Love: Because I Got to Have Faith, Faith, Faith

Love is a funny thing. What an understatement! I have spent a lot of time thinking about love recently with the recent turbulent state of my love life. I have always dated wonderful girls. The last couple girlfriends have been an A-list fashion stylist, a woman who runs cancer research trials internationally, the NY Times Teacher of the Year, and a leading HIV researcher and published author. One might conclude I have been doing well. In some ways I have.

But as I look back, almost definitively there was a point where I decided that they weren’t the one. I had lost faith in the viability of the relationship. For one, it was a ridiculous public display when she misheard me. For another it was long distance. For another, it was a hormone induced fit that I hoped was atypical, but lasted far too long. For another, it was an insatiable insecurity.

Now you might think that I ended the relationship there. But I never was that smart or that ready to part. I thought I was “giving it a chance”. Instead, I was slowly pulling away, even joking near the end of the “Trevor soft landing approach”. (Full disclosure: the last one was crash and burn). Because I had lost faith in the person and in the proverbial “us,” I had started looking for faults. And we all have them. God knows I am difficult to deal with. But each fault became a way to reinforce the conclusion that I had already come to. And even worse, as I pull away, they typically turn it on. The adage is very true: “We run away from that which chases us, and chase that which runs away from us.” The more they would chase, the more I would pull away. The more guilty I would feel as they got more caught up and I got less. The less I enjoyed their company. The more I would pull away. The more they would chase ...

They say that relationships take work, constant care and feeding. Perhaps if I had more faith in the possibility of a positive end state (how romantic are those sterile words?) I would have made greater efforts. Perhaps if I had a better outlook, I would have overlooked the trivial things that really didn’t matter. And perhaps, I would have stayed or fallen in love.

Faith in its own way becomes a foregone conclusion. It is well documented the way people distort facts to support pre-existing beliefs. Is finding the “one” about admitting that I could settle down and live the rest of my life with someone? Is it about admitting that I could care enough about someone whom I couldn’t spend the rest of my life without? That’s my brother’s definition of love. I would like to say I truly believe in it. I am witnessing it this weekend as I perform a wedding for two of my friends. But maybe my biggest obstacle is my perceived fierce independence and invulnerability, which manifests itself not surprisingly as invulnerability through fierce independence. I create that barrier.

One of these girls recently mentioned to me that the only obstacles in a relationship are the ones we make. It’s the ones we choose to believe in. Faith can be a choice. Sometimes a blind choice. But those choices may close, or just as easily, open you up to love.

Now if faith only came that easy …