A Melancholy Weekend, Part III

I told you that yesterday was a rather strange day. Our communication was a little bit… off. Sometimes the new man and I can apply a different meaning to the same word. He will interpret the word differently than how we would use it in North America. Like for example, his over-use of the word “lazy”.

This doesn’t happen very often and usually we can clear it up, but when we start talking about concepts it gets a bit tricky. We’re talking about a) the usage of certain words and b) the difference between North American and Turkish culture. It definitely makes for interesting conversations.

Yesterday, it was one of my goals to ask him what was important to him in a relationship. I wanted to make sure that I am meeting any needs he has, emotionally, physically, or otherwise.

I left the question broad to see what came to his mind, and he said this:

“Respect! Love is a luxury for me, it comes and it goes but it is respect that has to be there always.”

*Cue awkward silence*

Not knowing exactly what he meant or how to respond, I asked him to explain. He went on to say that love is a luxury because you aren’t always going to love someone. Sometimes they are going to do things that you don’t like and visa versa but you always have to have respect.

I was torn- am still torn- between whether he meant that love is not important for him (in which case, does he love me?) or was our definition of “love” not matching up?

I understand this concept that he was talking about… how there will be times when you really don’t like each other much, or what some people refer to as “bumps” in a relationship… and I get that you have to still respect each other through those times… but to me, love is that respect. Love is about always caring for one another even when they’re driving you crazy. Love is about putting in a greater effort to make it through those times and coming out the other end stronger.

I *think* that when he says “love”, he is referring to what we in North America would call romance, lust, or infatuation.

Of course, when he told me this I began to question whether that means he’s really in love with me or not. What an awkward way to feel!

That aside, at the end of the day… he treats me phenomenal, he’s tender and caring and thoughtful with me, he gazes into my eyes and rests his head on mine, he kisses me gently, he holds my hand, and he listens to me, and regardless of how he defines the word “love”, he loves me by my standards.

About these ads

12 thoughts on “A Melancholy Weekend, Part III

  1. I saw this on twitter today and didn’t have time to enter that conversation. I read that sentence a few times and I don’t know either. I don’t think I can honestly tell you where I think he is coming from because I don’t know him. I think your acknowledgement of the different cultures is such a good thing. I think you are probably on with your idea of the lust, romance, etc thing.
    So, now that I haev read this all…I think no matter what, you trust your heart. You have been through a lot. Had you not been through everything that you went through in your past I would tell you to hold your horses. Instead I say ride the ride, it may be one you never actually have to get off. This may be it. You will know. But the most important thing that we all see is that you are happy and he treats you well. Wherever this path takes you I am so happy for you!!

    • Thank you soooo much. I had a good long talk with my BFF about everything today. She’s got great instincts, a councillors background, and she knows me inside and out. She’s also been married for a million years and when I told her what he’d said, she understood immediately without me even having to expand on the conversation. Loving someone is one thing. Being “in love” is another. Over the course of your lives together you should always love each other but the “being IN love” part will come and go… But you have to maintain your respect for one another and for the relationship to keep it strong. Something like that anyway. I think she nailed it.

      When he used the phrase “love is a luxury” I felt put off. Did that mean he doesn’t love me? BFF thinks I’m crazy for even wondering that. I feel like he loves me, he shows me that he loves me, and she said it was very obvious in the way he was with me in front of my friends.

  2. I totally get it too and it heightens my respect for him, actually. Having had a 17-year relationship, there are times in an argument when you are really angry and don’t feel very “loving” at that minute, but if you still treat them with respect, that is paramount to not destroying the bond between you two. I mean, think about your parents, aren’t there times you dislike them? Of course you always love them but sometimes they drive you nuts, but it’s still paramount to treat them with respect. He sounds like a good guy. I wouldn’t enter living arrangements with someone though if I wasn’t ready to marry them though — that is very similar to marriage. It sounds like the idea feels comfortable to you though.

    • I’m so glad for your input! It’s good to know that people understand where he’s coming from. I do as well when I sit back and think about it, it just took me a minute to get there.

      He’s told me previously that in his culture you can’t live together until marriage, so I actually think he was testing the waters for a bigger conversation. But regardless you’re right, I’m totally comfortable with the idea. In fact, it feels good just thinking about it.

  3. I read all of these before responding (thinking others must be too!) – and first, on this post, I agree with you and your determining he means lust/romance, not love, OR what you say here in comments, IN love vs. love. I agree, that IN love part comes in time, but you can of course LOVE each other now, and I think you obviously do! I also think you are smart going into this eyes wide open and only going forward with living together or even marriage if YOU are comfortable and want to. It sounds like things are falling into place for a reason, and I back whatever decision you make dear, always. XOXO

    • I think we are both completely in love right now. I think it’s amazing. After taking a step back I can see now what he was trying to say. It was his initial wording that threw me off and I couldn’t quite get past that. I get it now though.

      Thank you so much for your support. Not a single person has been skeptical or negative so far either online or in person. That makes me so happy that it’s so apparent how happy he makes me. :-)

  4. I’m guessing it’s just a cultural thing for him. I don’t think the men in his culture typically express love the same way men from other cultures do. It sounds like he’s crazy about you. I don’t think anyone can judge you without knowing him or seeing your relationship together. Since your BFF has seen you together, she is probably spot on. Shannon is right, we can see how happy you are in this relationship. That’s gotta be love.

    • Thank you so much. Eeeeep every time I feel supported I just get so happy because I really AM HAPPY!

      What you said reminds me of something. When we first started dating, probably our fourth date or so… he told me (I don’t really remember the context of the conversation) that he would have a hard time telling me how he felt later on because it is not expressed the same way in Turkish as in English. Duuuuuuuhhhh. I really just need to ask him how he feels.

  5. I think this is one of those conversations you two need to have, perhaps it is just a cultural difference/way of explaining. Does he mean that you may not always LIKE someone but if you respect them, you two can make it work? I guess I do see his point in that there have been times when I definitely loved a guy, but I certainly didn’t respect him. For me, that’s when the relationship is over.

    • I think he means love vs. in love. I have talked to some married people and they all say that there are definitely times when you don’t feel “in love” but you have to still respect each other and work on your relationship otherwise that’s when it cracks. So yeah, basically what you said… just different ways to word it really. Everyone has their own definition for those words.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s