Nostalgic romance. I remember Valentine’s cards from when I was a child. My favorite were the ones that looked like they were generated in the early 40’s or 50’s. Do you know which one’s I mean? They are all flowery and detailed, sometimes cut to a certain form. They are not anything like the fold in half one’s that kids give out today with Sponge Bob and Scooby Doo on them. These types of cards have a different feel to them. It’s a nostalgic type of romance that is basically non-existent in today’s time for a variety of reasons. For one, in my opinion, women are afraid to be women and men are afraid to be men. I’m not talking about sexual preference here. I’m talking about some women are afraid to fulfill the natural urges of womanhood. They feel guilty for staying at home with their children instead of taking on a career. The reverse guilt of that is true as well. Some women feel guilty because they are indulgent in their career at the expense of starting a family. Men, well, that’s an entirely different story. Our men are taking a beating right now and it will continually get worse, says I, as over the next 12 years or so the role of “men” will gradually be torn down. Remember your grandfather? They don’t make them like that anymore do they? No. And there is a reason for that but to get to that you are going to have to bear with me.
Right now, women are at battle with themselves to normalize, to find balance between their instinctual desires and the demands of society. Society has changed drastically since the days of the proverbial “stay-at-home” mom. We, as a collective, have pushed the pendulum in the opposite direction. Now, women have more choices but at the same time are feeling the pressures of society. Eventually, that pendulum will swing from the extreme to a happy balance. You see, even though we can look back at those times and think about how children came home to a mother who had just made cookies and patiently wait their father’s arrival from work so they could have a family dinner and think, “Whatever happened to those happy days” we often forget that the picture is not as happy as it seems. Women were oppressed during these times. Not all of them, of course. But some married and had children and remained in that family situation because there were no other choices. The changes of the feminine revolution have changed that and now there is a plethora of choices. Maybe too many, because some women are still very confused about how they fit into the role of society. Like I said, that will stabilize and find a happy balance and the role of Mother will be restored but more as an “option” for a lifestyle of women rather than a requirement.
The same thing is happening for men. We are breaking down the role as a society and eventually we will rebuild that role without some of the traditional mindsets that have been hindrances for this gender. Think about it. Do you know any men who are frustrated because they are expected to be both Masters of the Universe and The Ultimate Sensitive Guy? Would you not be confused and frustrated? It is going to take a very long time for the rebuilding to happen. But then again, this model with all it’s good and bad was not built overnight.
Basically, you may feel nostalgic today. You may flip through a photo album and find a picture of something you loved from long ago. It may instantly bring a smile to your face. Perhaps it was a relationship. Perhaps it was something else. Whatever it was you remember it as a happy time.
However, I encourage you, while you are enjoying that glimpse back, not to forget that at first glance things seem rosy and bright. But, do not forget that time is over for a reason. Something wasn’t right. Something didn’t fit. You’ve matured and grown since that time. Imagine trying to go back as the person you are now. It wouldn’t be the same. Gather those lessons you’ve learned since that time and apply them. Happy times are still coming. There is no need to live in the past but that does not mean that you cannot remember, enjoy, and learn from what you recall.
As a result, you will see that relationship is over. But, you are not over. You are still standing and can move on. Although, you may be moving on separately at this point you are carrying the lessons of the past with you. And you can rebuild new happy memories with those lessons that may last longer. They will be stronger, healthier relationships if you allow yourself to move on and not repeat the same mistakes.
For example, I got married on Friday. It was a bit off-putting as far as the circumstances go. My fiancé and I were married in the same spot as my first husband and I. My first marriage was a disaster. I went into to it for the wrong reasons. I stayed for the wrong reasons. And I was a standing in that same exact place on Friday taking my vows the memory of all those wrong decisions came back to me. The pain of my first divorce quickly followed. But then, I looked at my now husband and could only smile. We were there for the right reasons. This is something we have worked very hard together to achieve. Even though the location was the same, I was completely different person than I was when I stood there the first time. My husband is a completely different man than when he was first married. This was a conscious choice not made from nostalgic romance but made from reason and cooperation and even though it doesn’t seem very romantic the day absolutely beat any fairy tale I’ve ever read. We mutually agreed to commit, forsake all others, to cherish eachother in sickness and in health and it was easy to do! We have plans going into this. What will we do if we get into trouble financially? What is the method of raising our children? What do we want to do when our children are gone and we are ready to retire? Do we support one another’s personal goals? Do our personal goals align with our marriage goals? We actually sat down and talked about these things openly and found a common agreement on many things. I know what is expected of me as a wife. He knows what is expected of him as a husband. How often does that happen?
It’s something to think about as we, the collective, move forward into change.