Friday 17 October 2008

What Is Love, Anyway?

Today’s post is a minor diversion from my usual inane mutterings.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently where people elucidate their feelings about the mystery surrounding love. It’s not the kind of thing I would normally write about or even hold a conversation about to be honest. However, some of the beautiful things I have read in the past few weeks have inspired me to attempt to explain what love means to me.

As a man, this may prove to be difficult because as a rule men aren’t very good at talking about romance or the "L" word. When guys get together we rarely talk about our relationships. We are happy to talk about work, football, cricket and cars but as soon as the subject of love comes up, a strange shroud of discomfort descends and all concerned quickly revert back to chatting about the big game next week. I used to be married and when it fell apart I found that I couldn’t talk to my friends because they really didn’t want to know – or if they did, they could offer no advice and were reluctant to be the shoulder that I needed. Furthermore, I didn’t know how to talk to them. Don’t get me wrong; they were aware of how I felt but thought that the problem could be solved by a hearty slap on the back and another pint of the landlord’s famous ale.

That was a long time ago,

Now, however, if I were to tell my male friends how much I love Mrs PM, the subject would be changed as soon as is humanly possible, even as quickly as the next sentence. Therefore I don’t talk about love to guys. And guys don’t talk about love to me.

Women on the other hand talk about it all the time. I don’t want that to sound like I am generalizing but that is my understanding based on conversations I have heard and from what Mrs PM has told me. Just the other week, I was in a pub and I couldn’t help eaves-dropping a conversation between two young women who were discussing their partners over a bottle of wine. I didn’t know the two women but the conversation was compelling; I immediately realised that each of them was very keen to sing the praises of their men and do so in great detail. It made me feel slightly ashamed because I know that two men would never do that. They may chat about women, their partners even, but it would not be so open and emotional. There are some exceptions I sure but I am convinced that’s the way we are.

Back to the subject in hand: allow me to go against the grain and talk about what love means to me.

Love is impossible to describe and furthermore it can be difficult to differentiate between the various aspects of love. For me, my relationship with Mrs PM has evolved over the ten years we have been together.

When we first met, there was an immediate bond. I knew fairly quickly that this wonderful woman was the fabled “one”. Until that moment I was sceptical about people I had heard talking about “the one”. Mrs PM was my soul mate and when we first got together I was swept away on a tsunami of obsession. She occupied my every thought and for a short time I was worried that I was a victim of infatuation. When I was with her I was deliriously happy; when we were apart I pined for here like a man lost in the wilderness.

As the months went by, the obsession faded and something more meaningful took its place. I was still delighted in her company and I missed each moment apart but I came to terms with her absence, looking forward to the time we would be together again.

Over the years, we have in many ways become even closer. To describe Mrs PM as my soul mate is an understatement. She is witty (far wittier than I am), intelligent (far smarter than I am) and she understands me more than I do myself. We talk for hours about everything. I would do anything for her – indeed I have humiliated myself just to make her happy on several occasions (read about it here. I am happy to support her when she needs a shoulder to cry on simply because when she is down I am too. I am a verbal punch bag when she needs to let off steam.

Without Mrs PM I would be an empty shell. When I am returning from a business trip my heart is filled with a strange fuzzy warmth when I think about seeing her again. She is my best friend.

After all this time together, my feelings are as strong now as they ever were. In November we are returning to Hong Kong, where our relationship started to celebrate our tenth anniversary. I can’t wait; neither can Mrs PM.

Normal blogging service will be resumed in the next post but I hope that in the meantime you get an understanding of what love means to a forty six year old Mancunian. I’m sure many men feel the same way – but just don’t like to talk about it. Maybe we should open up a little more.


Anonymous said...

PM, that was simply beautiful, so eloquent---Mrs PM is very lucky! Have a good trip in Hong Kong...maybe I'll make it there someday as it's the place of my husband's birth. Good post!

Plastic Mancunian said...

You have to go there - it is a fantastic place.

The place brings back such memories.