that I haven’t lived and experienced life. Love would chew me up and spit me back out leaving me broken hearted. I laughed at this statement, it sounded like a quote from some Hugh Grant rom-com. And Me? Innocent? Well it made me smile. But it was true, and I had the warnings, I saw the signs, and unlike Ace of Base, the signs didn’t open up my eyes, quite the opposite in fact, I didn’t want to believe them and simply ignored them.
Then once you’ve gone your separate ways, no matter how much you try to forget or move on, you are reminded constantly of love and none more so than through music. Songs on the radio catch you out when you least expect it. One minute you’re in the car driving to work busting a move to Mr Saxobeat and the next you’re in a daze, parked in a layby on some country road for 2 hours unable to escape Heart FM. It’s as if Heart know that you’ve broken up and so every song played reminds you of the most obscure and uncontrollable emotions you once experienced. Big ballads are always the worst, from Bonjovi’s Always to Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing. Two years on, I still can’t listen to Mary J or Usher, I simply have to change the station. Here’s a piece of advice, never ever tune into Heart FM post break-up, or make sure you’re safely locked in a padded room when you do.
It’s funny though how for a split second your heart still skips a beat as a song lyric takes you back down memory lane, but then realisation dawns just as quickly and you simply accept it for what it was and look back with fondness.
When you first experience love, you definitely have the Kina Grannis feel and outlook towards it, best described in her Valentine song as “love, is a special day, we should celebrate and appreciate, that you and me, found something pretty neat” and it’s this feeling that you want to last forever. However life doesn’t work out that way unless you’re one of the lucky few.
I guess you never realise what you have until it’s too late, you get so caught up in the moment that you’re living in a bubble. Heavy D & the Boyz hit the nail on the head when they sang “Now that we found love, what are we supposed to do with it?” and that is the question I never asked of myself. Does anybody though? And should you? Simply put, can a relationship last just on love? Whether you’re a young 18 year old whipper snapper of a student without a care in the world, or a 39 year old executive on the road to a mid life crisis, I believe if the opportunity arises, you have to take your chance and act regardless of your circumstances.
Of course after some time has passed, ‘Love’ may come knocking on the front door once again. Will you be in to answer? More importantly, will you want to answer? Mahatma Gandhi once said “Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable”. A sentiment I have come to appreciate over time.
I know what you’re thinking, this is a very negative take and that you’d rather fall in to a dark black hole than fall in love after reading this post. So just let me say this, if I had my time again, I genuinely wouldn’t change a thing. The highs and lows are what make a relationship as far as I’m concerned and if it’s not meant to be then so be it. There are plenty of fish in the sea as they say, just need a bigger rod next time.
For now though, I just simply can’t get Phil Collins – ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ out of my head, it may as well be my theme music as I walk down the street to the local chip shop, and if anyone ever asks you for relationship advice, you can do much worse than start singing this song….
“my mama said, You can’t hurry love, no you’ll just have to wait , She said love don’t come easy, well it’s a game of give and take, You can’t hurry love, no you’ll just have to wait, Just trust in the good times, no matter how long it takes…”
Apologies for the serious and soppy nature of the blog post, not my usual cup of tea, hopefully regular service will resume soon.
Until next time, Peace, Love and Happiness.
P.S – I mentioned lyrics by Kina Grannis earlier who is a wonderful singer songwriter from LA and who I was lucky enough to meet at her amazing gig at the London Chapel earlier this year. I’ve had Kina on repeat on my iPod and in my car. I simply adore this talented lady and cannot recommend her enough. Have a listen peeps, she never fails to brighten up your day :)