I am gobsmacked by the reaction of friends, foes and absolute strangers alike to a recent video doing the rounds. In it, you find a man in conversation with a woman, waiting  at the airport along with her daughter for her husband’s arrival. The question-answer session leads one to understand that the woman had an arranged marriage and also that she has been married for eighteen years.

Towards the end of the recording, around the time the flight is announced to have landed, the woman is all atwitter and mentions having butterflies in her stomach at the thought of seeing her husband again after a gap of some weeks (or a couple of months, I have forgotten). And THAT was enough to set random people on the net off on their oohing and aahing and swooning in ecstasy, as also mouthing things like ‘After all these years. Awww… How romantic!’ and ‘This is love, real love!’ Suddenly arranged marriage was something irresistible if only for the butterflies it seemed to guarantee to flutter unrestrainedly in your stomach even in the eighteenth year of marriage.

Like, really? Give me a break.

I can tell you a much easier way to get that feeling. All you have to do is, catch a jarful of butterflies the next time your spouse is out of town, and swallow them all at just the right moment when the flight has been announced. Yup, try it. And if your stomach acids kill the poor butterflies before you can feel them flutter and instead give you a bad taste in your mouth, I will be the first one to clap my hands in wicked glee and point you to the quote below.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former ~ Albert Einstein.

Thank you, Einstein. I couldn’t have put it any better.

What the hell has the way you married to do with how you feel eighteen (give or take a few years either way) years later? You might have chosen your partner yourself (love marriage) or a partner might have been foisted upon you by your parents (arranged marriage) What makes anyone think the one chosen by parents is an expert at inducing the butterflies-in-stomach feeling for years to come? Are you telling me parents secretly give training to those THEY choose before they are dumped on you (or you are dumped on them as the case maybe)?

What stumps me even more, is who the hell came up with this balderdash, that getting butterflies in your stomach after years of living together defines a successful marriage, that it is the proof of continuing love/romance?! Bullsh*t. I have never heard such utter nonsense in my life, and I have lived long. On second thoughts, I might have, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of the bullsh*t tag.

It is bad enough that the impressionable (and absolutely clueless) young minds are regularly fed and eagerly lap up the idea that ‘butterflies in the stomach’ is the norm to be expected in any romance worth its name, but what excuse do they who have lived much longer and from whom one expects a little bit of sense (if not a whole lot) have for their delusion? Butterflies in stomach, forsooth!

Oh yes, we have all those marketing gimmicks to thank for, for believing love is  a certain well-defined something guaranteed to make everyone feel the same way as if we have come off the assembly line of a factory, a perfect copy of each other, and need absolutely similar experiences to lead a happy existence. Sorry to burst your bubble, it is NOT/we are NOT. We also have movies and books to thank for (not) for the unrealistic impressions we carry, that we all yearn (and should) for one and the same thing when it comes to love. Nothing but a load of bosh.

If you have a strong stomach and don’t feel any fluttering when you see your loved one walking out of the airport, stop worrying. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have got it all wrong because THERE ARE NO WRONGS AND RIGHTS IN LOVE. You just have your version of it. That’s all. So if you are the sort who grunts and frowns (or are grunted and frowned at), and ask (or are asked), “Back so soon?!” when the loved one is in view, AND YOUR PARTNER IS OKAY WITH IT, don’t let anyone make you feel wanting. You are perfectly fine as you are.

Love (or that feeling you have for another that makes you want to stick with them forever or however long you feel ‘forever’ is) is not a feeling that can be straightjacketed into definitions by others for you. It is not THIS or THAT or THOSE or THESE or WHATEVER someone else convinces you it is. What you see, want, desire, makes YOU happy and contented in a relationship is love for you, which could very well be poison for another. So the first rule (and only rule) to understand here is, what’s love for you may not be (is definitely not) love for me or x, y or z.

Today morning I happened to read this quote:

“To fall in love with someone’s thoughts – the most intimate, splendid romance.” ~ Sanober Khan

And I thought it was the most beautiful thing ever, of course, with regard to me. Personally, this defines romance/love as nothing else can for me. If I cannot fall in love with the thoughts of a person I might as well start looking for a burial site for romance because it is as good as dead. How many of you would agree with this way of looking at things? Maybe one, or two, a dozen, or even a million or a couple of billions? That still leaves a whole lot who will disagree with me and have their own ideas on love.

People love each other to bits over the way a lock of hair falls over a face, or the way a nose wiggles when they are having a fight. Some people don’t need to share thoughts or words, others share everything including their toothbrush. Some like to cling to each other at all times, others draw boundaries to be strictly kept. There is also *splendid romance* in a relationship where one spouse likes to spend and the other loves to shop. Who can say otherwise? What do you know of the happiness the two of them feel in the perfect arrangement they have made for themselves in their private world? There are all sorts, and they are all love when it is love to those involved.

Getting back to what started this all, yeah, a feeling of butterflies in your stomach does show a degree of excitement in the relationship. But the fact remains that you can have a SPLENDID romance without ever resorting to butterfly farming in your tummy.

Psst! The butterflies in the picture above are not from my tummy but my garden.

©Shail Mohan 2016.