Maybe We Found Love Right Where We Are (Thinking Out Loud)

Think, for a moment, about all the talk, associations, and things we hear today about relationships and, more specifically, intimate relationships relating to marriage or dating. All-too-often, it’s just about the only relationship we hear about. People are told to anticipate it, want it, desire it, and that it will solve all the problems you’ve got. We don’t talk about the basic principles of being good friends, of interacting with people, or general relationship dynamics. It’s in-your-face, all the time, “GET MARRIED!” “YOU NEED TO BE MARRIED!” If you’re married and you’re unhappy or having problems, somehow it’s your fault – you need to follow this set of advice, this set of guidelines, be this kind of person. If the situation doesn’t measure up, we assume it’s the person…not the concept we have given them.

I’ve spent many years watching trends in relationships. In the past few years, I have noted how disconnected we seem in them, especially in relationships that, by virtue of their nature, tend to be more intimate. As a rule, people’s expectations in their relationships are very high. We expect husbands and wives to be the end-all, be-all. We are placing such a high emphasis on relationships, it is virtually impossible for anyone to live up to the expectations that exist today. The more we place emphasis on marriage, not getting divorced, and on people being married, the more strain and more divorces we see. The higher the rates are of people who are unhappy in their marriages.

One thing that goes along with this trend is that the more we are talking about marriage and by extension familial relationships, the more we are getting away from friendships and having friends outside of our most intimate associations. I know too many men and women alike who have virtually no friends outside of their marriage or immediate family, and this is hurting us. The more we expect our mates to fulfill more roles, the more we aren’t getting those needs met.

When I found Ed Sheeran’s song by pure accident the other day, something about his line, “Maybe We Found Love Right Where We Are” made my mind start racing. I wasn’t familiar with Ed Sheeran before I heard his song, “Thinking Out Loud.” The video was a “suggestion to watch” on my YouTube feed while I was watching the video of another artist, so I watched it. I wasn’t expecting much, so yeah, I got way more than I bargained for (LOL).

In the episode of the hit show, “Friends,” titled, “The One With the Two Parties,” Monica throws a birthday party for Rachel that gets quickly disrupted because both of her parents who are involved in a nasty divorce show up for the party at the same time. In an effort not to ruin her birthday, the group takes on two parties, just to keep her parents apart. They deal with broken furniture, people trying to sneak out of Monica’s boring party to go to Joey and Chandler’s party across the hall, Ross running back and forth to keep Rachel’s father out of the party where her mother was, Joey kissing Monica’s mother to keep her from seeing Rachel’s father, and the guys making general idiots of themselves, just to make sure Rachel’s father can go between apartments without running into her mother. One of the best scenes was a discussion between Chandler and Rachel, where Chandler was able to sit and talk to her about having divorced parents because his parents were divorced when he was a child.

Rachel and Chandler never dated on the series. They were never more than friends who supported and cared about each other. Even though Ross and Rachel were dating at this point in the series, the person Rachel needed to talk to in that moment was Chandler, not Ross, and Ross understood that. He didn’t get jealous, accuse Rachel of having an affair, or get angry at her because he knew who she was and he knew that what she needed, he couldn’t offer at that moment. Chandler was, as a friend, able to help Rachel with what she was going through because she had been there. While Ross might have empathized, cared, even been attentive to her situation, he wasn’t going to be able to give her what she needed at that moment.

As people, we need more than boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives. We need to be more than boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends, and wives in our lives, as well. There is more than one way to love someone, and more than one way to be loved by someone. Still neglected, our friends become our family and sometimes we have moments where the one who knows exactly what we need is not the one who is, according to popular culture, the one who is “supposed” to give it. That’s why there is more than one person in the world and it is especially why there is more than one individual in the world that cares about us and wants the best for us.

Genuine support isn’t a “danger zone.” It’s not inappropriate and doesn’t mean someone is going to run off and have an affair, break up their marriage, or do something otherwise socially unacceptable. While Ed Sheeran’s song is clearly a love song and the individual is singing to his wife or girlfriend, there are principles in it that relate to strong support and friendship. Every one of us has had a friend that we truly cared about and knew cared about us and just took us and gave us a hug or reached out to us in our lives. We all have friends that we know will be with us no matter how old we get, who will be there for us to reach out with the touch of a hand, a hug, a good word, knowing that as long as we have them, we will never be alone.

As believers, we need to learn about love in our lives and all the ways we can reach out, just by being people. Love isn’t just for marriage, it’s not just for dating, it’s for all our interactions with people. And maybe, just maybe if we come to reach out and learn about this beyond just the obvious, we might start to find some of what we need in this life returned to us because we’ve realized that what we are looking for there has been there all along. Instead of looking for things from people who can’t give them, instead of looking for stuff all the time from one thing, we need to step back and realize that maybe we found love right where we are…where we don’t expect it and are never looking for it.

© 2014 Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.

Thinking Out Loud

When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks

And darling I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And baby my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Oh me I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

So honey now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

When my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades
And the crowds don’t remember my name
When my hands don’t play the strings the same way, mm
I know you will still love me the same

‘Cause honey your soul can never grow old, it’s evergreen
Baby your smile’s forever in my mind and memory

I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe it’s all part of a plan
I’ll just keep on making the same mistakes
Hoping that you’ll understand

But baby now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are, oh

(Ah la la, la la la, la la la, la la la la)

So baby now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Oh darling, place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are

Oh maybe we found love right where we are
And we found love right where we are

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