My mother, Ingrid Teichner, always said "to love is to be happy with.". That is my advice to myself in midlife, seeking love.I always felt this to be a simple and beautiful phrase that removes crazy expectations from relationships and keeps perspective on love so simple. The litter box is the litmus test for love and compatibility. "I always thought that love was about desire -- being with someone, holding someone, feeling someone. Love can come in lots of different ways and lots of different guises." That's the British artist Tracey Emin in a May 2012 BBC interview.What simple piece of wisdom or guidance resonated with them, and why was it so meaningful?
Even so, the advice has stuck in my head all these years, and I still recite it to single friends who seem to have trouble making romantic relationships stick.The point is not that you should act arrogantly or as if entitled, but that, if you act as if you have value in the world, others are more likely to treat you that way.I think the 13th Century Persian Poet Rumi sums up love so eloquently.He wrote: 'Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.' The way I interpret this that when it comes to love, you can't give or receive love unless you love and respect yourself.The values that have been promoted since the advent of the moving picture have sent a message to women. I have been through many wonderful love affairs; I have been through divorce and near-death illness; I have traveled the world and been on the covers of magazines. All this may sound super new-agey and self-possessed, but I can't help but fall back on that old maxim, "happiness comes from within." The worst relationship I ever had was also the most important one of my young life, in that I learned more about myself from that year-long ordeal than from any other.
Through all of this, I have come to understand that I control my ultimate happiness. I was 18, and as often happens with first love, was completely blind to the fact that I was being manipulated and taken advantage of.You will find the perfect person who loves you as much as you love him, and you'll look back on this and laugh." While I couldn't understand then that you need to love someone who loves you back, I get it now. My grandparents died before I was born and my parents are deceased and never liked anyone I dated, really. Don't marry anyone who won't help with the cat litter box when you are away, busy or when you are sick.Twenty years, three children and a dog later, I'm still married to the man who loved me back. The couple who served as my polestars for love shared litter box tasks (and everything else).And yet the only thing that's changed is the relationship you have with yourself. In television and film, the primary conversations that woman have revolve around men, dating men or how to better date men. Millions to billions of dollars are spent on how to sell a costumer something they don't need to buy, or portray an image they don't necessarily want to subscribe to.I have been wracking my brain about this idea of "Mr. One thing that has been on my mind lately is the way media, television and film portray women. Male characters' conversations are often about catching bad guys. When I was a young person and having a hard time dating, my mother would say, "You have to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find your Prince." I have come to a point in my life where I realize that she was right, but, as corny as it may sound, the Prince is me.The best advice I ever got about love was from my grandmother, right before I got married.