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Jewish Journal

The Dance of Love

by Ilana Angel

July 18, 2012 | 10:00 pm

I have been dating a man for a little over four months.  By dating of course I mean I have been in a relationship.  From our first date there was a connection and we simply fell into a relationship without really dating.  It has been fun, effortless, complicated, and exhausting.  I have been divorced for 16 years and I am 46 years old.  My last serious relationship ended over 3 years ago and in retrospect, was not that serious. I am now with a man who has children, his own business, an ex-wife, a family he is very close to, and a full life that he has fit me into.

I’ve been alone for so long that while I have longed to be in a committed relationship, it is difficult.  I find myself trying to talk myself out of my happiness and it’s rather strange.  I am in love with a terrific man and I am a great dancer, but when it comes to the dance of love, I am stepping on my own feet. Could it be fear that is causing me to lose my rhythm?  I was so certain I knew what I wanted, that when I am now faced with something different, I am panicking.  Did I waste time imagining the wrong thing?  Am I talking myself out of what I thought I wanted? 

Relationships can take an emotional toll on a woman.  We are taught to not settle for less than what we deserve, but when you have had a relationship end badly, you question what it is exactly that you deserve.  I am worthy of love, but is it the love I envisioned for myself? My heart tells me I am in love.  My head tells me I am an idiot for thinking I found love.  My head has convinced me that I pick bad men and my choices cannot be trusted.  Not the men, just my choices.  I have a romantic heart, which I love, but it is screwing with my head, which is starting to annoy me.

It turns out I am scared of the one thing I have been looking for.  Love. When my last relationship ended I wondered why he didn’t love me.  I am now with a man who loves me and I am curious about why he loves me. What makes him different from the men who didn’t? Is this what it means to find your Beshert?  When you find someone you feel you were meant to be with, why can’t you just enjoy it?  Why do we make it so difficult for ourselves?  The fairytales tell us that love is grand, but they don’t say it will turn us into bad dancers who are crazy.

I always thought the key to finding love was to open your heart to the possibilities, but I am changing my mind.  The key to love, for me, is to close my eyes, listen to the music, and allow my partner to lead.  If I can stop thinking and focus on listening, maybe I have a shot.  I was so sure I needed to lead, I lost focus and stopped dancing. I’m not sure if I’m tired from work or the dancing analogies, but I’m tired. To my Sweetheart, thank you for being such a good dancer.  You are wonderful for embracing my two left feet, taking the lead, and keeping the faith.

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