Burn It All Down

There was a moment recently when I contemplated the type of relationship I want in my life, with the right one, and along with that, the type of relationship I deserve. The moment came about as I prepared myself for a little heartbreak. I’m sure some of you out there know what I mean. As you anticipate facing that someone may not feel the same way about you, that you feel for them – you may ask yourself a lot of questions. Did I miss something or misunderstand his attention? Is this the type of man I want to be with, anyway? Is this what I want – that I’m so confused about how he feels? I mean, I should know, not be confused. I deserve to know.

I go all in and love fully. I’m passionate and give everything I have to those I love and care for. I want that in return. I deserve that, no? I think as women we are sometimes willing to compromise or make excuses – accepting less than what we should. And certainly less than what we deserve.

Perhaps I shouldn’t say it’s just “women” who do this. But I can only speak for myself and certainly witness this in the lives of women I know and care about. I want the same kind of love that I give. I don’t want some halfhearted & flimsy love. I don’t want someone that’s not wildly passionate about me – in the same way I am about him. Life is too short to settle for someone’s lukewarm feelings about you, you know?

One of my favorite TV shows, at one time, was Scandal. There’s a line in the dialogue, that the main character, Olivia Pope – became kind of known for amongst true fans. There are people who thought her lines were kind of dumb or maybe even dysfunctional. In some ways, I understand the criticism. Here’s the bit of dialogue and then I’ll explain how I interpret what she says. By the way, if you haven’t seen it, she’s talking to the the man she’s dating – but their relationships is all sort of ho-hum. By the way, she’s already experienced what she really wants, in her relationship with Fitz.

Olivia Pope : Edison, I’m really sorry. I could marry you. I could be a Senator’s wife. I’d probably be happy. I could probably give all this up and live in a country house and have babies and be normal. I could. But I don’t want to. I’m not built for it. I don’t want normal and easy and simple. I want… I want…
Edison Davis : What? What? What do you want, Olivia?
Olivia Pope : I want painful – difficult – devastating – life-changing – extraordinary love. Don’t you want that, too?

Some view this “painful, difficult” thing as the antithesis of what love is “supposed” to be. It doesn’t fit the “happily ever after” model we’ve been sold our entire lives. But the truth is, what Olivia was getting at, was that she’d seen this wildly passionate, all-consuming, he won’t give up on me and pursues me at all costs, kind of love. And once she’d seen it, she couldn’t quite settle into this quiet, tame thing Edison offered her. I don’t think anyone watching the show would’ve seen Edison as a bad dude. In fact, he’s a likable character. But we’d already seen her love with Fitzgerald Grant and – I mean, there is no comparison between the two.

Edison may have been stable, but he was also just sort of blasé. Olivia & Fitz had a reoccurring fantasy about their post-Presidency life in Vermont where Olivia would make jam in their big house. It’s not that Olivia didn’t want this sort of country house and having babies, kind of life. She did want normal, ultimately. But she wanted a man who’d burn down the world to get that with her. Edison wasn’t it – even though he was a good dude.

So yeah, I want a man that would burn down the world to make me part of his life. Because I’m certainly ready to do that for him. I don’t know what your thing is and what it is that you’re looking for. But I do know that there comes a time that we as women need to stop making excuses or accepting the tepid attention of men who aren’t all in. I don’t want a man that’s not all in. I won’t accept it in my life, either.

Funny enough, the all-in way he pursues me (the way we pursue each other) is ultimately what I believe leads to the “peace” mentioned above. There’s no need to settle for table scraps. I’ve never been willing to accept second-best anything. And I’m not about to start now. I don’t think any of us should.

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