Love Couldn’t Hold Me
Plagiarized from the pages of a Lifetime movie script or the unexpected plot twist in an urban erotic novel, I have had my portion of amateurish relationships and unrequited romance. Despite this reality, my love life to date has not been a complete catastrophe.
To be achingly forthright, I have abandoned the possibility of exchanging vows with some “good” partners. When I say “good” I am referencing the definition I was spoon-fed by society since conception. Since I was a chubby cheeked, bashful little girl, I was indoctrinated with the idea that one day I would grow up and marry someone who was smart, educated, and loved God. I was devoted to the unwritten checklist. You know, the template designed to let you know when you have found the one:
Moderate to highly attractive, check.
Medium to athletic in build, check.
Kind-hearted, supportive, and totally into me, check.
Non cheater and non-abuser, check.
According to the standard, I met my soulmate at least 4 times and each time, I blew it. Yep, I’ve had some good partners. I dated an undercover chef, a hopeless romantic who would wrap gifts for me every time we went on a date. I’ve dated a God-fearing man whose only desire was to violate his devotion to God with me every Saturday night while making sure we got just enough sleep to get up every Sunday morning to get to the house of the Lord. He prayed that God would settle my rebellious soul. My bad boy had a warm heart, generous pockets, and charm equivalent to the serpent who tricked Eve.
I’ve dated some who have luckily stumbled on happiness and commitment with a less unpredictable woman. No matter how whimsical my love affairs were, it was never enough. A self-diagnosed serial monogamous, I had a grotesque habit of dismissing relationships the moment they made that stressful transition from honeymoon to hard work.
In my mind, I was following the rules, passed down through generations of women who abandoned their joy for the sake of family. Page 634 in the “Everything you need to know about love” manual suggests love is about the ability to put someone else’s needs before your own even at the loss of your own happiness. Even if you are not gratified, you stay. You always stay! So I remained.
If I ever get my hand on that book, I will burn it in reverence of all the men and women who have remained in unfulfilled relationships because they too have been deceived into believing there is some grave glory attached to a person’s ability to glue together fragmented pieces of a broken relationship.
The new manual will state, “There are some things that are better suited for the trash. Relationships included. The end.”
The older I got, the more I internalized my constant yearning for more. Naively, I damned myself for being too difficult to please. Why was I the only woman in the world who could not be fully satisfied with the simple things? I wore my insatiability like a scarlet “A” to brand my heart. It was my way of participating in the Love Passover. I warned anyone who tried to get close to me that if longevity or commitment was something they longed for, I was an ill-suited partner.
If you tell yourself something long enough with enough conviction, you will eventually persuade your heart to live in the rhythm of false truths. I told my heart that settling down was not an option. So have fun, enjoy the moments, and learn to love the companionship of success. Sadly, this was how I felt for the longest time.
Experience will teach you if you are attentive. You are permitted to evolve and to learn.
Growth gives us revelations. I care to share this one with you. Recently, I came to the realization that love is just not enough for me and I am okay with this because I know who I am. If love is the only thing on the table for dinner, I will starve. I ran away from relationships not because I am anti-commitment, but because I have an unshakeable fear of having to endure a life without passion.
There is a stark difference between a loving relationship and a passionate relationship. In the infamous words of Savon Garrison, from the unrivaled classic motion picture, Love Jones, “Let me break this down. So that it may forever and consistently be broke…”
Love and complacency can be synonymous if you are not cautious. When you get cemented in the routine of a relationship, everything begins to blend. The 30 days in April 2010 resemble the 30 days in June 2013. Often in relationships where passion has never existed or has vanished over time, there is no spontaneity. The effort to please your partner is shoved to the back of our mind or completely removed from your list of priorities. Passionate people need to see the constant effort from their partners. Complacency is something you will never see in a relationship where two people are deeply connected to one another.
I have always dated the loudest cheerleaders. You know, the partner’s who celebrate all your major accomplishments with a nice dinner, photo ops, and the obvious, “I’m so proud of you baby.” They loved me, so naturally their support was genuine and the pride they felt was sincere.
Cheerleaders are vital. However, there is a difference between a cheerleader and an individual so passionate about their partner’s talents and purpose, they are willing to “shoot in the gym with you.” These are the partners that are running up and down the court screaming plays at you. When you lose focus or get off track, they have the perfect words to realign your attention. More importantly, when you are slacking, they hold no punches. Demanding as this may seem, passionate individuals don’t only want a cheerleader, they want their significant other to be the coach, the teammate, the trainer, the cheerleader, and the biggest fan.
When the palms of a passionate person grace your skin, you know instantly. There is an unsettling contrast between good sex and passionate love-making. When an individual is passionate about their significant other, holding hands can feel like foreplay. A half smile and a wink from your significant other in a room full of people can instantly stiffen your posture, or for women, place heat in between your thighs. The connecting is art.
Passionate individuals desire to indulge in a level of intimacy that is continuous. We understand the power of words, get lost in the anticipation of pleasure, and acknowledge that foreplay can be as non-invasive as kissing or as thoughtful as role playing. Intimacy is an experience, not a climax and we expect to be so in tune with our partners we collectively uncover new ways to transcend to high dimensions.
Chemistry cannot be manufactured or purchased. When you combine chemistry with fire, insecurities, rules, and unobtainable expectations cease to exist. Where we direct our energy is where we will see results. In passionate relationships, a great majority of the energy is placed in creating an environment where two can exist in harmony.
In order to maintain a relationship like this, good communication is the most powerful predictor of success. I previously had difficulty maintaining peace in relationships because the communication was more about proving a point or winning an argument and less about improving the conditions of a relationship or trying to understand the other person’s feelings. Someone had to lose the argument.
Passion leaves little room for confrontation.
How does passion work? I offer two explanations. One argument is that passion is ignited as a natural response to your partner and how they make you feel. What does that mean? There are people who may never experience passion until they encounter an individual that snatches them out of their comfort zone and force them to be a better and more infatuated spouse.
A second position alludes to the idea that some of us are more naturally enthusiastic than others. These individuals dwell in sensuality, romance, erotica, and curiosity, so expressing love to our partner in artistic ways comes natural to us. Either way, we cannot continue to neglect the role that compatibility plays when two individuals are attempting to join in peace.
Passion, like finances, child-rearing and religious practice is something that needs to be understood before entering into a relationship with someone. First, seek to understand how important this component is to your happiness. Second, be inquisitive about your partner. Probe them so you can gather a concrete understanding of how much value they place on passion.
There are some individuals who maintain better when things are structured, routine, and simple. These individuals find tranquility in control. They appreciate little disturbance to their day-to-day life and too much excitement can actually cause anxiety.
There are some of us who have to create new experiences daily. We have to have all of our senses stimulated simultaneously and our partners have to be willing to learn how to please us and venture off into the unknown. For those of us who associate life with adventure, we need partners who are willing to explore life with us, or give us the freedom to do so absent of the relationship.
For those in relationships or marriages where passion is absent, be proactive. Understand that the need for exhilaration does not exist in everyone. Be willing to patiently guide your partner. Offer instruction on how to give your spirit what it needs and be willing to compromise.
To my single lovers, if fire and explosion is what you need, offer no flexibility for what you need to be fulfilled. Trust the process. Don’t force yourself into arrangements that do not feed your hunger for excitement. If you do find yourself in love with an individual who does not share the same thrill-seeking nature that you do, be prepared to be a constant teacher. They will need help becoming acclimated to loving you.
For years I longed for someone to be enamoured by me. Someone interested enough in my purpose to ask questions. To cheer and coach me. I wanted someone to read my writing before I put them on paper. I needed a visionary to speak about my future with such promise in their words, I could actually visualize myself on the bestseller list. Sex is overrated, I was saving myself for the type of intimacy that snatched me out my body and left me watching myself convulse on the bed praying this moment would end with the reminder that all things sacred laid in our arms and hearts. I am a poetess, I yearned to be inspired. No, love is not enough, I knew there was more and I was on a journey to find it.
Pray you all seek and find everything you need or plus. Move in love…Until we meet again lovers and friends. Be well. Be prosperous. Be passionate.
Jazz Keyes is a community activist, poetess and a nationally certified Life Purpose and Career Coach. Keyes supplies clients with the necessary tools and techniques to awaken their divine energy, heal their open wounds and create an aura of love, compassionate and tranquility. In 2013, Keyes was named “13 People to Watch For” by Rockford Register Star and in honor of Black History Month 2014, Keyes was recently named a “Neighborhood Hero” by ComEd’s Power of One Campaign. Keyes is currently pursuing her Masters in Clinical Psychology and hopes to one day be a best-selling author and motivational speaker. She has devoted a great deal of her time and energy to mastering the art of communication in order to create healthy, dynamic, long-lasting relationships.